Thursday, December 30, 2010

Let's Live For Today

With a new year coming up, it time to say farewell to the old and hello to the new. Without going into too many details, 2010 was the worst I've ever gone through personally. No one died, or anything like that, but it's just been one sucky year.
The only thing that made it all right in my mind was the fact that someone - anyone - reads these blogs. To that one person in South Korea - whomever you are - you are the first person on to read the blog...  and the people in Denmark... you have been a major reason why I've been putting out a story everyday since mid-September.
I don't want to let anyone down - and I certainly don't want to lose loyal readers.
Really. From the bottom of my heart - thank-you.
To all of the readers from around the world who tune in and read on a regular basis - I wish I could tell you how much it means to me.
Writer's - of which I claim to be one - have rather fragile egos. We are always looking for people to tell us we're doing alright. Even those closest to me - they don't read my stuff. It hurts. But knowing that besides a few friends and a plethora of complete strangers do read it, it makes it all worthwhile.
Which brings me to Japan. When I previously described my first New Year's eve in Japan, I told you that I had a stupidly large crowd of people at a temple recognize me (I'm the brown gaijin (foreigner) from Canada), and they began chanting my name in a sports fan sort of way. It made me realize just how much people cared about me and just how much Japan mean to me.
Living in Ohtawara-shi (city of Ohtawara), Tochigi-ken (Tochigi Prefecture), Japan was easy to do. Sure one gets homesick and has girl problems et al, but it's all a part of growing up. Japan made me do that. In fact, constant growth is something we should all strive for.
Now in 2010, people don't understand WHY it is I write about past events. They think that it was the happiest time in my life. It was the happiest time of my life - in 1990-1993. But the thing to always remember, folks, is that the happiest time in your life is the time you are having at the moment. Not just here on my blog, but the present time of every time.
Here's something I learned about eight months into my stay in Japan. It helped me survive... not only Japan, but pretty much every day.
Zen Buddhism basically tells one: When you try to remember the past, it's never the same as when you experienced it. Your memory is faded, you can't touch it, see it, smell it, taste it or hear it. It's the past.
And the future? It's completely unwritten. It doesn't exist. in fact, the future never exists, except as a concept.
But the present? That's all we really have - so waste it not.
I'm not a Buddhist, but I can dig that philosophy. All we really have is the present. It sounds weird then that all of my writing in here has been done previously, or is based on experiences from the past. But, I've found that we can all learn from the past and have some fun, too - here in the present.
Enjoy the new year everyday. Personally, 2010 can kiss my ass. Cheers to 2011.

Somewhere enjoying the present,
Andrew Joseph
Today's blog - which gets back to the basics, is by the Grass Roots: PRESENT
PS: I tell people that maybe one day I'll put all of these stories together into a book and make a million dollars and get my own record deal and television show and grow so jaded that I'll forget about them. Naw... the part about a book would be nice, though.
PPS: Not worrying about the past or the future, that's tough to do in the present. I sure as heck haven't been able to do it - which is why I say 2010 sucked, and that I hope 2011 is better. But you have to keep trying.

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