Along the way I stopped into a coffee shop. All around me normal, everyday city types were going about their normal, everyday affairs. Lovers were whispering to each other, businessmen were poring over spread sheets, college kids were planning their next ski trip and discussing the new Police album. We could have been in any city in Japan. Transplant this coffee shop scene to Yokohama or Fukuoka and nothing would seem out of place. In spite of which -- or, rather, all the more because -- here I was, sitting in this coffee shop, drinking my coffee, feeling a desperate loneliness. I alone was the outsider. I had no place here. Of course, by the same token, I couldn't really say I belonged to Tokyo and its coffee shops. But I had never felt this loneliness there. I could drink my coffee, read my book, pass the time of day without any special thought, all because I was part of the regular scenery. Here I had no ties to anyone. Fact is, I'd come to reclaim myself.
No one's place in this world is guaranteed. Not everyone is going to get a happy ending. But life isn't about how it ends. It's about the moments between. It's about the small things. The way our loved ones laugh. The sight of a butterfly in the sunlight after a year or two in the darkness. The love and support of an old friend. They might not be with us in body, but they are with us in spirit. The feeling of something we'd thought lost to us forever returned in a single, life-changing moment. Yes, that is simple, even though it might be momentous to us as individuals. Because every day, on this planet, people are born and people die and stranger things happen. But I know my place now, and my purpose. And no matter what trial you have to endure to find that out...It's worth it.