Where to start?

Where do people start their stories? 

It is raining right now in Greenwich, I have a view onto the Old Royal Naval College Chapel. which bells have just rung ten times. It is quiet and I can hear the rain falling on the ancient stones. 

Five years since I came to London. Ten years since I graduated high school and left home. A cycle. Ten years since my 18th birthday, what did I imagine for myself then? What was my answer to ''where do you see yourself in 10 years''? I would have really been surprised to find out the answer. I would have been even more thrilled to hear how I got there. In fact, this is the time and place now, for met to turn to my younger self, and live through the journey she has been on with the understanding, compassion and kindness for myself that I lacked then. This is a subjective truth and perception of my reality, affected by a myriad of small choices made by strangers and friends alike, as it is a snowball of feelings, difficult feelings and memories that are not easy to live through again. But it is a story -- please treat it as such. 

There are many places I could start but I want to warn - this story won't be chronological, otherwise we will never get anywhere. Bear with me.

2014, June. Exactly 8 years ago. It is a monsoon season in Japan. I am standing in front of the Asakusa temple in Tokyo, drinking in the smoke from the incense sticks, the rain, scent of wet rocks and wood. My host and guide (also the CEO of the board of the uni I went to in the US which belonged to a Japanese group - Teikyo), is explaining to me how the buddhist temple fourtune telling works: "You make a donation of 100 yen, then shake this box and one stick will fall out. You match the symbol on the stick to one of those drawers and pick out a piece of paper. That's your fortune". 

"Great, can we try?" 

He slightly frowns "What if you get a bad fortune?"

I shake my head and say that I don't care, I still want to try. He shrugs and warns me, "Well, don't get upset if you do, it is really hard to get a good one!"

I drag a stick out of the box and hand it to him. He looks confused. "Which one is it? Is it bad?"

"No, quite contrary, I've never seen this one before -- this one is the highest fortune --I've never heard of anyone getting it!"

We pick up a corresponding piece of paper and reads: "...The person you've been waiting for will arrive very soon". I raised my eyebrows, but I am not waiting for anyone. I have a boyfriend, back in the US, and I definitely have no intentions of meeting anyone new! But anyway, all the stuff about the "you're on the right path" and "knowledge, wealth and travel is good". 

In less than 48 hours I saw my future husband for the very first time.