Typhoon weather today (and yesterday too). After the gym, I was sitting in my office feeling sorry for myself when I got a call from someone at the Canon New Cosmos Competition telling me that I had made it to the Top 5 and would have to exhibit and compete in the final round at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in the fall. Actually when I first saw that the phone call was from an unknown landline, I already knew who it was because my friend, who had won a few years before, told me that they would call around this time of the month (which would be earlier than the official announcement). Even though I was happy, the feeling didn’t surge through my body like I had expected it to- I was almost emotionless… and since I knew it was strange, I felt obligated to be excited, so I pretended to be so on the phone for politeness sake.
Even though the lady told me to keep it a secret, I still went ahead and texted the girl (who I was obsessed with last month) because she had designed the book, and then I emailed my parents telling them that I would now have money coming in soon so they could stop worrying. Afterwards I called my ex-girlfriend since we are still very close, and when she had heard the news, she immediately began to cry out of happiness as well as relief because she was seriously worried that I might possibly have tried to kill myself if I hadn't been chosen (which I wouldn’t have by the way). After she stopped crying, she asked me if she could tell her dad because he really needed some good news since he had unfortunately found out that his cancer might have returned... I said yes, of course.
Later, throughout the day, it slowly hit me. On the bus to Shinjuku, I realized that this was my original goal when I first moved to Japan three years ago, and that everything that I had been planning since the earthquake is actually coming together…
The girl finally wrote me back around dinnertime telling me congrats. Coincidentally I was at the same Thai restaurant in my neighborhood where we had first hung out, which brought back memories... and I couldn't help but wonder in the back of my mind if she would like me now that I am a winner... Anyways, I got another message from her with a photo attached around midnight, which made me smile. It said:
It is just the beginning.