The First Saturday in October

October greeted Shimada with a dark, cold, and windy thunderstorm. It was a fitting start to the “spoopiest” month of the year.

Saturday, however, was one of those purely magical early fall days where everything feels perfect. The sun was a blazing reminder that summer was just a short while ago, but the cool and occasionally gusting wind was a promise of what is to come. With the temperature in the upper 70s, it was the ideal day to open the windows and feel the air moving through my space.

Sunny Saturday mornings are my favorite time here in Japan. Everyone does their laundry and has their futons hanging out to get some sun. There is a true sense of calm to my Saturday mornings here. This morning I had my linens washed and drying in the bright morning sun by 8:30. By 11:00 my disgusting pile of dishes was clean and drying on the rack and the trash had been corralled. By 2:00 I was ready to take a nap on my sunshine-warmed futon.

It’s the kind of day that makes you feel alive in a way that is too easy to forget. It’s the kind of day makes me want to write.

In this moment I am incredibly happy with my life. I want to remember this feeling.

The truth is I’ve been feeling rather lost recently. It’s been two months since I moved to Japan, and as I’m settling into more of a routine I’m left feeling sort of disconnected. My thoughts are clouded by an ever present “now what?” and I feel like something is missing.

Part of this, I believe, is the shock to my system from the big slow down in my life after moving. Earlier this year I was working three jobs and finishing my two undergraduate degrees. Now I have one job and when I get home at 4:30 I have no real obligations until the next morning at 8:00. I’m used to being at working until 1:00am but now I regularly am in bed around 9:00. I constantly feel as if I should be doing something else, but I’m also grateful for the rest.

It reminds me of the hero at the end of their journey. Like Frodo sailing off with the last of the elves, I feel like my adventure is done and I no longer have a place.

(I realize it probably takes a healthy degree of narcissism to compare myself to a hero on an epic journey, but also I write a blog about myself in my free time so I hope you weren’t expecting much else.)

Truthfully, though, I’m not like Frodo. My journey isn’t done. What I’m supposed to do next is simple: live my life.

This is kind of a difficult and grandiose directive to give myself. I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. I’m not sure what I want, and most of the time I can’t even bring myself to meet simple goals like writing every day or taking out the trash.

But today, on this first Saturday of October, none of that mattered. The weather was perfect, I cleaned, I wrote, and I started the 4th season of The Vampire Diaries. This right here, this beautiful fall day, this is me living my life.

And I love it.

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