How did a countryside girl with social anxiety could move all alone across the globe and live all by herself in one the biggest, busiest cities in the world? Sometimes it does feel like a mystery for me, too. With time however, with enough distance to look back at it somewhat objectively, it feels just like a natural chain of events. It was bound to happen this way with this exact timing. It truly as if it was planned all along by something we can’t fully grasp or understand. It was just meant to be, bound to happen. Deep down I know that I couldn’t and wouldn’t go at an earlier time or a later date because it was the culmination of my life experiences that pushed me to finally make the move. Just like a fruit need to mature and ripen before you can fully enjoy its beautiful color and its sweetness. In my case, it took exactly 10 years for the fruit that is my dream to ripen perfectly, and even though I had waited half of my entire life at that time, the long wait still made all the sense in the world. I guess the important thing like everyone always say is to follow your gut and to listen carefully to what your instincts are telling you. On second thoughts, perhaps a little push in the back, a deadline or an ultimatum, too, can be vital in making you take that final leap towards that precious dream of yours.
This is exactly what happened to me. At 22 years old, as I watched the very last door of opportunity slowly closing as I was nearing the end of my university life, I knew it was time for me to make a move and make that dream happen. It was what felt the most right anyway. Now or never like we say. Was I scared? Maybe a little. If I’m being honest, All I can remember is that weird, numbing sensation when you can’t really comprehend what is happening around you. I was a drop of water in a huge stream carrying me at high speed to a waterfall and I didn’t even bulge at that frightening idea. Maybe I’m the one that jumped in the river consciously, but after that first move, I was just tagging along, not fully aware of everything involved in making a dream like mine come true or the fear of falling. I was excited, but not that much. I couldn’t feel that flutter of excitement like butterflies I expected for so long. I did all the paperwork, the tests and the preparations beforehand, but I just couldn’t believe it was happening to me. It was still all so surreal. How long have I prayed and wished for this day? I kept this dream so close to my heart for so long that my hope had been on a steady decline for a few years already. That flame of hope was then just sitting in the pit of my stomach like a dying ember, almost extinct, and it was hard, nearly impossible, to bring it back to life once more.
Even after I made it to Japan, it took me a few months to finally feel it. Hope. Joy. Actually, it wasn’t until my mom visited me a full 7 months later in March that I truly felt something. The excitement, the pure delight, the ecstasy. I think that dreams are always better when they’re shared and experienced with someone beside you and my mom was the one that I always wanted to share everything with. She was the one that supported me since day one and always believed in me so, when she finally joined me in Japan, it was as if she let the gates of my heart open and let the pure joy overflow all over my body at last.
So how did an extremely shy countryside girl like me made it to busy Tokyo all by herself? I have never flown on a plane before, let alone completely alone and across the globe with the big plan to stay far away from my family for a full whole year. I remember years ago being that kid crying at sleepovers at my friends’ houses because I missed my parents so much. A year abroad was definitely more trying than a sleepover 15 minutes away from your home. But then again, I was 7, not 22 with a heavier luggage of lessons learned and tears dried. The truth is, I don’t know how I could do something like this. Everyone around me was so sure I would never ever do anything like this, and I truly believed them for so long, until I didn’t anymore. Only when I finally stopped believing them and started believing in me instead did I finally make my wildest dream come true. And now, almost 4 years later, they are the ones who are still completely in disbelief at my achievements. I am the proof that little girls that dream big can make anything they put their heart and soul into happen once they start believing in themselves. Dreams really do come true. You just need to believe.
– Lisa Poirier
✥ Maple & Sakura ✥
Disclaimer: All the pictures are mine