Well, this is it, I’m heading back home to Canada. I am super excited to fly back across the pond and see all the friends and family back in Canada for 6 months before coming back to the land of the rising sun. This has definitely been the fastest year of my life and I can’t believe how much I learned and obtained from this one year. I couldn’t believe all the people I was able to meet and the things I was able to experience. Things like getting my N1 on the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, which is the highest level you can get, entering, placing and winning various Japanese speech contests, winning the Japanese Freestyle Skateboard Championships, etc. I have no intention of bragging, in fact one thing I learned through all this is, valuing these kind of achievements themselves have no meaning. It’s all empty. If that’s the case, what was the point in doing all this? It was simply the journey. If you look at the other side of the coin, In this year I also placed low in some speech contests, placed 10th in my first Pro skate contest (ouch), and made so many mistakes with my Japanese along the way I sometimes ended making a complete fool of myself. But that’s all ok, because regardless of the placings or how well I was able to carry out certain tasks I stuck with it, because the journey itself has value.
After falling, getting back up many times (which is definitely something that skateboarding has taught me) I would start to notice things like my Skateboarding and Japanese slowly start to improve. This was something I learned in Canada, however after being on my own for the first time in a foreign country, this definitely became more apparent. The way I look at life is “just keep moving”. What I mean by that is, you don’t have to be exhausting yourself everyday (although it doesn’t hurt to test your limits either), just aim for a goal and keep doing something related to it everyday even if it’s small. The more you put into something and the longer you stick with it, the more you will get back. A goal is something for you to aim at and what’s important is not obtaining what is at the end of it but the experiences and memories you created along the way. To me, that’s how you live a full life without any regrets. Just don’t stop and keep moving.
I have to say, I am forever grateful that I have skateboarding in my life. It’s only because of skateboarding that I was able to take on Japanese with confidence and stick with it. Every time I stumbled on my Japanese and made stupid mistakes, I always thought back to skateboarding and how it was no different than missing a trick. It’s only because I had skateboarding in my life that I was able to go on this amazing journey and meet so many awesome people in the skateboard community as well as the Japanese community. Thank you Skateboarding.