As the new year quickly approaches, everyone will surely be thinking of the things they wish to achieve in the coming year. Something about turning over the calendar to a new year makes us dream and think of all the things that we can accomplish. We have a full year right? We tell ourselves that anything is possible, yet we often fall short. It can be tiring I know, to set the same goal year after year with little or no progress. Who said the path you’re walking was going to be an easy one though, and would you even want to walk the easy path if given the chance? Sometimes the biggest and most difficult dreams are the ones worth chasing, and its far too early to give up yet!
Shirase Kobuchizawa has a dream, but it isn’t something that is going to be easy for her. When questioned by Mari Tamaki as to whether she really is going to Antarctica, she replies “I’m going to go. I’ll go, then rub it in the faces of everyone who said I couldn’t”. No doubt it’s an incredible dream, but there are few places she could have picked that would have been harder to get to.
Mari’s dream is a little more modest. Before she finishes highshool she wants to skip class for a day, keep a diary, go on a journey without a plan and get the most out of her youth. Nothing too large to be outside her reach, yet she finds herself in her second year without much progress on anything. Time is kind of slipping away and Mari is starting to realize that fact, which inevitably leads to an early morning meltdown.
Both Shirase and Mari have something in common about their dreams.. That is, both of them realize that they are achievable if they put the effort in. Shirase has seemingly been working towards going to Antarctica since her mother was lost during an expedition. Working part time jobs to save money, studying about the area, researching ways she could possibly get to join a trip to the South Pole. She has been busy realizing her dream. Although Mari had kind of slacked off and let life pass her by up to this point, it doesn’t take much time for her to start her amazing journey. Like Shirase, she realizes that it will be difficult and long. It’s not something she could just achieve on a whim, it would take some serious effort along side Shirase to make things happen.
If you asked me two or three years ago what I would be doing by this point in my life, it probably would have been along the lines of “working at a bank near home, trying to make a career for myself”. It’s not that I particularly like financial work or want to live near home, but it was a safe and easy path that wouldn’t take much effort on my part. I had dreams as to what I actually wanted to do in the future, but they just seemed to unobtainable. I guess I was living my life like Mari had been, just making easy decisions and not really stepping out of my comfort zone. I have a feeling a lot of people probably live their life something like that.
After spending 4 months in Japan and beginning to sharpen skills to try and do what I truly love (which is sharing my love and passion for games, anime and manga), I can confidently say that dreams are definitely worth chasing. At some point two years ago, I had just decided that what I didn’t want to just do what seemed “normal” or “easy” anymore. I wanted to do something that would make me happy and where I could wake up every morning knowing it was going to be a good day. I didn’t want regrets, or to think of the “what ifs”. I had to try, even if it meant failing and having to lick my wounds.
Whatever your goal is for the new year, don’t let life slip by and push it off until the next year like we usually do. It’t time we act like Shirase or Mari and take the bull by the horns, charge full steam ahead and start realizing our dreams. We don’t have to plan to go to Antartica, but whatever that seemingly impossible goal is that you always think about achieving, now is the time to start that journey towards it. With a bit of hard work and determination, we too can reach places further than the universe.
End Note: I hope some people are able to find a little inspiration in A Place Further Than the Universe or even my personal story I shared. Whatever your goals for the future are, don’t forget to work towards them. I think we often forget to take that second step when we come up with dreams and future aspirations. No matter what that goal is, have confidence in yourself and work hard. Good things are sure to come from it!
Also, I’m sorry if that last line seemed way too corny… it was just too perfect!