This time only in English, because I have lots of friends who want to read this too, but can’t read Finnish.
Tämä kirjoitus on ainoastaan englanniksi, joten pahoittelut niille, jotka lukevat mieluummin suomeksi. Kirjoitan taas seuraavan suomeksi!
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A silhouette of Tokyo in evening dusk, surrounded by a hazy cloud curtain. A wing of an airplane glimmers in the light of the setting sun. It’s a landscape of an endless sea of buildings. The airplane makes a slight curve and there it is; a tall building like a needle, Skytree. Below, waves of the sea hit in the shore and lights of the city are turned on one after another. The airplane starts to drop height towards Haneda Airport.
I feel like I’ve come home. Of all places of the vast world, I feel like I have come home to Tokyo. And it’s not the first time Tokyo welcomes me with an overwhelming feeling of familiarity, because I felt exactly the same way when coming home from the Kansai trip. Even though I live in Saitama, I feel like I’m already home at Tokyo. It’s a strange feeling, being home somewhere and not actually even living there.
And also, it’s a strange feeling for an another reason too. I have lived all my life in Finland, so I’m thoroughly a Finn. I wouldn’t become a Japanese even though I lived here for a thousand years, because my core is always a Finn. Nothing’s better than deep forests, cool water of a hundred lakes and shimmering snow on a peaceful winter day. But still, piece of my heart has already built a home in Japan.
Since I’ve been moving often during last three years in Finland, I adapt easily to a new environment. Also, it gets even easier to move to a new place, when that new place is full of wonderful people. It’s been said, that ”Home is where your heart is”, and I truly agree with that saying. If I feel comfortable somewhere, I’ll call it home. And right now, I love Japan, I love people I’ve met here, I love my life here – it is a ’home’. Same goes for Tokyo: I feel like I’m at home there, because of countless good memories I’ve been able to make in the city.
Before coming to Japan, I heard lots of stories of people’s exchange years. And when I heard other people’s stories of an exchange year, I was quite doubtful. Everyone that has been an exchange student somewhere, always says that an exchange year is the best experience in their lives, even though it’s a year full of hardships with foreign language and foreign customs. A long year, which you have to spend far away from loved ones at home.
Well, it is a year you have to spend far a way from the people you love. That’s a fact. But one year is not long, it’s actually very short slice of life. You can bear it. And when you get to know awesome people during the year of your exchange, it doesn’t feel all that bad. People at home can wait, right?
People can wait a bit, but life can’t. Life keeps on going, not caring a slightest bit whether you’re ready for it or not. If you are not ready to make your dreams true, life will leave you behind. That’s why you’ll have to live with all you have, right here and right now.
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Lately there’s been one funny thought I’ve come across. If someone told me that I’ll die day after tomorrow, I probably would do nothing particular tomorrow. Even though it would be my last day, I would do nothing out of ordinary.
Why’s that? That’s because I have no need for that. I would go on living like this and die happy. That’s it. No rush to fulfill dreams-that-never-came-true. I’ve been living so that there are no dreams I’d regret not making true.
The only thing that would make me sad is that I haven’t been able to meet all my friends and family and other loved ones lately. It’s just that I have too many friends and wonderful persons I want to have a chat with. I absolutely have no time for all of them, and it makes me super sad. On the other hand, I can’t be anything else but happy to have so many lovely persons around me. If I only could make a couple of clones and send them to meet all the persons I want to meet… Well, it’s not possible, but I wish it would be.
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Recently there have also been lots of buddhists that have been telling that I can’t find permanent happiness without Hotoke-sama or whatever. That’s bullshit. I do believe in Christian God, in Jesus and his teachings, but at least they’re not telling me that world would be free of all kind of pain. It’s not, and it won’t ever be. That’s the truth. It’s precisely those painful things in our lives that’ll make us realize the good things in life. And appreciating those things – that’s called happiness.
In the Shikoku trip (I’ll write it another time in Finnish, sorry!), there was one guide, who taught us the following sentence:
To be translated simply: ”If you hesitate, go.”
If you ever hesitate between doing something or not doing it, you absolutely should do it. There might not be another chance, so you should go and fail rather than stay home and regret not going. Because most of the things we regret are not the things we have done, but the things that have been left undone.
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And that’s quite much all I wanted to write down. It’s good to practice my English sometimes, so this time even foreign friends can understand something.