Even in the darkest hours of December, I thought to myself, There are way worse people with whom I could be stuck in the middle of nowhere Japan. And while I’ve made friends, missed friends, spent many an hour writing emails and talking on skype, in the end, it’s been me in this house on the hill overlooking Hokkaido. Just me.
Recently, I caught the evening light just right on a deserted beach several hours south of my town. Here, I welcomed the coming season with some warmer winds and my sights on the Pacific. And on much more. I’ve yet to internalize all that these past eight months have done to shape me as a person, a woman, a daughter, a friend; but the way I felt on this day, greeting Spring on the shores of Japan in excellent solo company, is a start. On the eve of my twenty-fifth birthday, with brains in my head and feet in my shoes, I am steering myself in the direction I choose. Happy Birthday to me.