Short post due to still trying to find my bearings, but I’m more or less back on track attitude-wise.
Goodbye cherry blossoms
Of course, having a two month break filled with nothing but excitement and then returning to Waseda was going to demotivate me – but now that I’ve begun class full-time again and gotten to see old faces (and plenty of new ones), I’m feeling much more excited about things to come. I’m definitely the kind of person who likes to have plenty of things to do, no matter how much it stresses me, because then I know there’s something to look forward to. Waseda giving me plenty of homework and keeping me on my toes does exactly that.
Of course, I’m still having the problem of trying to find new places to go to Japan – I can’t help but feel like when I return to England in only 3 and a half months I’ll feel some kind of regret that I didn’t do as much as I could’ve done, and it’s the potentiality for regret that I’m feeling a little scared of right now. As with everything though, it takes time to figure things out, so until then…
Revisiting the old
While I was bored a week ago and trying to find things to motivate me, I thought back to ways that I used to pass the time I had. I don’t even remember why I quit playing – probably to spend all my time on video games – but one hobby I used to have was playing the ukulele. There was a period in my life when I used to play the guitar, but I always found it too difficult to get my fingers where they needed to be for each chord (and how HUGE the whole instrument is and how much of a hassle it is to carry.) So, I picked up the ukulele. Back at home I have a beautiful little yellow soprano (the smallest kind you can get), and unfortunately it’s been dusting away for several years now.
So I’m picking it back up again, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made recently. I found a beautiful tenor ukulele here in Japan – a pretty big size but still nowhere near as big a guitar – and to absentmindedly play it is one of the best ways to pass the time.
In my opinion, I think the three most influential things in this life are food, your surroundings, and music. Food – the way you feed yourself, your nutrition, the love and care put into a recipe and the culture ingrained into it – food is a blessing to the spirit. To be surrounded by nature is incredibly therapeutic. And music, of course, is a fundamental part of human existence – one of the only formats in which we can truly catch a glimpse into the heart. It is music that allows us to know a person by the way their voice carries a melody, or the tenderness in which they play a tune. Music is truly the universal language of this world.
To strum on the strings of an instrument and sing is to understand this better. Even if it’s just for you. It’s incredibly effective in stopping yourself from overthinking about things, and it’s just a plain fun way to pass the time.
(Also, playing an instrument again after so long, you’ll be surprised at how much you remember, like riding a bike. Also, my fingers hurt because I lost the callouses in my fingertips after not playing for so long – but it’s worth it…)