Goodbye 2023 note

Akari
4 min readJan 8, 2024

2023 was a year of “making decisions.” I said 2022 was a year of “figuring things out,” but I basically never figured them out. As the pandemic is coming to an end (even though it is still officially not over yet), I needed to make concrete decisions for my everyday life and future. Making small and big decisions to adapt myself to the new normal was what 2023 was about. Here is another year-end reflection. I hope it will help my 2024 to be a better year!

  • Running Nagoya Women’s Marathon: Every marathon is a different experience, but it became a unique experience as I read a book about the Women’s Marathon a few days before the race. In the book, the protagonist competed in the Nagoya Women’s Marathon as a professional runner to qualify for the Olympics. I’m far from a professional runner, but the book tricked my brain and made me feel like one, which pushed me to run faster and break my personal record! The energy I felt from other women was very powerful. There aren’t many women’s marathons, but I highly recommend trying one if you are a woman and a runner.
  • Being with tourists in Tokyo: Tourists are back in Japan. Seeing too many confused tourists in everyday life can get a little too much, but I love having friends visiting my city, Tokyo. Talking about Japanese culture and their cultures was a fun spice in my daily life. Cultural exchange was something I used to do as a student, but as an adult, we can learn them in depth. Telling friends about my culture made me appreciate my country more as well. If you are reading this and planning on visiting Japan in 2024, I hope you will reach out to me so we can hang out and explore Tokyo together! :)
Green moon and 2 green bags
  • Being a tourist in Tokyo: Tokyo is a fun place to live, but I take it for granted and don’t explore enough. Being with tourist friends and watching all those influencers sharing the cool spots in Tokyo made me want to discover more. Tokyo has also changed a lot, and it seems like each area has built a strong culture and community. My favorite areas I visited were Koenji, Kiyosumi-Shirakawa, and Yanaka. Even in the area I regularly visit, I have been walking around, and discovering new shops. There’s always a fun surprise in Tokyo. It’s always good to pay extra attention to the details.
Me in front of Former Iwasaki House Garden
  • Celebrating loves: 5 is the number of weddings I attended in 2023, which seems a lot since the weddings were taking a long vacation during the pandemic. I am honored to be invited and spend time with lovely couples. Weddings are special occasions, and I appreciate them even more after going through the pandemic. My favorite moment was when a groom almost spilled a glass of champagne while trying to make a toast because his nervous hands were shaking so hard. But there were more. Another groom started to cry from being overjoyed as he walked into the ballroom. I was one of the bridesmaids and caught a bouquet for the first time. There were a lot of memorable performances.
Me catching the bouquet!
  • Choosing the right medium for the right time: We all know there is too much content in the world, and we don’t have enough time to consume it all. Double-speed is a thing, but whatever the medium I use to get entertained, I want to enjoy the experience fully. This year, I figured out how I fit different mediums into my daily life. When I go grocery shopping, I listen to news podcasts. I listen to different podcasts or novels on Audible while running long distances. But for shorter runs, I listen to music. I watch TikTok and YouTube while taking a bath to keep up with the trends. I go to a theatre to see movies or watch something at home on the weekends. Reading a book is tricky because I sometimes change a scene depending on the book. I was not a big anime fan, but I even started watching while eating meals at home. Making the habit made it easier for me to enjoy them. I may discover a new media to fit into my life, and I’m sure I will be able to adapt myself.
“PACHINKO” book with my cat, Chai

I only shared the positive side of 2023, and I can’t say it was the greatest year. I was struggling with the things I couldn’t control and wasn’t satisfied with myself. But I put a lot of thought into my growth and made a big decision for my future. It will be a challenging year, but I can’t wait to share my 2024 here!

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