While I dreamed and expected how amazing and dramatic exchange life in Paris will be, it turned out to be the hardest days in my life but ended up as the most dynamic conversion of my life path dramatically.
HEC, the most prestigious business school in Europe, was the best option for my career as a social entrepreneur because I had been enthusiastic to help other people and create solutions for social problems and issues so I studied public policy in GraSPP and had already established social business association before my exchange. In that moment, my highest virtue and belief were the life for others and the stance was almost close to devotion.
However, my vision and paths were converted unexpectedly and vigorously.
After one month passed in France, I commenced contacting local entrepreneurs, being excited to discover and explore another perspective of views. Then, I met the one who tries to create an immortal business that enables human beings to live as long as we want. Of course, I was astonished and thus asked the reason why he creates this project.
And he said, “Just because I do not want to die.”
I totally lost my words because I’ve never encountered this kind of pure and persuasive motive which arose from his own heart.
Furthermore, visiting other entrepreneurs made me realize that the concept of inner personal desire is the way of thinking in France, while the concept of outer personal demand is the way of thinking in Japan. Of course, both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. For example, in France, a variety of arts and luxury brands are well known but public services including train and government don’t work well. On the other hand, in Japan, sophisticated and user-friendly industrial products and public services are developed perfectly but we are not used to coming up with intuitive inventions. As I grew up on an isolated island, in Japan, my mindset was stuck and restricted within the Japanese common sense. What I want. What I desire then. I had never known. I was like a donut that has only a social circle outside. Therefore, I got rid of all of my ideas, efforts, will, the expectations which are embedded into my mind and suppressing my expression unconsciously, and I tried to start accepting myself as it is.
Then I was awakened to my unconscious mind all of a sudden.
When I have complexity or issues in mind, I’m used to meditating. So, I implemented the meditation over 3 nights without sleeping and eating. Then all at once, I started feeling emotions from things in itself. Resonation with air, water, walls, paved, trees and everything turned up beyond cognition and representation, as my personal subject melted into things and the feeling became timeless and endless in my own universe. The peak experience enhanced my sensibility and let me invent a new way of photography making me dive into the same experience again and again. I realized why I was not fulfilled and sympathized with my previous work and achievement in architecture and social business. My creation was suppressed by social and collective orders, trying to keep exceeding expectations under pressure. Therefore, I was unable to find out production with personal pure desire.
However, I now transcended social and intersubjective judgment and reputation, establishing absolute individual discipline. I don’t know if my current photography works are accepted by society right now, but it does not matter at all. I’m satisfied and fulfilled with myself as never before. Therefore, paradoxically, I believe that there are original and unique potentials in my work to bring out unexpected and brand-new perspectives in our society.
To sum up, this exchange released me from unconscious suppression or cultural idola, and consequently, it enabled me to understand and express myself just the way I am with whole happiness, leaving the burden as if I got the great wings. The new story of my life has just begun!
Lastly, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to Aoshima san, Saito san in GraSPP, M. Doguet, Mme. Agnes in HEC, and lovely friends, for offering benevolent help and support during my exchange. Without their kindness, my exchange would not be possible and continuable.
Ps: Please visit France at least once in your life <3 I’ve visited 50 countries already but France is one of the best! Throughout a Bicycle trip of over 2000 km in France, each place showed me the mesmerizing and profound cultures and landscapes beyond expectation always! Cote d’azur, Provence, Conte, Alsace, Normandy and etc. There are too many places to discover.
Once you fall in love France, you cannot leave the country easily 🙂