These days I can recognize a part of my character that was reshaped in/by Japan. Consideration for harmony. Since coming to India I have put a lot of attention on social harmony. I try not to do anything that separates me from a larger group. Although I wanted to use sunglasses, I recognized that in my slum-burb no one wears them. I am paying attention to how people dress and trying to follow their fashion as well. I walk barefoot when the others do and I eat how my companions eat. I feel like I have become so much more flexible that I don’t have as much of personal motive to impose on people. This is not to say I am weak willed, but I understand the benefits of harmony far outweigh the stretch marks. My friend David Baldy inspired me. He enjoys adapting. His adaptations still have a hilarious French dressing aftertaste though.
I was a bit ridged in Japan. My core couldn’t agree with the values of society. So my adaptation was slow. Much too slow for someone involved with Japan for over seven years. The trouble was I didn’t see until near the end the benefits of harmony. Luckily in the last four months, I got the chance to learn for myself how beneficial harmony can be. The skills honed in Japan are making the transition into India smoother. The erosion of just a smidgeon of my stubbornness will change the course of my flow for the better.
Thank you Japan for what good it did for me over the past seven years. It, the brilliant friends who came into my life, shaped me. Now that I am starting anew I can clearly see what parts of myself were polished in Japan. India gave me a moment to look back at Japan in its endless entirety.心から感謝します。
When we go somewhere new or meet a new person we get the chance to re invent ourselves. Our reinvented selves are reflected in the eyes of our new friends. Gradually we understand that reflection as our own and we become that person. This theory is called the Social Mirror, “I am who I think you think I am”. The Indians are meeting someone who is confident, curious, and polite. I am slow, gentle, and smiley. A bit too reserved for the average Indian. This reservation is slowly shifting to meet their level. I like who I am in their eyes. A Deren I am proud. He is much better than who I was.
The dream of India came to me one year ago in late November 2012. I kept a dream journal then. I dreamt that I was standing with some Indian adults while some kids were running towards me. I felt very proud of myself for actually doing it. I woke up hungry for the self-esteem that vanished along with the imagery of that dream. I think from that moment onward I was not satisfied with myself; I wanted what I had dream tasted. This personal dissatisfaction spread to all aspects of my character. I became a person that I was not proud of. Fortunately, this came to a critical end and I got the opportunity to renovate a better self. Indian music became the soundtrack for my internal house cleaning. I felt motivated and closer to my dream when I listened to it. On Saturday, when I was standing with the teachers watching the relay races I recognized that I was living a similar manifest of my dream. I blushed a happy smile.