It’s gonna get a little long, but I needed to share this with you.
Today, I sent my album “ANTHESIS” to someone I owe so much to - and it was a complete miracle that I was able to find them after so many years.
My roots of being born in America is a precious part of who I am, and my past is full of priceless memories of my life there.
However, of course not all these memories are necessarily positive,
and a lot of that has to do with having been raised in a society where being a certain ethnicity was a minority, even though America is by far one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world.
School life was the main factor there - as kids grow older, they grow more knowledgable, and they begin to have their own opinions.
They begin to think, “That kid is different therefore an outsider.”
My parents are both purely first-generation Japanese, and so understandably, my appearance and cultural upbringings were different from those around me.
Fortunately, I never experienced much physical bullying, but at times, words and attitude are just as harmful.
But through these hardships, I did my best not to lose to these obstacles.
I made every effort I could to melt it, even if it meant throwing my pride out the window and at times, trying to fill shoes that didn’t fit me.
Thanks to these efforts, I was able to make it through Elementary School in one piece,
and above all, because of these struggles, I was able to find something to fill the voids in my heart elsewhere - beyond the walls of ethnicity and looks.
One of those things was literature - reading books, and writing stories.
In the world of imagination, I could be anything, anyone, and everyone was an equal.
That mindset slowly but surely began to affect my real-life too.
Though there are things that you have no control over, the things that you DO have control over is what matters, and what you should be spending your energy on.
And me, I knew that I had the ability to obtain an imagination and strength of soul to rival anyone, if I set my heart on it.
And that’s where that “someone” comes in.
They were the key person who provided me with the chance that I needed - my homeroom teacher who taught me through my 4th and 5th grade years.
She was the kindest, most open-minded teacher I ever met, and thanks to her, I came to love studying and going to school.
I would hang on to her every word during classes, and I was always the first to arrive at school, and the last to go home, and she was happy for me.
Perhaps I was more or less a teacher’s pet.
She gave me the means to strive higher in my studies and introduced me to so many books - it wasn’t long before I had devoured most of the books in the school library.
She pushed my back to enter a state-wide writing contest, which I was able to receive first place.
She helped me to realize that real confidence and strength is born on the inside, and there are people in the world that will look past the surface and acknowledge that.
After my Elementary School years, I’ve been moving back and forth between Japan and America, and unfortunately I’ve lost contact with most of my childhood acquaintances, including teachers.
But I always hoped that one day, I would be able to tell this teacher how much I am grateful for future she gave me.
I had no information on her whereabouts, but miraculously, I was able to discover her through by means of SNS (thank God for this generation) and contacted her.
I couldn’t stop crying out of joy when she replied.
Not only that, she remembered me clearly.
After so many years, there was too much I wanted to tell her,
but I knew that all these words and so much more are filled inside “ANTHESIS”.
Which is why I had to send it to her.
No one deserves to be hurt, but at times, pain can be the doorway to finding happiness.
Like it did for me.
Both my painful and joyful experiences have become the seeds,
which over a long period of time, grew and grew,
until finally, the season to bloom comes along.
I wanted this album to be the “anthesis” for me.
In this forever changing world, I know that the future is full of possibilities.
And like I have received so much strength from the people around me,
I pray that through my music, I will be able to give that strength back, and more.
Thank you for reading this to the end.