I first arrived in Vancouver, Canada on working holiday. I'd heard it was a beautiful place, but never imagined it would become such an important presence in my life.
I had graduated from a Japanese university with an English Literature degree, but lacked confidence when it came to my English speaking skills. But I was surprised to find that nobody in Vancouver laughed at my imperfect English. They were friendly and fair, listening intently to my words.
My language concerns flew out the window, and I was overjoyed to be accepted for who I was. I understood that my English did not need to be perfect, that it was nothing but a tool for communication, and from there, I was able to enjoy Vancouver life in my own personal way.
In Vancouver, I learned that it wasn't important what others thought of me. What was most important was how I felt about myself, and what I wanted to do. To me, Vancouver was a place in which I could express myself freely.
This is the view from my 21st floor condominium in downtown Vancouver. Mountains stretched before me to the right, and the English Bay was on the left. I could see Stanley Park, surrounded by greenery.
My friends and I often rollerbladed from Stanley Park to English Bay, a distance of 9 kilometers, feeling the wind and the great powers of nature. Skating toward the bay as the sun set, I was filled with joy.
At the end of summer in 2001, my roommate and I watched the sun set from the condo balcony and I felt that I could not be happier in my life. I vowed to return to Vancouver some day, and to this day, remember the resonance I felt twenty years ago.
I felt my entire body fill with warmth. Vancouver is my place of resonance.
② TAKEOFF MOMENT
My dream since childhood was to become a flight attendant. To me, airplanes were a special space, a world that captivated me.
The moment in a plane's journey that most resonates is takeoff.
Because airplanes are unable to back up on their own, they are towed from the gate to the taxiway. Once there, the plane begins to move slowly toward the runway. As the plane approaches the runway, two chimes ring, a signal from the captain that the plane will be taking off.
The plane comes to a pause at the start of the runway, like a car at a stop sign. The engine sound changes, and turns into a loud roar. Then, like a starter pistol at the beginning of a race, the plane begins to speed down the runway.
The pause at the start of the runway makes me sit up straight. This is the beginning of my 'resonance.'
Here we go! I think to myself, and when the engine sound turns into a roar, my entire body feels the exhilaration. HERE WE GOOOO!
In that moment, I wish we could speed down the runway forever, and also can't wait for the airplane to lift up off the ground. As the plane lifts up into the air, its tires are stored and I breathe a sigh of relief and settle in.
I have wondered why this moment resonates so strongly with me.
Is it the anticipation of soaring into the great, limitless skies? Is it the thrill and excitement, perhaps a little anxiety about whether the plane will safely take flight?
The explanation that makes the most sense is the idea that the large steel airplane is carrying hundreds of passengers with various emotions, into the great skies. There is no scientific explanation.
It simply resonates.