A few years ago, I rented a tiny tiny teeny-weeny apartment in the suburbs of Tokyo. It was nothing special, it wasn’t posh nor luxurious, but it was home. The light lingered in the windows a little longer during spring, and during the winter we made sure to be cozy and warm.
Life has a funny way to bring back memories and we “accidentally” went back to this place. We didn’t plan it. It just happened we visited the past on a sunny afternoon to say goodbye.
#coronavirus interrupted our lives, destroyed business, killed people (still does), and fills our days with uncertainty and fear. And yet, somehow, we are the lucky ones, the ones that are surviving a global pandemic. A global pandemic, so tragic that we have to look back to the past, a hundred years ago to create a parallel to understand our current situation. The Spanish flu (whose origins are in Kansas, USA. If you don’t believe me, you are free to google it) killed about 50 million people worldwide.
Did the world learn something from that tragedy? Did we become a better society? Well, no, because a while after recovering from such a disaster, we had another war, the famous and disgraceful WWII.
People fascinate me. And one of the reasons people fascinate me is because I find our behavior self-destructive. We need to stick together to survive, We know we need each other, and yet we seem determined to finish the other.
We start by creating division.
Our excuses are lame. Our reasons are something like these:
The people from the country next to us are not as sophisticated as we are.
We don’t like them because they are different from us.
We don’t like them because they are black.
We don’t like them because they are brown.
We don’t like them because they are not from here.
We don’t like them because their language is different from ours.
We don’t like them because their religion is different from ours.
We don’t like them because they are transgender.
We don’t like them because they are not like us.
What is wrong with being different? When being different became a crime?
Our time on this earth is limited, why do we keep strengthening the divisions?
What do you win by insulting the immigrants next door?
What do you win by hurting transgenders?
What do you win by supportive conservative governments?
What do you win by putting racist misogynist people in power?
Do you think hurting the vulnerable is going to put you in a better position in society? Attacking immigrant children is going to make you great?
We didn’t learn anything from 1918 flu, but let’s be sure to take a lesson from this #coronavirus 2020. And we certainly didn’t hold the USA Government accountable for the outbreak of AIDS, and swine flu. Why are attacking China so badly? Why do we look down on them? I, personally, won’t allow any hatred toward China to spread either. Do not believe the people who divide us, do not pay attention to them. Think, read, and research for information on your own.
We need change. But if after this ordeal, you choose to be the same, that’s on you and that’s your prerogative (I guess), but please do not stand in our way. Do not stand on the way of those who want change. Change is happening whether you like it or not. Change is happening, no matter how hard it is for you to understand it. Change is happening because we want a better society, where people are respected.
If we have survived the #coronavirus then it is our duty to make it worth it, it is our duty to live a life that inspires and triggers change. This is our duty as the survivors of this era.
A country on the verge of revolution, a nation divided for centuries of systemized racism, a president who attacks his owns citizens, and people who judge from their privilege. Everything is too painful to understand. Everything is too confusing to make sense of it all.
The news flow like stained-blood rivers. And although it’s hard to know who to believe and what to believe, we have to keep in mind that we can not continue with the system that allows cops to kill people, innocent people because of the colour of their skin.
We cannot allow our society to validate stereotypes. We cannot decide people’s character based on the colour of their skin, nationality, gender, religion, or sexual preference.
All this is happening because we haven’t been listening to the African American communities, injustice has gone too far for too long. We must change society, and for that, we must change ourselves, the way we think, the way we see people who are different from us. We cannot judge them. I have seen people posting awful remarks against the protestors. Yes, protestors. The looting is just a small part of the problem. And in various cases, I know white supremacists groups are organizing themselves to loot to later blame it on the protestors.
It is devastating to see that even when the world is in chaos people are unwilling to empathize or at least to listen. Sometimes, it seems that there is no hope. And yet, we have young people who are protesting on the streets, and those who are not able to go on the streets are keeping guard sharing important information on the web, making videos, and making information accessible for all.
