Realising you are getting old(er) and being perfectly happy about it.
A few days ago I came across a piece I did for ACCLAIM magazine in 2015 featuring a bunch of old photos I took with disposable cameras back when I was living in the south of Japan in 2003. It got me thinking how I didn’t really fully appreciate being in Kyushu at the time, and exploring my immediate surroundings. At 22, all I cared about was partying, going to punk shows, listening to drum & bass, and more partying. I did travel all the way from Fukuoka to Tokyo overland using nothing but local trains one time – but in terms of really getting to know Fukuoka, and its little areas and suburbs, I can’t say I really did. Why? Because I was young. And that shit was boring.
Now, at 35, my outlook on a lot of things has changed. In the intervening years since my Fukuoka days, I’ve lived a hell of a lot of life. I’ve seen the highs and lows of relationships, experienced the glory and goriness of a career in advertising – but above all, I’ve become a bit zen with my whole approach to life, living one year at a time and just seeing where life takes me. I have gotten older. Some may say boring. But these days (like in the video below) I get as much enjoyment from walking along a deserted street in Japan with only myself for company as I did in a crowded club 14 years ago.
I am going to go back and visit Fukuoka again next year – not to sight-see or to be a tourist, but to just be there. I want to take the 22N bus I took every day from outside the Post Office to my danchi apartment block. I want to walk about the supermarket I shopped in in 2003. Not because I want to relive those days, but because I am happy where I am now, yet also happy to look back. I want to experience the ultimate feeling of natsukashii.
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