It was Autumn in Japan last year 2019, I walked under the colorful trees of Chikusa Park. The Gingko Trees bloomed in yellow, the Momoji were red, and all the other trees, which I do not know the names, where orange. I absolutely remember how I felt that day. I was at peace because work was finally doing fine. I sat at the Swing, smiling as I was watching the view. This view was just a mere dream when I was younger. How did I even get here? As soon as that question popped in my mind, I see countless faces of people who, in their own ways, have saved me in the past.
Recently, I’ve been nothing but grateful, because you see, a ship cannot sail without the wind. A castle cannot stand tall without a solid foundation. A bird cannot soar if it was not taught how to fly. The more I stop and look back, the more I see things clearly. Yes, we’ve made contributions ourselves, but our path was mostly built by our heroes.
Today, I am choosing gratitude. This is for those who cared. This is for those who chose to help and save. This is for those who gave. Here’s to all the unsung heroes out there.
Here’s to our Leaders and Mentors
I can still remember how terrified I was during my first day of work here in Japan. Aside from the fact that it is a new country and a new company culture to me, I was well aware of how inadequate my language and technical skills were for the job. All my worries were gone when I met my new team and I started working with them.
Countless times when my team needed to give up a minute or two of their time just so they can pull up Google Translate when I can no longer understand them. There were many instances when they gave me an hour or more just so we can discuss better technical solutions for my tasks. Being the youngest in the team, I am the most inexperienced. I am also the only foreigner, but never did my leaders made me feel inadequate and incapable, and they do not know how much comfort that gave me. Everyday in the job was not about surviving, and that’s because of them. I hope they know that all my Thank Yous and bows to them were done wholeheartedly.
We have people in our lives that have always chosen to hone and nurture us despite all the sacrifices they knew they had to make and the inconveniences that they had to go through. Here’s to noble leaders and mentors whose sacrifices would often go unnoticed. You are most appreciated.
Here’s to our Friends and Loved Ones
These people should’ve been first in the list. Who are we without our parents who have brought us out to this world, without the family who have sent us to school, without the friends who have kept us company. These people are our foundation, and saying our Thank Yous and I Love Yous every now and then wouldn’t even be enough. While I have a lot of people in this circle, I am saving up this part to two of my greatest heroes, who are the very reason why I am alive and breathing today; my sister and my man.
We all have had the darkest days of our lives, and mine happened to be during these recent years. During those times, I was overworked, underpaid, and terribly pressured. To be honest, there were days when I felt numb and hopeless. During those days, my sister has kept me company, the same way that she has ever since we were children. She’s been very good at doing that. My man, on the other hand, has wiped my tears everytime I cried and gave me the warmest and longest hugs.
To me, these people are like the Sun. No matter how many times you shut them out saying that you want the darkness and dampness of the night, they will always rise up to show you how beautiful and lively it is to have the mornings. And they make sure to do that everyday without fail. So here’s to people who have never given up on us. You are the absolute lifeline.
To those random Strangers
I have lost count of the times that I’ve seen and met random heroes in the streets.
As I recollect my memories, I can remember those times when I clung helplessly to a random man in Colon Street at 3am because I felt like I was being followed by a suspiciously looking stranger. Or that time when I was still in college and the Security Guard of RD Pawnshop gave me a bread when he heard my stomach rumbling after I told him that I was waiting for my parents to send me my allowance. Or the time when a woman paid my BRT fare in Jakarta when she found out that I was lost and didn’t have a prepaid card for the ride. These people might think that what they did for me was nothing, but their small acts of kindness kept me safe in times of danger and has inspired me to also pay it forward.
Here’s to people who, without second thoughts, chose to help and save a life, even those who are complete strangers. Here’s to people who always chose to be kind in this twisted world. You are an inspiration.
I decided to write about this today because gratitude is very easy to forget, especially when things are going smoothly in our lives. I have seen countless people who lost their sense of gratitude, and I am actually terrified to lose mine. This way, I hope to stop and look back on how I have come this far, and how countless of selfless people have helped me along the way. I hope to keep looking back and dedicate whatever I’ve achieved to them. I know that I’ve been unfailing and strong all the way, but I would like to believe that I have come this far by walking on the path built by my heroes.