Today, I discovered a wonderful thing: the English section of the bookstore! After about an hour of leafing through all the books I wanted to read – practically the whole two shelves dedicated to nonfiction – I narrowed my decision down to two choices: How Starbucks Saved My Life or From Industrialization to Globalization. I began to think this:
I like the idea of pouring over an intellectual book. I’ve always wanted to be considered intelligent, so I’ve read such books to contribute to it, but as I’ve discovered since moving here, I must stop doing things I think I should do, which I’ve done for far too long, and start doing things I want to do. I need to invest time in things that contribute to me…my creative endeavors. Especially my endeavor to write. So, as much as I could enjoy the extensive break down of globalization, I knew it would be for superficial reasons: it would only be shelved in the storehouse of my brain until an opportunity came to exhibit what I’d learned. So no. In honor of staying true to myself, I must choose to read and study other peoples’ memoirs – what it means to live meaningful lives – in order to start my own. Conclusion: I should not squander time reading what I think I should read, but invest in what will help me write my memoir.
So, I decided to buy the memoir “How Starbucks Saved My Life” instead of “From Industrialization To Globalization.” Admittedly, I almost bought the latter had I not delineated my aforementioned thought. If I find, however, that reading such a book on globalization will contribute to my creative endeavors later, I will invest time in it then, perhaps as research. Otherwise, I adhere only to what’s essential (a la the theory and practice of Essentialism, which I discovered from a friend).
Another victory in the books, to me anyway. Though small, substantial. Boy, deciding on my terms and not influenced by external factors is exhilarating! This solitude since coming here has really proven to be effective in finding myself and solidifying my purpose, even if only for now. I understand why artists of all kinds go away somewhere secluded – less noise. And I’ve come to find that with less noise, I am better able to HEAR the things I simply must do in order to be fulfilled. And then get on to doing it. For nearly ten years, I’ve wanted to come to Japan. But as I am discovering, I may have actually needed to. Perhaps this is the only way I could master discipline and the art of choosing.