Anime, food, JPop, fashion, Tokyo, bullet trains, game shows, movies. These pop culture things that make it to the United States really influenced my mental image of Japan. I created this fake utopia of a perfect nation inhabited by flawless people and I wanted so desperately to visit “Japan” for years. Not Japan, as I know it now, but “Japan“, my skewed fantasy land that I had imagined in my head.
America has a lot of problems. I think that most of us living here can admit that (albeit grudgingly to some). I’ll avoid listing specific examples here because most of these problems are complex, and I’d rather not get too political right now. But the point stands; it’s not perfect here. But that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect somewhere else. You see, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this way of thinking that “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” because I’ve been guilty of it for a long time. Every time I realized a problem with America, big or small, I immediately thought “Well, if I lived in Japan I wouldn’t have to deal with (blank).” “If I lived in Japan I wouldn’t have to deal with racism.” “If I lived in Japan I would never have to deal with rude people.” “If I lived in Japan I would never have to deal with traffic.”
Well let me just go on the record and say that Japan isn’t perfect. Yeah I know, it was hard for me to believe it at first too but it’s true! Japan is full of problems just like the U.S. It’s filled with racists, rude people, and lots and lots of traffic.
And I think that there’s a big takeaway here. This life isn’t perfect. No matter where you go, whether it be to the other side of the street or the other side of the world, you will always face challenges and hardships. That’s just part of life. I’ve spent a lot of time wishing that I was somewhere else, as if that would just solve all of my problems. It made me miss all of the good things that I had going on right here in America- my home. After this experience I think I’ll appreciate all of the stuff that I have going for me right now. I’m not going to continue living my life always thinking about somewhere else; I’m going to enjoy what I’ve got going on here.