Finally, the new year is upon us and we’re getting a few days off in Japan. It’s rare to have that “many ” in a row here so I wanted to refresh and do some introspection far away in the mountains. Get some calm before 2020 really starts rolling.
But I couldn’t get this lucky. Taking into consideration my obligations in Tokyo this week, I had to settle for a single day away and, still, I ended up going with friends. It was fun. But definitely not the calm I was looking for.
But then, on my way to a nearby coffee shop yesterday, I found it. 9:00 a.m. in the middle of suburbian houses not even 5 minutes away on foot. No car around, no other pedestrian. Just houses with a few clothes hanging on some balconies. Two birds were singing, enjoying their own morning on the warm sun on this cold morning.
I had been looking forward to a time of silence for weeks and was sure I couldn’t get it inside the city. But there I was. An overwhelming feeling of peace and happiness came to me and made me realize I was wrong all along.
By looking far away, we miss what is close to us.
This doesn’t just apply to the act of finding silence. It extends to so many other things too.
- Feeling unhappy? Appreciate at the tiny things around you and let them compound.
- Your goal is too far away? Notice how far you’ve already come.
- Lost someone you cared for? Remember the good times and how they shaped the person you’ve become.
- Can’t find love? Remember your dear friends around you.
We constantly want “more” or “better”. But what do these words mean exactly? They are vague and unhelpful.
Look up, take off those earphones and open those eyes of yours wide open. The world is right here, next to you, waiting for you to notice its beauty and enjoy it right now.
Who knows? You might be lucky too and discover what you wanted was right in front of you the whole time.
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Mathias Barra is a French polyglot living in Japan and who has learned 6 languages and dabbled in numerous others. Being a curious child full of wonders is how he keeps on learning and can’t stop sharing about every tiny idea.