Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lessons Learned

It's Golden Week here in Japan, the deceptively named part of spring where everyone in Japan gets MOST of a week off. This year I've managed to swing it so that I only have to go to work one day this week (though I ended up working until 2am on that day) and am now liberated from all need to act responsibility for six straight days. Pretty sweet deal especially considering it was just a three day weekend!

All this time off has given me a chance to do some reflecting and thinking about how I've changed over the past few years. One thing that I am painfully aware of is the fact that I am a terrible procrastinator. If there isn't a deadline (and sometimes even if there is), I just can't seem to motivate myself to be productive. My two month absence from this blog (and the two months before that) is a perfect example. If I was content with life, with the way things are going, this wouldn't really be an issue. But I'm not, so I've got to figure out how to fix this problem or I'll be stuck in this rut forever and that's just not acceptable.

I've also noticed that there are still several things I still haven't learned.
-Lesson #1: Don't drink so freakin much-
In Exhibit A below, you will note a massive bruise about 1/3 the size of my calf. Brutal. This was accompanied by a pretty nasty gash on one of my toes, both acquired on a night of hardcore stress-relief drinking. How did this happen? Well, I'm afraid I simply don't know. Absolutely no recollection (though personally I suspect it was a vicious one-legged duel with a world champion kick-boxer or some such). Moral of the story: keep the booze under control.

-Lesson #2: Very few people look cool with facial hair-
Coming into Golden Week, I thought it would be cool to try growing out a beard, just to see how it looks. I didn't have anything planned until Wednesday, so if I just rode out one day in the office, I could let it grow for nearly an entire week with almost no damage to my social life. Wrongo pongo. I should have known from a start that I'm obviously not the type of person who can pull off a beard. Come Monday morning, three days in, I was getting ready to suit up for work. I took one look in the mirror and knew it just wasn't happening. Exhibit B illustrates how notably unimpressive the scruff was at that point. Clearly I have no future as a lumberjack (it's cool, I don't like flannel anyway).
I might have just sucked it up and let it be, except that that same weekend I had picked up a lean mean German face shaving machine. Look at Exhibit C. That thing is a beast. I can't believe I'm supposed to put that monster on my face. But man, did it show that scruff the business. Silky smooth domination.

But it's not all doom and gloom here. While thinking about my procrastination problem and this blog, I looked back at my first entry, written nearly two years ago. The recipe for Korean-inspired fajitas and I had coincidentally just picked up a pack of tortillas at National Azabu while in Hiroo for lunch on the weekend, so I thought I'd try recreating the meal. I've cooked dinner for myself 6-7 days a week for the past two and a half years I've been living in Japan, so I've learned a thing or two about cooking and have a pretty decent idea what I'm doing in the kitchen. This time around, I looked at the sauce ingredients from last time, ignored the measurements all together, and whipped together a kick ass sauce that was a million times better. I know it was that much better because I would definitely remember if I'd made anything even close to as good as this. It was that good. Also, if you look at the pictures from the post they are absolutely awful. Honestly, trash like that would never even get uploaded onto my computer these days. I've taken thousands of pictures since then and know how to take waaaaay better pictures now. Those original pictures barely look like food, but the I think the ones I took this time look every bit as delicious as the food actually was.

So, yes, I clearly still have plenty of growing up to do. I'm still just 25 years old and have lots to learn. But I take comfort in knowing that I have made progress in some areas these few years. If I can make sure that I keep myself moving forward, I think that's something to be pleased with.

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