#001: The Notion of “I Could Do It Tomorrow”

Writing has always been something I enjoy doing. I still remember how my ten-year-old heart swelled with pride when the teacher announced to the class what a gleaming example my short story was, for the second time that month.

As a teenager and young adult, I either kept a handwritten diary on my bedside table or a blog online. I used to have this weird sense of obligation to document my life with as much detail as possible, so that perhaps decades later, historians could happen upon it and use it as a resource to figure out what it used to be like in “the olden days”. I am a show-off as well and had that sighing-dreamy-teenager-like cloudy ambition to be somewhat famous one day, so I was also driven by the bizarre idea that I could be the next Anne Frank – just, you know, without all the life-threatening events and tragic end.

Eventually, my compulsive need to write down everything about my day subsided. Occasional blogging was taken over by a much shorter, simplistic, and visually pleasing form called Instagram. A large turning point of that was meeting my partner. After I started going out with him – though sickly cliché it may sound – I didn’t feel like I had a void inside of myself for the first time since I was a child. I didn’t have the time to write a diary because I was too busy watching TV or playing games with him on the couch, and I was totally okay with that. I didn’t have to fill myself with words to justify my life.

But writing, drawing, and reading had always been a part of me. They were things I did as a default, actions that defined me. It didn’t sit right with me that I was growing distant from these things, but I was also quite content with my new routines of cooking, snuggling (not just with him, we have two cats now), and staring at all sorts of screens. Almost everyday would be a mental whisper of, “I could pick up a pen tomorrow,” or “I could read a chapter from that novel this weekend.”

Which brings me to the title of this first post.
Back in 2007, there was a romantic comedy TV series in Japan that involved an indecisive young man, Kenzo, who is disheartened by the fact that he was about to lose the love of his life, Rei. On the day of Rei’s wedding to another guy, Kenzo meets the chapel’s resident fairy godfather. Fairy Godfather takes him on several time travel sessions to retrace his actions and correct them so that he may win the hand of his would-be sweetheart. In one of the time travel sessions, Rei’s grandfather comes to the city for a visit. The slightly eccentric grandpa would say, “‘Do it tomorrow’ is the excuse of a dumb-o,” and always did what he wanted (in this case, gawk at pretty ladies on campus and drag his granddaughter to a photo booth). This hits Kenzo hard, because he knew that the grandpa would die shortly after this visit, and Rei would come to regret neglecting his wishes to hang out together. Kenzo saves the day by convincing an exasperated Rei to stick it out and go have fun with grandpa for the afternoon. When the time travel session ends and he returns to real-time life, he is thanked by the (still not his) bride, reminiscing about the old man and their treasured memory of a happy last outing.

The phrase “‘Do it tomorrow’ is the excuse of a dumb-o” (“ashita yarou wa bakayarou” in Japanese) got wedged into my head after I saw that episode. It helped me remind myself to make more decisions that would mean less regrets.

As we entered 2021 – a long-awaited new year, despite the fact that ticking over to a new set of 365 days did not mean a magical relief from the COVID-19 chaos of 2020 – I pondered on what I wanted to do with my life. I tend to overthink and land in the dark pit of What is the Meaning of Existence, so I try not to think too much about the future. One thing was certain though – I wanted to tap more into my creative side.

I am not brilliant at writing. I am not mind-blowing at art or photography. I have not studied these topics in depth. But these are things I enjoy. Practice could only make better. If I keep at it, perhaps one day I could even get a job that relates to these arts.

That is the purpose of this blog. To just write. Maybe chuck in some illustrations and photos here and there. Be it an opinion piece or a diary entry, I am going to compel myself to write. There’s no turning back now!

Thank you for reading, and please brace yourself for more long-winded mutterings to come.

Wednesday 27 January 2021