When we are unsure of what direction to go next, or when we hesitate before making a choice, we have all felt a longing to return to our roots. This may be the place we were born and raised, or perhaps it is somewhere we experienced meaningful things as an adult.
For me, this is a place located a short distance from central Tokyo, where the pace of life feels unhurried. While the area itself slowly changes, the welcoming character of its people does not. The distance between the people here feels just right, and big-city and small-town elements coexist in a comfortable way.
This is where I learned my trade, where I made connections I was grateful for, and where I thought about what to do with my life. There were difficult times, but many good ones as well. The time I spent here with my friends, overcoming uncertainty and doubt, made me what I am today.
In the years to come, there will no doubt be times when I again find myself returning to these roots. No matter how much times change, we move forward secure in the knowledge that there is a place we can go back to. Nostalgia and newness live together in us, grounded in an unwavering sense of where it was we came from.