May 20, 2009

Do Something Because That's What You Want

Looking back, I think there was only one time when I made a life decision because that was what I wanted. I was maybe 15 years old, and that decision was to live abroad while I was still a teenager.

I was scared to just grow up and being molded into something that the adults considered a "decent member of society." I wasn't sure if I was crazy or the island country that I lived in was crazy. I needed to see if this was the way it worked in other countries. Plus, I needed to get a hell out of there. There was no "it will be a great experience" or "it'll look great on my resume"-type of agenda. And it wasn't like anyone suggested that I go live abroad, or I happened to encounter an opportunity to go abroad. There was absolutely nobody who'd support me with that idea. But I made it happen -- just because that's what I wanted. I just wanted it for myself.

So I came to the States when I was 17. But since then, I hadn't made any life decision just because I wanted it. They were made based on whether 1) it was something I needed to do in order to achieve certain goal, whether it was a degree or a career, 2) someone suggested and it seemed a good idea, 3) an opportunity presented itself and there was no reason not to take it, or 4) I knew it was going to make someone happy.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the way I made most of my life decisions. In fact, I firmly believe that by being open to what happens to you (even though you never asked for it) you get to experience something unique and awesome that you wouldn't have thought of yourself in a million years.

But what I recently realized is that you have to do something every once in a while just because that's what you want. Something that you just want to "do" regardless of consequences. Why? Because it gives you a completely different perspective of life. It makes you happy in a way that you were happy when you were a child and played all day.

I'm now pursuing translation as a way to make my living, because I just want to "do" it (and I can't hold other jobs if I wanted to do it in a way I want to, so I'll try to make money while doing what I want in order to avoid needing another job). I'm happy. It reminded me of the time I was trying to go outside of Japan to see what it was like out there. Maybe I'll fail, maybe I'll change my mind, maybe this is ridiculous. But you know what? I don't care.

I used to envy people who knew what they wanted to do with their lives. I used to think I didn't have anything that I felt so strongly about. But I now know that you should never ever give up on finding something, because it makes HUGE difference when you find it.

Well, so I guess this is the end of my "rethinking life after being laid off" period.

Thank you for those who visited here or left a message for me. It was great.

I'm not sure what I want to do with this blog. I'll give some thoughts and write one more post to let you know. If you have any suggestion, let me know.

If you are still unemployed and searching what you want to do, don't ever, ever, give up.
Do what you love.


  1. Hi!

    So you found your way to the next stage of your life.
    I'm happy to hear that :)
    it's always good to know where you are heading.

    I've been doing translation myself for a long time - if you want any advice, please feel free to contact me.

    .. in any case, wish you the very best!

  2. Wonderful and insightful post...
    blessings to you

  3. Would love to hear an update on how you're doing.