What do you do when the gaps between expectation and reality are a chasm too wide to cross? The nights I spent drinking under the red Torii gate at Aiiro Cafe and dancing at Dragon Man were a long way away from how I envisioned spending my nights in Tokyo.
I felt trapped by how I wasn't living up to my expectations and slightly resentful at Tokyo for not being the dream land I wanted it to be. Needed it to be. After skyping with friends I realized its foolish to blame the reality of Tokyo for not living up to a fantasy world built over broken glass.
Like arriving at the Imperial Palace with Sejan wearing my yellow Eloquii skirt, only to find that the grounds aren't open to the public- coming to Tokyo didn't work out like I planned. I had to reteach myself that I can't control what happens all the time, but I can control my response.
My early annoyance at the lack of options in Ni-chome, the gay district in Tokyo, was replaced by all the fun my friends and I had just by sitting outside a convenience store while drinking. The reality of the amazing friendships that I had created while wondering the thin streets of Ni-chome was way better then the expectation.
I was surprised by how upset I got when Tokyo didn't meet my expectations. I always painted this experience as the beginning of the rest of my life. I was feeling like a fraud. But I was putting too much pressure on myself. It was hard for me to live in the moment because I was so focused on how Tokyo would fit into the pantheon of my life experiences.
However as I introduced Sejan to my Tokyo family I realized how much I had accomplished personally. I came to a city where I knew no one and made friends in different communities. Sometimes we are so quick to find fault in ourself that we discount all the amazing things we've done. Tokyo taught me to be kinder to myself and that I can accomplish more than I know.
In Tokyo I was challenged with the task of picking up the fragments of my dreams and piecing them back together to form my new reality. When it comes to expectation versus reality I've realized that expectation can be an enemy to your success.
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