Background Story - Episode 2
In Japan, there is a concept of “tatemae” and “honne”. “Tatemae” is what you put on for other people to see on the outside, and “honne” is what you really are thinking on the inside. They don’t necessarily have to be the same. And it’s not really a bad thing. It has its own important part in Japanese culture.
This is one of the things I did not know at that time. To me, I just felt like everybody was just going through the motions. The train was silent, people were on their devices, everything was too mundane. Too mundane for the excitement I felt. Too calm that that confusion started making me feel down. Can you imagine feeling sad on your first day in a new journey, a new chapter of your life, a new country I’ve never visited but have always been impressed with growing up?
After understanding that I was letting the things I perceived around me influence me too much, I decided to shake it off and choose joy instead.
Later on, I would learn that even as things looked “ordinary” on the outside, I would have the most “extraordinary” four plus years of my life– in more ways than one.
Journal with Me: Journaling Prompt for Mental Health
Now it’s your turn to journal. When you feel sad or confused and you don’t know why, acknowledge what you feel and journal these points.
- What (new) experiences could be making you feel this way?
- What did you expect to be feeling instead in this situation?
- Fill in the blanks. I will take back my joy by __________________.