Dear Women (Thank You Note)

Who was your first crush?

I hardly remember about my first crush. In fact, I hardly remember about my childhood.

Having said that, here’s something I vaguely remember: I was rather popular among girls, and I was a bad boy type… when I was 4 or 5. That’s almost 15 years ago. I have no idea why I was popular or the bad boy type. Perhaps I was popular because I was the bad boy type, and the reason why I was the bad boy type was… because I was a spoiled brat.

My first crush may well have been a teacher or a girl at daycare. Which one was my first crush? I don’t know. I liked both of them. This girl at daycare was my first girlfriend. As far as I can remember, she moved to another town or something in the end. I may be wrong. Memories are elusive.

It’s funny how the dynamics between boys and girls change over time, as they grow into adulthood. When you are a little boy, it’s usually not cool to play with girls. Maybe that’s the case for girls too, but I don’t know about their perspective. I believe that’s not the case only with Japanese kids, but in many societies if not all.

Eventually, I stopped playing with girls. Again, I don’t remember whether it was because I was afraid of other boys judging me for not being cool, but I’d say it’s likely. From my own perspective, I was never popular among girls after my preschool period.

I had crushes and such, and I was never a bad boy type again, at least the kind that could express my feelings for them without any worry. When I did ocassionally, I got rejected… and that must have hurt. If I could talk with my 9 year old self, I’d tell him to stop trying to impress his crushes, but to be curious about them and get to know them by talking with them.

There’s pretty much nothing impressive about how I interacted with girls or women when I was a teenager.

I grew up in a fatherless household where there were a lot more women than men. I lived with my mother, grandmother, aunt, and two younger sisters as well as my grandfather and younger brother. 5 women. 2 other men.

During my teenager period, I never thought about this environment where I grew up, but as I think about it now, there’s no way I can be disrespectful towards women; I’m on their side as much as they are on my side.

In my early 20s when I was a university student in Australia, I started learning to love. I also learned a bittersweet feeling of breaking up, a couple of months after I came back to Japan. That was 2007.

Something led to another, and I decided to get better with women, because I had no clue about how to initiate or to have interactions with women I found attractive, on a romantic basis. This period of honing social skills and pushing myself out of my own comfort zone was helpful, as I learned to be more comfortable around women.

A couple years after I started this journey of becoming an attractive man who is good with women, I took the Ars Amorata Online Program. It was in early 2010, and going through the program helped me see women from a different perspective.

If I’m to summarize the core messages of the Ars Amorata (the art of loving), it’s this: be authentic, love and celebrate women, and express that love and celebration of women. I’ve been living with this spirit since then.

But why? Why this journey? I don’t know. All I know is that I love the beauty in their eyes, I love feeling connections with them, and I love letting them shine if they allow me to.

I’m much more curious about women than 10 years ago or even 5 years ago. I’m a student of women and will always be a student of women. There’s always something to learn about women from women, and I’m thankful for every woman I met and will meet in my life.

If you are a woman, thank you for being who you are and for being the beauty that is you.