Boom! Feeling my bed shift on its wheels beneath me, my heart starts to pound, I hop up, put on my bedroom slippers and move swiftly to the entryway and open my front door**. I stand outside…look…the building are dancing. As the building continue sway to and fro, I see random flickers of fluorescent light illuminating windows from an apartment complex across from me. The shaking subsides then stops…I go back to bed, but I can’t sleep.
Late last night, there was another pretty big earthquake, it was another one of those that was big enough to shake me out of bed and put me on the ready. It lasted for a little while, too. Not as long as the big one in March, but for some reason I’ve really been doing a lot of thinking lately. With the stresses of changing jobs, hearing about so many people in the country who lost their lives, the expansion of the radiation evacuation zone, hearing one bad news report after another. I still don’t regret staying in Japan, but I regret not being where I want to be. What if the radiation gets me in the end? What if there’s another big earthquake and I’m in a place where, God forbid, I can’t escape or worse. Lately I feel a lot more mortal, a lot more human than I regularly do.
I saw a baby on my train ride home from Moriya the yesterday and, for once, I completely saw past the baby’s crying. I was surprised because I had a long day and I was tired. Normally, the last thing I want to hear is a screaming baby. But I really didn’t mind this time. I imagined the baby was my own. Huh? I know, weird right? Then, for some reason, my mind did a strange shift…I started thinking what if there is an earthquake that derails this train? What if something were to happen to me? There’s no one I’ve passed my knowledge/wisdom on to. I have no wife, I have no house, and I have put off so many opportunities to see and do things because I don’t have “enough” money. What am I doing? Am I being honest with myself?
Lately, this whole feeling my mortality thing makes me feel so morose. Donald, what have you accomplished?…Not a whole lot, bro. Yeah, so you’re living in Japan…so what? Where you are doesn’t matter, you can idle in any country you please…but what are you going to do? No, I mean really…what are you going to do with your life? What will you do so that on your dying day, your last breath will be a happy, peaceful sigh? I tired of “trying” to figure it out. I have so many things I want to do. I want to have kids and teach them Japanese and karate, I want a wife I can trust. I want to make enough money where we don’t have to argue over petty things.
I see my friends with these great, high-paying jobs: dentists, doctors, lawyers, businessmen with major companies. I can’t help but to think…I’m just a teacher. Many of those guys, I haven’t talked to in years. I remember we were all in the same boat at one point, studying for exams (I was trying to get into dental school at one point, or when I changed majors I remember turning down that internship with JP Morgan Chase). I can’t help but question “Did I make a wrong choice somewhere?” I wanted to blaze my own path instead of doing the same thing that everyone else was doing. But I don’t want to fail just because I chose a different path. I love teaching and it’s so much fun, but there has to be a way to still meet my definition of success. What’s success to me? Success is being 200% happy with the job you do. You love what you do so much that you willingly seek out the challenges and difficulties because it’s not a challenge for you…it’s fun. Success is having the financial means to save, invest, take care of your family, and live comfortably…none of life’s inconveniences will break you (medical expenses, car repairs, travel expenses, etc.). Success is having family and friends who you love and care about and they love and care about you back. Success is being able to help people. Sucess is dreaming things and making them become reality.
Think bigger, Donnie.
P.S.-I’m sorry. This post may be a bit weird, but my mind has just been in a strange place lately.
P.P.S.-I don’t think Brainful is a real word.
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