This is My Story: Love Set My Heart Free (by Laura 沖田 Okita)
This is My Story: Love Set My Heart Free
Well, it all started out good. Originally from Colorado, I graduated a year early from high school with honors, placed in the top of all my sport competitions and modeled in New York City and Europe. Going into college, I planned to make the most of my life, have a career that would make a difference, and above all, like most young people, I planned to be happy.
I woke up one day, 26, unemployed and constantly heart broken. It was bad relationship choices that led to giving up on my dreams and settling for one assistant entry level job after the next. I wasn’t cut out for the terrified intern in the corner type of job, the easy target of every higher-up’s aggression, underpaid and overlooked. I could write a book on bad experiences in love, cheating, betrayal, lies and rejection. I had no family near, no friends of my own, and no passion left for anything. There I was, in New York City, afraid to move forward or make a commitment to a career, afraid to leave my current love situation and make changes. I was just frozen in life, with time ever inching forward.
One day, I freaked out. I needed to find myself before I would become sentenced to that life forever. I started learning Kendo (Japanese fencing). It was challenging and deep. You could put your whole heart and soul out in practice, no, you had to let your whole soul out. I felt drawn to it. I needed it, as if my life somehow depended on it.
I had been practicing for about a year when one day, in the middle of practice I looked over and saw this guy just standing there. He was so mysterious feeling. I saw he had an injury from a previous practice, a huge black and blue bruised elbow. I wondered where he came from, because I never saw him at practice before. He had just moved to New York from Japan for his work as a makeup artist, and was quite an impressive kendo player. I was actually scared of him, being so skilled and silent, but when we met outside the dojo, the tables were turned. I was the standoffish model. However, we had so much in common that despite our fears, the connection for us was instant.
After a lot of learning, misunderstandings, practice and patience, we finally developed our own way of communication and caring for each other. I am so much closer to him now because of it than I ever was in an American relationship. As to his influence on my work… I have had a basket full of odd jobs in several industries, but in the last two years, have had the courage to pursue my passion. I finally decided to listen to my heart and break away from the world of desks and answering telephones when I began dating my husband. Watching his brave journey to move to a foreign country and learn my culture inspired me to stop being afraid of what I want. I didn’t need to cross an ocean to find my dream, I only had to cross a desk. I would teach him English, and he would teach me to be free. Im not afraid to follow my dream to be a vintage designer, and Im not afraid that my life will be unpredictable. It is so much better than being stuck in my play it safe, boring life that I had before.
Now we often work together and inspire each other on almost every project. I say that we are two peas in a pod,… or two edamame in a shell.
(The picture was taken in Japan by my now husband. We were at the Jinja where we will be having our traditional Shinto Japanese wedding this year, making plans for the ceremony)