One week ago I said goodbye to Tokyo…
And I was more emotion than human. After spending three months in this place, I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing, not even the messy parts.
Exploring a new place is like a book. We get out of it what we desire to get. The book itself isn’t going to change. The words don’t magically reshuffle themselves to our liking. We interpret the story a certain way depending upon the state of our heart.
I found many things in the storied city of Tokyo.
A magnetic contentment. A contagious outlook. The unexpected familiar.
In some ways, it was like meeting an old flame. Tokyo wears its quirks with charm in a way that is slightly intimidating, yet entirely magnetizing.
It’s one of those places that you want to just slip into, like your favorite cozy sweater that’s two sizes too big. And even though you may be swimming in it, it feels just right.
It’s a place I found myself wandering about aimlessly. But I felt safe. It’s a place where the only thing to worry about is taking your shoes off at the door and just walking in.
There was something familiar. In a way that most things never are. And you are you, in a way that you have never been. And suddenly everything feels much more vivid. And you are able to articulate what home is. Or at least what it should feel like.
I think everyone has that state of being that they are always trying to get back to. A certain calm and all-consuming contentment. You know home when you feel it— the relaxing of your muscles, the hanging up of your problems, the ability to breathe a little easier.
On my last day, the sunset lit the sky on fire and I stopped. There’s an overpowering calm in sitting still in the center of a world that never stops moving. A sober bliss that comes from the organized chaos that surrounds you.
It’s here where the rooftops are high-fiving the sky. It’s here where the tiles that sheath the temples and shrines glisten in shades of red, gray and blue. It’s here where humans live respectively beside one another. It’s here that history seems ageless and forever doesn’t seem that far away. It’s here where you understand the paradox of being present and lost all at the same time.
And maybe some people won’t understand how you find solace beneath the glittering neon lights. Perhaps I don’t even fully understand.
But all I know is that Tokyo is the type of place that politely taps you on the shoulder each day and says wake up.
So goodbye, Tokyo. Thanks for the wake up call. Thanks for being home. And thanks for being such an amazing part of my storybook.
Until we meet again.