Wednesday, 22 September 2004

From an email on 21 September, 2004.

Hello my Tokyo friends,

I am very sorry that I haven't been in contact. I have been running back and forth between Taipei and Tokyo and wondering about the meaning of life and whether or not I can really graduate. But I am happy to say that...

I have finally graduated! I am officially an MBA, but also officially UNEMPLOYED.

The past 2 years really flew by in 2 blinks, a few clinks, and a couple of winks. School was great because it gave me plenty of leisure to be playing with you all the time, going to dinners, lunches, picnics, clubs (although I usually ran home by midnight for fear of my fairy godmother turning into the evil stepmother)... Has anyone seen a glass slipper by any chance?

As some of you may know, I was on the track to a career in investment banking. A very big THANK YOU!! to those that have been helping me. I was looking for jobs in that field, but actually in the back of my head, really wanted to do financial broadcasting. Unsuccessful job searches in Japan forced me to start thinking about what I was doing and what I wanted. Dealing with money and business come natural to me, and I've always felt confident about those. I thought that as long as I am good at anything, I will like it. It is very childish, but I realized just recently that it's not really the case. There are plenty of jobs that each person can do, but the real issue is in finding the one that they enjoy (and can make a living from).

To make a long story short, I can't convince myself anymore to do what other people say I would be great at. So that is to say, no PhD or investment banking (for now). I'm going to knock around in media instead. I would like to be producing and hosting. In other words, I want to be running around before the camera and behind the camera. Eventually, also managing or even owning. And then take over the world.

But with my background and lack of Japanese skills, I don't have much chance of anything in Japan. And I will have one godmother breathing down my neck every morning and night telling me to change industries and get a real job. So I am going to let 2 parents, 4 dogs, 30 birds and 40 fish do that to me instead, in Taipei. Jenny and I will take over the world.

I am flying 7 October and shipping all of my things, but I am not leaving. Home is where the heart is, and part of my heart will always be with you in Tokyo, or wherever you may go. My intuition tells me that I will be coming back here quite often. But with all the weddings going on, anyone can tell you that.

Is there a time I can see some of you before I go? Let's schedule something soon, because my caloric quota is beginning to fill up.

Saturday, 21 August 2004

My current job hunting situation is rather unpleasant. I must find a better way to go about this and enjoy the uncertainty and opportunities. It has to be more fun that it is right now.

The possibility of leaving Japan is making me extremely anxious. I would very much like to stay in Tokyo, but if I have better opportunities elsewhere, I must move on. However, the thought of having to leave is making me quite upset. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night already feeling what I would miss. I've appreciated everything along the way, but leaving it all behind even to pursue new adventures is still rather heart wrenching. I have had incredibly great fortune in finding family and good friends.

Why is it so difficult to move on this time? Possible factors are:
1. uncertainty of job (at this moment)
2. leaving a home where I've had all the attention I could ever want from my godmother
3. loss of self-confidence

I think if I can build up my self-confidence again, a lot of these fears would subside. There are bigger and better things waiting ahead. Whatever that comes is fate, and seeing how I've done in the past, I should do just as well and get even better. I shouldn't be afraid of anything. I just need to get out there and prove that I can do what I want to do and become the best at it. My friends will always be here for me, and definitely so will my family. Location, industry, stability are all taking a back seat. It's time to go after what I want with no fear and no regrets. There. Hopefully I can sleep tonight.

Thursday, 11 March 2004

Dear lovely family and friends,

Thank you very much for a wonderful surprise birthday party! It truly meant very much to me. I had forgotten what it was like to be so pleasantly surprised.

They say that all that is well, ends well. And it surely did. The three days prior to returning to Tokyo were terribly rough for me. One after another, unfortunate situations occured. Some of those situations, I could have controlled, but among those that I could not was receiving news of the death of a childhood friend. On the plane that I nearly missed, I cried the whole way.

However, upon exiting customs and seeing Mr. Mitsuhashi's ever smiling face and beaming confidence, I instantly felt much better.

On the way home, the excessive exchange of phone calls between Mr. M and my godmom presented a pleasant distraction. Who in the world keeps calling in, starting from "I have Michella now" to "we are leaving the airport now" to "we are 30 minutes away" to "we are coming out of Kasumigaseki now" to "we are downstairs now" to "we are going upstairs now"? And every time, I could hear Mama on the other side of the phone saying "WHAT???" with the pitch increasing as we got closer to home.

I was thinking to myself, "this is great. I am moving from one crazy set of parents to another." After a terrible three days and not properly saying goodbye to my parents before I left, "so much for turning 25," was what I thought.

I had also forced out all expectations and was ready to come home to the stereo playing music from the 60's and seeing Mama in inch-thick glasses, plastered in front of the computer, drinking strange tea I can't even pronounce, and talking to the sleeping dog.

Rather, when I stepped out of the lift, Mama was there to greet me (no thick glasses). It was sure a sigh of relief (although a bit strange). I had only seen her five days ago so she can't be already missing rubbing my mis-cut head of hair. When we walked into the flat, there was Pearl and Dango staring at me in the dark and the smell of incense and gunpowder was floating about. I've heard of dogs smoking cigars and reading the paper on the couch while the owners are gone, but I've never heard of dogs playing with fire! In I go with Princess Paola in my arms, and Dango dancing around my feet, and then..."SURPRISE!!!" And you know how it went. Days of planning and coordinating spun into place and put a very happy memory in a girl's life.

All the stress and agony that built up in the days that led to this was gone in the crackle of a party popper. All the insecurities of being in a place I didn't grow up was erased by the smiling faces of family and friends I have been fortunate enough to find here.

I am a lucky girl. Thank you all for being there for me, from Tokyo to Taipei to Caifornia to other parts of the world. Thank you so much for your ecards, presents and well wishes, even if you could not be here.

You can view photos from the party here: