How do I begin to say goodbye to Tokyo?
Our time here has flown by more quickly than the weepy, puffy-faced girl who arrived here almost three years ago could ever have believed. Today’s the day we fly back to Detroit and few words could do the experience justice. I never thought I would feel this way and that’s a testament to just how incredible this place is.
People have asked us a lot lately what we will miss about living in Japan. While there are the obvious things — the culture, food, people and art — there are some intangible things I’ll miss more. I’ll miss the calm that somehow permeates the massive crowds. I’ll miss the patience of people who know the best things, be it a collectible, a show or a dish, are worth waiting for, no matter how long the line. I’ll miss the preservation and respect for tradition. I’ll miss the pride of ownership no matter if you have a little or a lot. I’ll also miss the laughter we found amid the tears and the excitement and nervousness that made every little thing we did an adventure.
But I guess the real lesson here is we don’t have to say goodbye to those feelings or attitudes. No matter where you call home — even if it’s always been home — you can find those adventures. Every day is precious and what you get out of it is entirely up to you. We learned to make goals, but more importantly, to adjust our expectations (Spoiler Alert: I’m not fluent in Japanese). We did our best and learned to accept sometimes that’s all you really can do. We’re more humbled global citizens who’ve learned to look at the world through more than one lens. Most importantly, we did it together.
To commemorate our time in Japan, we recently teamed up with the incredibly talented Miranda Boller, who snapped our “sayonara portraits.” While it was supposed to be overcast, the sun came out and it was just beautiful. She snapped the photo above on Chuo Dori in Ginza. The street closes to cars on the weekends and it was always one of our favorite strolls. With all the feels we’ve been feeling (my god, the feelings) this past month, it was a reminder of how far we’ve come. We’re better individuals and better partners for having jumped in the deep end of the pool.
No matter how scary or uncertain things may seem, the sun will always come out.
I’ll be posting more Japan-related content in this space in the coming weeks and months as I decide how to transition this space. To everyone who shared the journey with us, who sent encouragement from near and far, to the new friends we made here who invited us into their homes, shared a meal with us, cried with us, got drunk with us, sang karaoke with us, gave me work or helped with small things that made a big difference (i.e. forms we still can’t read), we’re so very grateful to have you in our lives. Getting to share Tokyo with the friends and family who were able to visit meant the absolute world to us. Domo arigatou gozaimasu.
Cheers until the next.