10 Oct

You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference. – Steve Jobs

Looking back on my life, I see how the dots have all come together and have created such a connection to get me where I am today. If I didn’t decide to take Japanese in my second semester of my first year at Lehigh University, I might not have majored in Asian Studies and probably wouldn’t have come to Japan to study abroad in my fourth year of university. If I hadn’t chosen Lehigh who knows where I would have ended up and if they’d even have a program to let me study abroad here. If I didn’t live in Tokyo, Japan for 4 1/2 years between ages 8 through 13 who knows if I would even have had any interest in seeing my home country. Many of my relatives, who are Japanese American, still have never set foot in the land of their ancestors, which surprises me. I love seeing my roots and understanding the culture here because much of it has actually been adopted by my relatives but slightly modernized and Westernized. The first dot in this connection, though, was my adoption. If, at the age of 2 weeks old, I had not been adopted by my two loving parents in Japan, who knows where I might be. I could be with a different family in a different country or part of the country and have had a completely different life. I might even have still lived in Japan with the name Yuka Takahashi, the name my birthmother gave me. There have been times when I have looked back on my life and wondered if one thing had changed how the rest of my life would be so different. Right now, though, I am content and wouldn’t dare change a thing because if one of those dots were missing I could be somewhere else right now, but I love where I am right now. This has already truly been the experience of a lifetime, or my lifetime so far. I am sure there will be many great experiences to come in my future, and I will trust that all of the events that will happen are for some greater good to get me to a place like I am now.

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