Everything is going to work out. It’s gonna be fine. No, better than that—it’s gonna be great. This is what I think to myself, and for once, I actually believe it. And as these thoughts percolate, I am enjoying the view from the thirteenth floor of a very nice building in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. I am drinking champagne with a client in his home, ostensibly teaching English, and I can’t help but to chuckle to myself as I reflect on how, in certain ways, all of this seems so very unlikely.
Similarly unlikely is that, with less than a week left in the year, and with less than a week left for me in my thirties, I am feeling an uncharacteristic sense of hope and optimism—positive feelings I’m going to hold on to with everything I’ve got.
For some people, these seem to come naturally, while for others it’s more of a learned skill, and for others still it is distinctly a struggle. You can, however, learn to believe that things the things you want are themselves possible, even if you don’t feel that way at first. And to paraphrase Les Brown, before you can accomplish anything at all, step one is to believe it’s possible.
Getting married and having children. Quitting teaching English and doing creative work full time. Even just learning to hold space for my own happiness and giving it a chance to exist. These things have all felt impossible, so even getting to the point of truly believing in them as possible things in my life has been a struggle. But when you keep doing the work, you eventually make progress. It seems I’ve made some progress.
So, as I’m sitting here on the thirteenth floor, drinking champagne on Christmas Day in a situation that still seems quite improbable, I have to admit that much of my life is already pretty great and I’ve already come a long way. Lots of changes remain to be made, of course, but it’s getting there. I’m getting better, too, at remembering that, not only is the life I want possible, if I keep doing the work and I don’t give up, it will become more than possible—it will become probable.
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