This week, I received some terrible news about someone who has a permanent address in my heart. It is game-changing news, the type that makes you reevaluate everything. I learned about the situation in the morning and in the afternoon, I attended the school’s peace assembly. The nephew of Sadako Sasaki, the girl who folded a thousand paper cranes in order to fight her illness with hope and inspired countless people around the world, was the speaker. He spoke of his aunt’s courage and gratitude. How her final words were thank you.

It was a lot to handle.

I am still processing the news but one thing that is obvious to me is that I must push harder in the direction that I am going. Studying, writing, drawing, taking care of the kids. It is intensive but it is my life. The news made me question remaining in Japan but the truth is, this is my home, my natural environment. What I need to do is elevate my financial resources so I will be able to travel back home more often while knowing that there will probably come a time when I go back for an extended period of time.

It is easy to declare the need to make more cash but all of my means are about the long term gain. The only thing I can think to do that might lead to fundraising is to push harder in the illustration direction, showcasing the everyday life that I see. Nothing else suits me anymore, becomes distracting.

It is necessary, you see, in the face of such news to lean onto the practical side of things. Because the emotional side is just too much right now.