On “They Called Her Ame Onna”

The more I do photography and write about it, the more I realize how hard it is to be honest in today’s world. There is so much pressure to be perfect that it can overwhelm you and even turn you into a really negative person. I feel the pressure daily, as we all do.

 One of those pressures for me lies in identity. People who are born into the same culture as their parents can’t truly understand the mindset of the third culture child. While I don’t want to dramatize it, it is true that the older I become, the more I am aware of it and the more it affects me. When I was younger, I remained blissfully unaware that I was different than the other kids, but now even when I’m in the store and the clerk says “Enjoy your stay in Japan!” I have to physically stop myself from explaining my whole life story of how I was born and raised here. I want to cry out, “This is my home”, “I’m not different”, and “I belong.”

 It can be painful, but I do by best to push the negative side of it away. But what about the people who take the negative things about their lives and carry it wherever they go? The people who wear their pain like a medal of honor and never let anyone forget what they are going through?

 “Ame Onna” 「雨女」in Japanese means “Rain girl”. It pretty much refers to any female who brings the rain wherever they go. So if you are going to a picnic, and it happens to rain on that day, you could be an Ame Onna. But what about a rain that others can’t see or feel?

 Sure, pain can be beautiful and we can’t ignore it, but there are so many people who choose to dwell on the problem instead of working on it. I can be that type; I tend to over-think painful experiences and feelings. But it is never good to carry your pain around. Only by putting down the umbrella can we realize that the rain has stopped and that the sun is now shining.

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