From Romance To Love: Narrowing The Focus

Days and months and years went by since I started this site. When I started it, I didn’t know what it was going to be about. It was simply a platform where I would post my writings.

Its focus became clearer after I came to think that my life is my art (or likewise your life is your art) and after I realized that one of the things I want to do is to make the world more romantic.

But here’s a problem. The problem that had been stuck in my mind is, what I consider as ‘romantic’ is not what the majority of people associate with from the word ‘romantic’.

Why is it a problem? It’s because I want my core message to be much simpler than something that would require an entire post to explain what it is.

So, I’ve been thinking about how to narrow down my message–something I want to convey through my words.

When I think about what I value, the following comes to my mind: love, freedom, truth, beauty, authenticity, knowledge, creativity, and life.

I could say this site is about how to live. Or rather, it’s about how I live and about sharing my knowledge and experiences through writing.

I strive to live a life that is inspiring to myself and to others. I strive to live a life where I seek beautiful experiences and share them with others. I strive to live a life of freedom by being aware of choices I have, making my own choices, and being responsible for the consequences. I strive to live a life with the attitude of ease and delight. How do I do it? By being creative and authentic.

What I mean by being creative is to put myself forward, to enjoy what I do, to go through trials and errors, and to experiment with new things.

What I mean by being authentic is to be comfortable about who I am, including my own vulnerabilities and desires, and to be honest with myself and with others.

What I strive for seems to come down to, simply, love. How do I create a life I love and I want to live? By being aware of what I want and figuring out how to get it and so on and so on. But the most important, essential ingredient seems to be love. It’s about loving myself. It’s about loving others. It’s about loving what I do. It’s about loving my life.

The notion of love can be hard to define, but I believe it’s more intuitive than that of being romantic. After all, I could say, “I want to let there be more love in the world” instead of “I want to make the world more romantic”.

“Being romantic” may have sounded fluffy to you. If that’s the case, “love” may sound fluffy to you as well.

Love–what’s in it, really? Why should I talk about it? Why should you listen to me? Or even if you choose not to listen to me, why should you care about love?

Here’s how I perceive the current situation: we seem to know what love is and be familiar with it, but many of us have little idea and don’t really practice as much as they want… or should.

The question is: do you love yourself, people around you, people not around you, things you do, and everything else that comes into your life? OK, maybe not everything, but a lot of things. Are you willing to love more?

Whether you choose to love more and more is up to you. But if you do choose to do so, I’m with you. I’m keen on practicing the art of loving and helping you love more and more. I write about love for myself and for those who are on a similar journey.

But isn’t it supposed to be heavy and deep? I mean, all these talks about love? Perhaps. But if that’s the case, it is exactly a status quo that I want to tear apart.

Let’s make it light and bring it up to the surface. Instead of a heavy bag you want to throw away into the ocean, let’s imagine it to be something light and portable that you can give away. Yes, give it away. Lots and lots of it.

We’ll talk about it more. We’ll love more.

What Happened After Philippines: Hello from Vietnam

3 weeks ago, I got robbed in Manila, Philippines. The scariest part is that I didn’t realize I had gotten robbed and I didn’t remember anything.

It took me a few days to realize what happened to me and my money.

Instead of crying over this incident, I chose to look at the positive side and chose to be grateful about things around me. I’m grateful I’m alive right now.

I also wanted to be able to say that it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s definitely not the kind of things I want to experience again, but it did open a path that I had never seen before.

I left Manila for Saigon, Vietnam, on 30 May.

My original plan was to stay in Saigon and in surrounding areas for 15 days, which is the duration of a visa exemption period given to Japanese nationals. But I changed my plan significantly.

I arranged a visa-on-arrival through Vietnam Visa Corp and I got a 3 month tourist visa. (Note: They do a great job. If you want to arrange a visa for Vietnam, consider using this company.) The main reason why I changed my plan is because my friend, who lives and teaches English and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Hanoi, invited me to stay at his place and to help him teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This was great news to me.

It’s funny I got this opportunity to share my knowledge with grapplers in Hanoi, because that’s exactly what I wanted to do, though it didn’t necessarily have to be Hanoi.

If I hadn’t gotten robbed in Manila, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity in Hanoi. I didn’t even have a plan to go up to Hanoi in the first place. Or rather, I wouldn’t have realized that there was this option. One negative experience could let you see an option you didn’t see before.

I’m getting by thanks to some financial support from my family and from my friend who prepaid for my translation service.

Another funny thing. I got reasonably big translation projects that made me busy for the last 2 weeks. The payment won’t be made until the end of August, but this will get me a little bit more than the amount I lost. One of the orders was from a company that I applied for to be a freelance translator last year. They had something for me to work on at this timing.

It seems like I might have another big project to work on from 12 June. If this happens, my financial situation will be not only recovered at the end of July, but also improved than before. This means I’ll keep going as a vagabonding martial artist/writer for the coming months as well.

(If you’ve noticed, however, my source of income relies too much on some other people giving me projects to work on. I want to change this situation somehow.)

I could have gone back to Japan, but I didn’t. Instead, I made it to Vietnam, met some awesome people in Saigon, had massive fun, and now I’m slowly getting used to my home for the next couple of months, Hanoi.

What can I say? I am really, really lucky. There are things I did intentionally so I could live my life this way, but there are a lot of things that I had no control over. I simply accepted what was there, and it all happened.

My life is a lot more uncertain now than ever, but I love it this way.

It’s been 4 months since I left Japan. To leave Japan for this indefinite trip was one of the best moves I ever made. To keep going will prove to be another great move, I believe.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but you’ve been holding back and haven’t done… yet? If you want to do it badly, but you haven’t started working on it… why?