There has been a lot of discussion between friends of mine who are still in Tokyo and those who have decided to leave during this time of struggles that Japan is facing and will be facing for the next years to come. To get straight to the point of how I feel living in Tokyo it is merely one simple word, safe. I don’t feel any different when I wake up in the morning. Only difference is I feel less rested because I have been up late every night for the past week talking to many of my friends on Skype who are concerned. I keep reassuring them that we are in good shape in Tokyo and the rest of the people who are outside the 30km evacuation zone. We really are. I trust the information I have received and look at it with logical thinking and remain calm. That is my way of living. I just relax and let go. But not everyone thinks the same as I do.
There are those who don’t feel they are safe and that’s is okay. If you are scared then get away. There are many things in life that we need and safety is the purest of them all. If you don’t feel safe or you feel threatened, out of control and vulnerable then take control of that feeling. Do what makes you feel is best. For those who have a family and want to take care of their wife, husband or children you go and do what is best for them and you. It’s what I would do if I had a family…I think.
But, don’t try to convince me that I am not safe. Only I will make that decision.
There is a lot of information out there circling the planet in a variety of different media formats. There are the big foreign media organizations from the US and Europe. There are the masses of people posting their personal editorials on international sites. There are those telling their story on facebook and other social networks. And there are the personal blogs, like this one. You have to decide what is true and not true. You make the decisions for your life. You make the choice that will impact your living experience for the rest of your life and you need to live with that.
I am NOT going to quote any facts or non-factual material that I have read over the week on this post. That is not why I am writing. This is about my thoughts and my feelings and I want to record them and I don’t mind sharing them with you.
I feel that much of the information that has been released is scaring people. Fear is a powerful emotion and makes people do things they would never do. Think of the last time you were so scared and you did something that was out of your realm of thinking. That is how I feel some people have reacted to the situation. Fear has driven them to do things I feel they would have never done if that had the right information.
I want to know what people were feeling when they went to the airport. I would like to sit at the airport and interview the people returning to Tokyo after they realize life is safe here and find out why they left. It would be such a good study to look into and find out why they left. Was it their pure emotion and thoughts that said, “I am not safe?” Was it the foreign media and the shocking headlines that caused the fear? Was it the governments’ demand or recommendation for voluntary or involuntary evacuations that made them go? Was it the free ticket home? There are many.
I would also like to ask those people who have stayed Japan some questions too. Why didn’t you leave? What made you feel safe and secure? Was it the cost of a flight that kept you here? Was it your job? Was it your commitment to Japan? Or, was it that you just felt safe? These are some questions I may or may not ask. I don’t know.
I do think there is going to be a change in the way people look at each other at work and on the street. I feel there will be a strong distinction between those who stayed and those who left. And this saddens me. Why do you ask? There will be no medal given out to those who stayed and continued living. There will be no certificate given to people returning for taking care of their families and thinking about being safe. The government is not going to line people up and say, “I want to thank these people for staying behind and making the country continue to proceed and move forward”. On the other hand, no one will say the opposite and call them cowards for leaving. It won’t happen. And it shouldn't’t. But, I think people will talk amongst friends and say, “They left when Japan needed them”. And this saddens me.
I have gone through some roller coaster emotions over the past week. I think back to last Friday night on March 11 when I was sitting in this same chair shaking from the constant after shocks. I was scared and uncertain of what was happening. I had just experienced a new sensation that will forever change me. They don’t scare me anymore. I have become desensitized and don’t really notice them anymore like I had before the great quake. I have made the switch back to the habitual lifestyle I have grown accustomed to in Tokyo. I am spending time with those I care about. I am walking in the sun and getting outside and enjoying the little things like a good bowl of ramen. Today, I went out and had a great TexMex dinner with some new and old friends. It’s what makes life grand and what makes me continue to move forward. Tomorrow is a new day. I will continue to be safe and I will continue to live life to the fullest.