№ 3: Cozy, Not Cramped

Work shirts hanging in my bay window, which I also used as a standing desk for a while
Work shirts hanging in my bay window, which I also used as a standing desk for a while

35°44’5.5464”N, 139°36’49.2912”E

It’s not as if I didn’t know the apartment was small. I had seen the pictures and floor plan. But when I opened the door for the first time, a wave of near-panic washed over me. I’d seen walk-in closets of a similar size.

I had to make a choice: I could let myself slip into pessimism, or I could lean into the experience and get excited about it. I chose the latter.

Yes, it was small, but it was mine. Finally here in Tokyo, in my own place, and less than 24 hours after arrival.

I wouldn’t normally sign a lease before seeing an apartment in person, but I’d made the arrangements before entering the country and had to commit months in advance. It also wasn’t easy to arrange, as I didn’t yet have a job or visa, but I made it happen.

I also decided I wasn’t going to let myself think of it as cramped. Despite its size and proportions, I was going to make it cozy. I kept rearranging it until it felt right.

It’s entirely too easy to let my brain turn the world into a very negative version of itself. I can’t always stop it, but sometimes, putting in deliberate effort prevents that switch from being flipped, and that makes all the difference. It certainly did that day.

Though I’ve since moved elsewhere, I’ll always miss that first apartment. Life there wasn’t always easy during that time, but I always felt at home.


A note to readers

I want to express my appreciation to everyone who’s signed up to the mailing list or is reading this on the blog. I’m excited to see where this goes. And you might think being just 3 posts into 105 for the year would be intimidating, but it’s not…especially.

What’s intimidating is putting out writing twice a week, whether I’m satisfied with it or not. What’s intimidating is knowing that, while I’m sure some of these posts will end up being quite good, some of them will also just not work well at all. That’s just how life is, especially when you’re in the midst of trying to grow a new skill. Gotta get through the bad stuff to get to more of the good stuff.

And this, finally, is one of the reasons I so sincerely appreciate your being here. If it were just me writing and sending it out into the void, it would be a lot harder to carry through with this project. Your presence keeps me accountable and motivated, because I don’t want to disappoint you, and I don’t want to ask you to read bad writing.

So yeah, thanks for being here. ❤️

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David R Munson

David R Munson

Photographer, essayist, wanderer, weirdo. Everything is interesting if you give it an honest chance to be.

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