Today I had a job interview, and because the company was quite like my first workplace in Japan, it was not everything I had hoped it would be. I left feeling not too great about the position. Instead of taking the train immediately back home, I decided I would walk to a super touristy area of the neighborhood I was in. I don’t particularly like the hoards of tourists swarming about there, but I love the area because it’s chock full of familiar shops that I’ve come to know and love in Japan.
I walked along the river and caught Pokémon, but when I arrived in the touristy area, I was feeling really sick to my stomach. I found toilet and then decided I would pick up some donuts, one for my dinner and one to give to Endymion. (Yeah, I actually ate a donut for dinner because I am grown like that. Plus, they’re really damn good donuts okay.) As I crossed the bridge, I saw two boys (probably college aged) standing on the bridge with signs that said “free hugs”. This is not an uncommon thing in America, but doing this in Japan is practically unheard of. I’ve only seen this one other time, and it was at a festival (not just randomly on the street on a weekday). While I watched the hugging boys I received a call from another company who was pre-screening potential employees. This is the second time they’ve called me. Good sign? I hope so as it’s quite a lucrative job. Because I’ve been lonely and don’t have any friends here I decided to take the boys up on their hug offer. They were cute and sweet Japanese boys with limited English, and the smaller one showed me his eye makeup, complained about the cold, and gave me the longest and one of the best hugs I’ve ever had. Absolutely adorable. I bid them farewell and went to buy my donuts. On the way back to the station, I had to walk back over that same bridge. They were still there, so I decided to buy them hot teas. Yeah, I don’t have a job (not that the teas were expensive anyway), but here’s how I look at the situation. The boys were out in the cold (both wintry cold and emotionally cold) world today, and they were making people happy. Who knows who they encountered? Maybe someone was having a horrid day and really needed a hug. Maybe they encountered more lonely people like me. It’s funny because the taller boy called me Jesus. I’m not Jesus. I just believe in the kindness of strangers, and it was freaking cold out.
What the heck does all this have to do with fate and destiny? Well, Naru and I were talking this morning, and we got on the subject of fate and destiny. See Motoki and I sometimes joke (or hell maybe we’re serious) that fate brought us together. That the universe was destined to have two people so alike meet and become such close friends. When I look back on my close friendships (Naru excluded because we were close friends almost from the start), the fear of being separated from people propelled me to become closer to them. Minako and I became close after we both left our first workplace. I became close with Artemis after he left my last workplace, and I became super close with Motoki after I left my last job. Of course, Motoki and I have always been friends, and he’s always been someone I enjoyed talking with, but the thought of him not being around every day to talk to pushed me to keep him as close as I could. So I began to wonder…would things have turned out differently? (I know it’s a moot point, but bear with me here as I can’t control what tangents my brain wants to get on.) Had I stayed in my previous city would Motoki and I have still become close friends? Had fate already predetermined what I would do, so my choices (obviously still being my own) would ultimately yield the same result? I’ve always believed that your fate can be changed based on your choices. Lately, I’m not sure if I believe that anymore. I don’t know why. This may seem silly by comparison but was I meant to meet those hugging boys and that’s why I felt compelled to take a different route home? I wish I knew the answers to these questions. (As a sidebar, the only higher power I believe in are the PTB. I don’t believe that God or Jesus has a “plan” for me or any of that religious mumbo jumbo. I don’t believe in myths.) I believe in fate and destiny. I believe that we encounter the people who we are meant to encounter, people who will change our lives for better or for worse. I want to know though if we have the power to shape our destinies, our futures. I think the thought of knowing that things will turn out how they’ll turn out no matter what is a little disappointing, but then the thought of endless possibilities is a little unsettling (as in how did I know which was the correct one). What do you think?
Deep Monday thoughts from,