Fifteen years ago, I left Japan to circumnavigate the globe, a journey that culminated in my earning residency in Canada. As I built a life in this new home, I realized that the biggest sacrifice I made was leaving behind my life in Japan.
Each time I returned to my homeland, it felt as though everything had changed. My childhood friends, who had once shared my dreams and aspirations, now had grown children and houses of their own. The familiarity of our shared past contrasted sharply with the diverging trajectories our lives had taken.
Initially, I left Japan driven by a deep desire to experience different cultures and explore the world beyond my comfort zone. Yet, as I observed the lives of my friends, I began to appreciate the beauty inherent in their paths. Their lives, while seemingly lacking the drastic changes and grand adventures that defined my own, were equally remarkable. They had built stability, family bonds, and deep connections to our hometown.
This realization challenged my perception of what constitutes a fulfilling life. It’s not solely about amassing new experiences or seeking significant changes. There’s a quiet beauty in the subtle, gradual transformation that occurs in a stable life. It’s about growing and evolving within the context of the familiar, the known.
Let me be clear: I do not regret my decision to leave Japan. In fact, I cherish my life in Canada and all the unique experiences I’ve gathered. My point is, each life path, whether filled with dramatic shifts or gradual changes, has its own unique beauty and value. There’s no ‘better’ or ‘worse’ here, only different ways of living that each of us choose to follow.
Thank you for reading and joining me in this reflection. No matter where you are in life, remember: every path has its own charm, and your life, in its own unique way, is beautiful just as it is.