When Fate Forces You to Pause

Again, I debated about publishing these musings about my current situation and feelings. But since my previous post seemed to resonate with a lot of folks, I figure others are thinking and feeling similarly. 

My days have begun to take on a strange, otherworldly quality. There is the sensation of time standing still, yet moving onwards, a strange dichotomy of stillness, yet momentum. I feel like I’ve taken in a big breath of air, and am stuck in the pause before letting it out of my lungs.

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Bicycles and bamboo: classic Japan

I’ve been in Kanazawa for over a month now, which is hard to wrap my mind around, since it just feels like an endless and unquantifiable stretch of time. What began as an escape from a state of emergency and a temporary leave of absence has now become more sober, as the government has extended the state of emergency nationwide through the end of May and my company has chosen not to reopen our Tokyo branch, leaving me jobless. So while I’ve no pressing urge to return to Tokyo soon, I’ve also no need to continue to stay in Kanazawa.

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With this much beauty in my backyard, I’m really in no rush to leave!

Again and again, my mind takes me back to Bavaria, to those idyllic days when I was again caught in the pause. After fleeing the political coup in Turkey in 2016, I spent six weeks in Germany on a work exchange while figuring out my next move, that eventually lead to Japan. During that time, like now, I found myself very much alone, between jobs and between homes, with far too much time to think, reflect, regret, process.

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Doing some reflecting by the river

I am so acutely aware of this moment because I’ve done it before. Like existing in the blank space between chapters. Surprisingly, it’s not a bad feeling at all. Rather, it reminds me to be grateful.

For indeed, I am lucky. Yes, me, unemployed, stuck on the other side of the world during a pandemic, I am lucky! I have my own strength, resilience and faith that the pieces, unclear as they may be in the present moment, will fall into place. And while I have never been more alone, I have never felt more connected. I’m lucky to know so many wonderful humans who continue to shower me in love and support, albeit virtually.

And for now, at least I’m in this beautiful place, surrounded by nature. Kanazawa, the place that has always had my heart in Japan. On the cusp of saying farewell, and on the brink of saying hello to a new future.

Happy Travels, but Stay the Fuck at Home,

Mo

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View of sunset from the balcony where I’ve been staying

10 comments

  1. Matt Stone · May 7, 2020

    Another thoughtful elegant piece of writing. My heart reaches out to you as always. Let’s talk soon

    Luv. The podray

    On Thu, May 7, 2020, 9:14 PM A Stranger In Paradise wrote:

    > mo_strangerinparadise posted: “Again, I debated about publishing these > musings about my current situation and feelings. But since my previous post > seemed to resonate with a lot of folks, I figure others are thinking and > feeling similarly. My days have begun to take on a strange, othe” >

    • mo_strangerinparadise · May 7, 2020

      Thanks Dad! Love you and talk soon!

    • Marla Roth · May 8, 2020

      My heart aches for you Mo and wish you were not so very far away. On a positive note, You have a great attitude and your ability to pause, reflect and assess will continue to serve you well in life. Love and miss you – be well!

  2. AC · May 8, 2020

    Thank you for sharing the peacefulness. I think we all need that. The pictures are awesome!☺️

  3. Diana Yanez · May 8, 2020

    I love this! I’m so glad you’re giving the pause all the time it needs.

  4. Alison and Don · May 10, 2020

    Beautiful thoughtful post Mo. Love the bit about feeling as if you’re between chapters. And that you’re feeling okay about it all. I know that you know that the next steps will be presented to you when the time is right. And that you’ll boldly go . . . . wherever (and to whatever) they lead you. Wishing you well, and looking forward to following the next chapters. Do keep updating us!
    Stay safe. Stay well.
    Alison xo

  5. Pingback: Guest Post on Japan Forward: My Hello Work Diary – A Stranger In Paradise
  6. Todd @Visit50 · June 6, 2020

    This! I’ve been using the quarantine to finally answer questions people have been asking on my own travel blog.

    The top one by far has been ‘how do you travel so much?’ Now that I’ve now visited 50+ countries, I thought it was time to answer that

    https://www.visit50.com/how-to-travel-more-often/

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