Maybe our generation’s mission is to guide the young and new. Or perhaps, it is us who should learn from them and unlearn the prejudice and hostility that the different and new bring in us.
I found myself lost in the dark streets of an unknown district, I wasn’t alone but the shadows were swallowing it all, and we both felt uneasy, and yet I discovered these lights that stood as brave soldiers shielding us from our fears like brave silent warriors.
Emotions and thoughts gather at night to remind me of my mistakes, my flaws, and the unworthiness of my existence. So many emotions, so many thoughts, I don’t fight them anymore, I can’t fight them anymore.
I let them crawl over me like dark spiders; dark spiders whose eyes shine in the obscurity of the night. They knit their web around my hands, they tie my hands and my fingers until they bleed.
Fear and anxiety blur my thoughts, my vision and I can only see walls, impossible goals, and heartache.
I can’t write.
The sunrise scares them away, and their spell disappears momentarily, long enough for me to write these lines.
They are gone long enough for me to believe they might not come back. But they do, they always come back. They don’t forget me. They can’t. For I am their mother, their creator, and master.
I am living busy days, some even would say life-changing days, but nothing is set on stone. Not just yet. We might as well keep dreaming and let time pass. The uncertainty takes my mind into a spiral of mixed emotions. My mind resembles a puddle of standing water that looks calm on the outside but festers below the surface. My thoughts do not flow freely, and even worse, they always go back to the same dark place. But my drawings, my characters, and little muses come to my rescue. They guide my hand to the pencil, and slowly what was dark becomes colourful, peaceful and even cheerful.
And sometimes, I draw self-portraits just to have fun
I lie on my bed playing with the keyboard, putting words and badly-taken photos together. All cramped in a sort of shapeless puzzle. It’s thrilling, exciting and scary.
Excitement runs through my veins and I am transformed by the words. I come back to my senses and the post is “ready”, I want to publish it but the jitters hold me back. Then a little voice in my head says “Nobody will ever see your posts. Nobody is going to care. So, go on”
“Nobody will ever see your posts. Nobody is going to care,” I mimic the voice. And in an automaton-like movement, I follow its instructions and click publish.
This happened on June, 25th at 9:00 pm. And here we are two years and a half years later. It’s been two years of growing, learning, and loving my limitations. I am not perfect neither as a writer or person, but I certainly have material to entertain you 😉
Thank you for sticking around, for always leaving good vibes. And especially, thank you for not letting me be invisible.
The screen blinds me for a few seconds, and then, the story starts unfolding before our eyes . I cry, I laugh and I accompany the hero in her journey. I feel close to her as if I were a friend.
And when she fights the baddies, Oh boy! I can’t help but feel pride.
Rei, the main character is unlike any other hero I’ve come across. First of all, let me tell you that I’m not a fan of action movies but for Rei, I make an exception. And you have to know that I’m a very critical person when it comes to choose role moles, and Rei has passed my high standards of my censorship.
She is modest, and even her clothes, which are not sexy at all make her look stronger. She doesn’t need to show her breasts, legs or even rely on a man to help her fight for what she believes is right.
Rei is the modern hero, modern gals need. Star Wars is surprisingly standing and encouraging women empowerment all around the galaxy.
The bell rings and with every strike 2019 fades away. This moment is a little bit sad, because the challenges we overcame, the lessons we learnt and the love we gave seem gone. The memories travel further and further with every strike, because we know this time will never come back.
But as nostalgic this time might be for some, this is also a time of rebirth and revival, where our dreams and lives are given a second chance.
To be given another chance at life with the people we love and treasure is a gift, a treasure we must hold tight.
And as I am saying good bye to 2019, I would like to thank you ALL for such a wonderful year together, I have learnt and discover many things in 2019, a year of growth, change and personal acceptance for me. And it is thanks to you, who read these lines that I have been able to continue this journey.