GRINFLUENZA

smack talk

things i may, or may not say out loud.

wavy

 

i've been lucky enough to visit tokyo three times in the past three years. they say the grass is always greener, especially when youre from san antonio, and one of probably 5-10 asians in a graduating class of 700+ students. immersing one’s self in arguably the most populous metropolitans of the world can be overwhelming, irrespective and aside from all the culture and entertainment that makes japan what it is. but, there’s something to be said about finding a place where you feel inclusive, included and free enough to express and indulge in the culture(s) and interests that keep you curious, keep you wondering, keep you excited. i think deep down we’re always searching for that source of comfort, security and belonging. be it with a friend or group of friends, a relationship/significant other, a community, or just family that’s nearby. who doesn’t wanna feel like they belong? They’re lying to you if they said they’re down to be by themselves 100% of the time!!!!!!

 
 
 
 
 

i’ve always struggled with (and still do) the idea that as i perpetually age, my hobbies and recreations don’t. i felt that although the selectivity and refinement of my interests evolved and matured within itself, at the core, they were still young and juvenile. clothes, shoes, sneakers, athletic wear, street wear, going out and turning up (occasionally lol), listening to rap, hip hop, r&b and food/eating. i was insecure and self-conscious about being so open and comfortable with the things that have played such an integral role in sculpting me into the person that i am today. i was afraid to openly share that with others in fear that they would judge me, they wouldn’t understand me, they would think that my background, my upbringing and the cultures that i identified with were premature and childish, as if to just blow it off as boyish and adolescent. along the lines of “oh, really…you’re into that? that’s cool…” (followed by an awkward transition into an alternative topic that was seemingly more ‘adult’ and ‘fitting’ for our age). for whatever reason i always thought i needed to be more into and consumed with “adult” things…

 
 
 

but anyways, life goes on and we bookmark these online communities, forums, websites and outlets online and visit them daily because it’s what we enjoy, its what we do, it’s us. sometimes it's just a few minutes, and other times where you find yourself awake at 2 am telling yourself that you’re foolish and should have been asleep or doing something more productive about 3 hours ago. most of the time it seems so far away and foreign to the everyday routine that consumes you from monday-friday. like it’s in another universe. but to see it, experience it, and feel it in the flesh can be monumental. i felt it in 2015 for the first time. it changed my life to be honest. to see, smell, hear, touch, and taste so many of the things that you’ve read and wondered about…it was sensory overload. way too much for just 10 days, when you’ve been waiting 10+ years just to get a glimpse, a peak into what that life is really like. it reminded me of those movies and stories when people are in the scene with someone that cares about them and they tell them “i’m packing my things up and moving to…new york/nashville/vegas/someplace where dreams and aspirations await to be chased”. and i get it. i get the feeling. and its real. yeah, i get that japan’s suicide is off the charts…but on the other hand... the sub cultures, the style, the expression, the retail experience(s) and the attention to detail, especially within the curating and designing community is unlike anything i’ve ever been exposed to growing up. It’s special…the feeling of feeling like you’re in the right place…you’re in a good place…you’re in a happy place…inclined slightly to believe that this is possibly where you should be...

this has become entirely too long and drawn out, but i just wanted to end with the idea that everyone deserves to find that place, space, community, haven that allows them to be who they WANT to be. life is seriously too short to be hiding in fear that other people won’t understand or “get” us. live it up, you only get one chance to figure it all out. one of my new year’s resolutions for 2017 was to support my friends and people that i come across to chase and catch whatever it is they aspire. especially for the people that i consider close to me and who have always kept me in mind…i wanna be their biggest fans, their biggest supporters, and let them know that if they’re just thinking about something…they should really go for it. because when is it really ever “the right time”? when are we truly, completely and preparedly “ready”? we could be telling ourselves that for years just to look back at all the lost time that we could have been failing and learning and getting closer. but if we take the leap now, why not? i’ll be there to cheer you on and hype you up along the way. i know it can be tough being the only one to believe in yourself all the time, every time…so to everyone else who comes across this…i got yall, fo sho. i’m out, and here are a few pics from japan. honestly nothing too crazy or compositionally profound…just some sights from a place that i’ve continued to grow fond and appreciative for after each visit…see you in june, Tokyo. happy chinese new year to you and yours

bonus: i bought a film camera 

 
 
 
JOSHUA VANTA