insecure value imposers

I’ve never been happier. There, I said it.

Living in Japan for the past two months has been an absolute dream. I’ve never been happier anywhere else on this world. I can easily recall the boredom, inertia, frustration, and absolute ennui that I struggle with when I’m in Shanghai and Evanston. But it’s not the same in Japan. Everyday here is filled with amazingness, and I’ve never been happier.

You ask me what’s magical about living here? I really can’t tell you. But I guess my best bet of giving you a glimpse of this country is to tell you that every single vegetable has its own recipe book, and that convenient stores here sell Michelin one-star level food that only cost 5 dollars. Also, Kit-Kats come in plum wine and wasabi flavors, while ramen have their own vending machines. When you’re paying for something in the store, your credit card or money gets its own little tray, and when you are saying thank you to someone you really respect, the sentence can be so long that it would take you 15 seconds to say the whole phrase.

I’m so happy, yet sometimes I wonder if this happiness is enough. Whenever I tell my friends about my summer in Japan, they always ask, “So what are you learning in Japan?”. I answer, “I’m learning Japanese”. “Oh, you’re only learning Japanese,” they respond, as if learning Japanese is not enough. As if there must be something else more important that I should be doing.

What’s enough? Isn’t that something for me to decide? Why should anyone else decide for me what’s enough, and what isn’t? But sometimes with the decreasing but still existing insecurities that I have, I can’t help but hypothesize what my friends might say, “Oh, She’s just doing nothing in Japan while others are busy changing the world or pursuing different internships.”

But after pondering these ridiculous scenarios for a bit, I wake up. Why am I even thinking about what my friends might think of me? If they are imposing their own values onto me, then do I even what to be friends with them? They’re probably just insecure or immature.

So many people around me (in college, parents sometimes) are so insecure that they won’t stop imposing their own values on me. Just because you are insecure and chasing after prestige does not mean I have to do the same. Just because you are nationalistic about your own country (yes, Dad, China) doesn’t mean I have to be a blind patriotic. Just because you are all about making money and buying luxury goods doesn’t mean I have to pursue the same consumeristic lifestyle. I’m a victim as well, there was a phase where I did the exact same.

But let’s be real: I can only take care of what I want, and you can only take care of what you want. Value imposers are just insecure and immature.

Yujia Huang1 Comment