Here We Go Again
2023 went by in a blur. I’m pretty sure a lot happened even just in my own life, but it takes a lot of time and mental effort to recover the events of the previous year from under the rubble of everything else going on at present.
At the end of 2023, my husband and I adopted a dog from a shelter in Osaka, and she’s been our priority ever since. We’re both still in our New Year holidays, so it hasn’t been excessively difficult just yet, although admittedly I had a bad case of puppy blues at the beginning. I almost immediately regretted adopting her because she’s not a small puppy. At six months, when we got her, she already weighed 14kg, and she will keep growing up to about 20kg. I’ve had dogs before, but they were family dogs. She is the first dog I’m actually taking care of myself, and in a way that isn’t how dogs have traditionally been cared for back home. She’s acclimatized pretty well to her new home life with us, but since she’s an adolescent, she’s been exhibiting some typical teenage behavior, so some days are a bit challenging than others. Overall, though, she’s a joy to have, and walking her, petting her, or just watching her nap in her pen has been a welcome addition to my daily life.
I’ve stopped thinking of New Year’s resolutions years ago, but I still write up a list of goals, which is usually just a list of things I haven’t accomplished in previous years migrated to a new notebook. This year, I’m using an A5 sized Hobonichi as a daily journal, since I’ve done pretty well at journaling regularly at the latter half of last year.
This year’s mantra is Take it slow. And by that, I mean, stop rushing through everything that needs to be done, take frequent breaks, and spend time just breathing and taking in life.
I lost friendships in 2023. I let them go by choice, but most of them were collateral damage from the rupture of my relationship with my high school best friend. I was frustrated when I realized people still chose to associate themselves with her and her fucking husband even when they know they are benefiting from government corruption—something which nearly everyone in that friend group is vocal against. I cannot stand being friends with people who actively choose to remain friends with people like that because, to me, tolerating corruption is akin to complicity. You cannot act like you are against corruption when someone you consider a friend is doing it right in front of you and your response is to simply turn a blind eye. Such bullshit.
Obviously, I still carry a lot of anger, and I don’t think it’ll dissipate anytime soon, but I am trying to focus on more important things in my own life. Letting go of those friendships and accepting that our values simply aren’t compatible anymore frees up space in my life for people whose moral values are more aligned with my own.
I can’t control other people, and that includes who they choose to be friends with. I’m sure they have their reasons for staying, but that is none of my business, and the sooner I come to terms with this fact, the better.
It’s sad, but so are many other things in life. And acquainting myself with that sadness, sitting with it, and becoming comfortable in its presence rather than running away from it is something I intend to learn this year too.
Well, then. Happy new year, stranger. Hope this year turns out better than the last for all of us.