2011.3.11 I won’t forget
2011.3.11 it’s a date with a lot of meaning for me. I was living in Tokyo when the earthquake shook all the northern part of Japan. I was translating at the time, sipping from a mug of coffee when everything started to shake. The first thing that I thought was that the Kanto Earthquake had arrived. Ever since I arrived in Japan in 2004 I had been told about the great Kanto Earthquake that would destroy Tokyo. So, I thought it was that one. However, I was wrong: this was the Tohoku megathrust! And he had company: a devastating Tsunami that washed away lots of towns in the North.
I won’t forget that day. In just 5 minutes my life had changed without me noticing it. In fact, there was no one in Tokyo that would not be touched by the event. Everyone had a friend who had family on the North. And painfully enough, some were washed away.
So, what can an event like this do to your life? Well, for me it was a turning point in which I had to reconsider everything that I was doing. I saw friends parting ways with others, people divorcing, people falling into depressions… Name it. But for me it was like a flash of clarity of what I wanted to do with my life.
My plans were to leave Japan somewhere in 2012, and so I did. To put into works a plan that I had in mind that I never ever really seem to start. The earthquake just made me put it into action.
2011 is a turning point in my life. A year in which I discovered that I am tougher than I thought. A year in which I realized I can make my dreams come true. A year in which I started to re-discover myself. It was painful, it was shocking, but for me it was also a message of what I had to do.
No, I won’t ever forget that day. Japan has taught me much about life and myself. Even in hardship Japan has been able to give me much more than I could ever give it back. Love.
Image source: Yamagata Mekke.
Oh my, what an event to be so close to! Glad you got your change into gear, but sorry that it took mother nature at her worst get you to do it.
Well, sometimes you need a great shake, some others your brain will do the click with only an image in a park. It was an experience that I will never forget.
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