I feel an incredible urge to write. I don’t need to think, just write away, no matter how poor the grammar might come out, how evident the lack of practice might seem when read. And yet, I still pause and wonder whether I’m using the right words or if I can stop mixing Japanese terms with the suffix -ness. My room smells like burnt food, the window is open and cool wind comes in. I’ve mopped the floor, but it seems to need further cleaning. It’s a cell, it’s home, it’s the beginning of a long journey.
I’m so much better than this, yet I have neglected so much of myself at the sight of endless effort. What for, I wondered, and only now that it’s too late to wonder I find the answer. There’s a voice in the back of my head telling me results could’ve been better, if only I had put more effort to it. Effort, effort, effort. Everything here is about effort.
I think of effort and my mind flutters away, a butterfly and its graceful dizziness stumbling over endless afternoons of Hawaiian bread and tangerine juice, over plump juicy peaches, over hot chocolate on Sundays, over my sleeping head on his lap in the bus.
I cannot write without thinking. I cannot help but overthink, overfeel, let the sights and sounds crush my shoulders and reduce me to a ball of insecurities and what-ifs. Why is writing my favorite pastime if it’s so painful? Why do I want to make a living out of a rather masochistic activity? The quest for the perfect word, the neverending process of learning a language and not letting go of a couple more, the untimeliness of ideas… Is this what I want to do with my life? It seems so, although my excessive nonchalance speaks the contrary.
If I can’t make it I can go back, I can always go back, I have people waiting for me. But I cannot afford to quit. This is not the end of the road, and this road is so much more than an adventure to get a couple of pictures and souvenirs. Maybe I should go back to coherence, to being consistent with my dreams. Or rather than that, I should remember that I do have dreams, and that this very chair I’m sitting on is the realization of a dream I believed unattainable.
The lonely fields of Tsukuba are nothing but the mental pictures I used to smile at when walking into the morning sun, out of a building whose eleventh floor waited for me every two weeks with paper dinosaurs and still dancers trapped in glass cages.