I can’t believe I’m sitting here, in my tiny apartment in Tokyo, Japan, typing up a reflection of this past year.
2012 went by much too quickly, and for me, it was probably the biggest turning points in my life thus far. At the beginning of 2012, I was still an undergraduate at UCLA finishing up my degree; now, I am living and working in Tokyo, pursuing my modeling career. What a huge change, and it all happened this year!
Some highlights (& lowlights) of my 2012:
1. Performed a final piano recital for my Bachelor’s degree at UCLA
2. Visited Japan for the first time in 7 years
3. Was accepted into a modeling agency in Tokyo
4. Did my first TV job for NHK World with Akane Nakajima
4. Graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in piano performance
5. Broke up with my boyfriend of almost 2 years
6. Made my boldest move – to Tokyo!
7. Got my first job in Tokyo, also my first job in apparel
8. Started living on my own for the first time ever
9. Traveled to Fukushima for the first time
10. Will be spending New Years the Japanese way!
During the first half of 2012, I was still a student, comfortably living in L.A. with my family and friends nearby. Everything was going well with my then-boyfriend, and I couldn’t see my life any other way. After I finished school, I decided to take a much needed trip to Japan to visit my friends and relatives, and to search for a modeling agency. Luckily, I was accepted into Marstop Inc. in Tokyo, and I knew it would be an amazing opportunity for me. I needed a change in scenery and I knew I could accomplish what I wanted in Tokyo. But this in turn led to a break in my relationship with my ex, which was devastating to me at the time.  I almost thought it would be better to stay in California and give up my dreams. With the encouragement from my friends and family, however, I made my move to Japan a reality, even though it meant giving up so many important things in my life.
I imagined moving to Tokyo would be filled with excitement (which it was), but I also didn’t realize how many hardships I would have to face. Working in a Japanese environment, the long commutes to work, being away from my family… the list goes on, but what I really want to say is, I wouldn’t have been able to survive all that without the support of the amazing people I’ve met here. I can’t express in words how much I appreciate the kindness and generosity they’ve shown me. And to my friends & family back home – thank you so much for your unwavering support. I can say from the bottom of my heart that I am truly happy to be where I am in my life right now. I cannot wait for what the year 2013 has in store for me.

Some photos to wrap up 2012 🙂

my senior recital poster
senior recital at UCLA
Mayer Hawthorne music video shoot
with Ayami and Melody Yoko at Girl’s Award

with Akane Nakajima for Tokyo Eye

at my UCLA graduation!
on my birthday

in San Francisco with the Golden Gate
one of my last few days in California – Huntington Beach

with Akane, Amy and Marie at a Festaria party during Fashion Week

with my coworker Mayuka before the Le Ciel Bleu party

with Akane at Tsuruga Castle in Fukushima

photo shoot with Marie for Rio de Sol

with my coworkers at Le Ciel Bleu – Christmas Eve

End-of-the-year party with my agency

I hope everyone has a prosperous & happy New Year. Thank you for all of the support this year!
See you in 2013 <3


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