Things I Learned from My Digital Hiatus

Grant KennedyBlog Comments

digital-hiatus

I’m Back from My Digital Hiatus.

I would like to apologize for not writing anything for awhile. I’ve been taking a break from my digital life in order to figure out some life stuff like career and relationship goals, purpose of this blog, as well as whether or not I want to stay in Asia long term.

This break from social media and the blog has been certainly been a worthwhile experience. I’ve been able to dive deep into these areas of my life and I’ve been able to learn quite a bit. So without further ado, here’s what I’ve learned:

My Future and Prosperity are Tied to Asia.

I’m here for the long-term. In a way, I am just finally accepting the Tao, or natural way of things. I’ve been fascinated by all things Asian since I was a kid. Martial Arts, Anime, FOOD, Taoism, Buddhism, Sushi… and the list goes on ad infinitum. Now that I live here, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I’m not sure if I’ll stay in Japan permanently or if I’ll end up back in China, or even Korea, but I do know that this is where I belong.  I wrestled and stressed about this question for a long time so taking the plunge has allowed me to begin building the life that I want here. This has been my biggest takeaway from my digital hiatus.

Credentials Matter.

A simple bachelors degree and no language certifications will only get one so far in a foreign country, especially one in Asia where credentials carry a lot of weight. As a result, my career trajectory was quite limited. That’s right, I said “was.” As of writing this, I have applied for re-admission to my Master’s program where I will focus on modern Asian history. I am also studying for the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) and the HSK (Chinese Language Proficiency Test). The combination of these 3 credentials will open up a dearth of opportunities for me.

On a deeper level, this is kind of a breakthrough for me. I’ve always avoided getting certifications and credentials. I think this is a result from my early indoctrination in the punk rock mentality of “fuck society and it’s rules.”

Life is Better Without Social Media.

Seriously. I deleted all social media off of my phone: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Guess What? Life has improved significantly. Better conversations, stronger connections and relationships, less stress, less anxiety, and my Japanese has even been improving at a faster pace. I have more time and I’m able to use it better and more productively now.

Guys, delete that shit now and free yourself. Stop being a slave to engineers and technologists. Embrace your own life.

tao-of-grant

Tokyo Nights with Friends

I’m Actually an Extrovert and an Entertainer.

This is a helluva big discovery for me. For most of my adolescence and 20s, I had convinced myself that I was an introvert with poor social skills who couldn’t connect with people. The poor social skills criticism is somewhat grounded in reality. I was an arrogant, self-entitled prick throughout high school and college which definitely made it difficult to form strong relationships.

Since starting improv in January, I have fallen in love with performing and making people laugh. Comedy and acting were always interests of mine since I was young but, for various reasons, I never pursued them. Now that I am making up for lost time and have dove head first into performing.

I signed with a talent agency in August, and looking for opportunities to perform in theater productions as well as stand-up comedy here in Tokyo. It’s terrifying and exciting and I love it.

Real Life is Infinitely Better than Living on the Internet

If you make a living on the internet, then do what you gotta do, but I feel that a lot of us, especially my generation, are missing out on everything the world has to offer due to our addiction to our digital devices. Life is really fucking short. Seriously. I’m gonna say that again: LIFE IS REALLY FUCKING SHORT.  Get off your phone and go live your life. You only get one go at it. Trust me on this.

chofu-yosakoi-festival

Dancing in the Chofu Yosakoi Festival. Courtesy of my Japanese teacher.

 

So that’s it. I’m still not done processing everything but life has improved considerably. I got some articles regarding life and travel in Japan in the works so expect them soon. Until then, be good to each other.