QC: Ghostavich, Zero, Fran, my sister
Maeshima Ami started with idol activities and currently focuses on voice work and theater. What are the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of this woman who strives for an honest life? These words will come sincerely from her heart.
This post was written around the time the column was announced and the first post was published.
I really appreciate the compliments on my choice of words and the fact that this column started off to a positive reception.
Up until now, I’ve written about personal matters. As for the reason this column started in the first place, discussions began when I did an interview for the “O-hitorisama Senyou Walker 2021” (December 2020 Vol.) magazine.
“How did you come to like being alone?”
I ended up hitting it off with the editor as I talked about my way of thinking and way of life. We said, “We should do something together again!”, and so this column came to be.
I’m so glad we were able to reconnect like this. I feel like this column will become an irreplaceable and precious place for me, and I’m really looking forward to the future.
Getting back to the topic, people these days use the phrase “doing ___ alone”. Do you enjoy being alone?
I’m sure that I inherently enjoy and value my alone time, but I remember realizing this for the first time in elementary school.
I was an energetic little girl in kindergarten. As I mentioned in the first article, I was a spirited girl, or rather, a tomboy who ran around playing sentai with boys—the complete opposite of someone who quietly plays alone.
I moved in my first year of elementary school. The move was within Saitama Prefecture so it wasn’t far distance-wise, but it was a big deal for a 6 year old kid. I was so anxious about enrolling in an elementary school where I didn’t know a single person.
After the entrance ceremony, the first person I wanted to be friends with was a girl whose name was alphabetically beside mine that ended up sitting behind me.
I built up the courage to turn around and ask, “Hey, what’s your name?”. I remember being delighted and thinking, “Yay! I talked to her!”
The girl happened to live close to me, and we ended up spending lots of time together. However, she was already close friends with another girl, and it wasn’t like she could spend all of her time with me.
When I wasn’t with that girl, I’d think “what should I do……”. I learned that it’s quite difficult to communicate with others when you’re starting from scratch.
Why is everyone always spending time with the same girl? Who am I supposed to talk to?
No matter who I talked to or who I played with, I just couldn’t settle down or fit in. It was a strange feeling, like I couldn’t find a place where I belonged.
I suddenly started thinking about things that never occurred to me in kindergarten, and this is when my personality began to change.
I didn’t really understand what it felt like to have a “best friend” and began to think, “Maybe I’m just not that interested in people?”.
That was when I started working as an entertainer. As a member of a group, I toured around the country, went overseas for photo shoots, held concerts and handshake events basically every day, and ended up spending more time with the members and staff than my own family.
It was then that another strange thought occurred to me.
”Even when experiencing the same thing or hearing the same words, every person will have their own completely different interpretation.” I’m sure this is common at school, lessons, and work, but it really hit me in middle school.
”I felt a certain way and acted accordingly, but not everyone feels that way.”
At the time, I was more focused on self-analysis than what I felt or thought about others. “Why do I feel that way? Why don’t I fit in with others?”.
Instead of trying to get something out of my time with others, I first wanted to know why I thought this way.
I found myself spending more time alone and becoming less proactive about meeting new people.
I’d half given up on getting close to people and was worried that I might dislike them or be intolerant. That was when I came across the world of stage plays.
This was a major event that I’d like to write about in detail later, but it was here that I found “someone who feels the same way I do”.
They taught me a “common language” which allowed me to articulate on the unease that I’d been unable to put into words. I really enjoyed the time we spent creating art together and I realized, “I don’t hate people”. I was delighted and relieved at the thought.
I like being alone, but it’s not because I dislike being with others. Rather, time spent getting myself in order and keeping my head on straight is essential and a bit higher on my priority list than spending time with others. Finally, I’d found an answer that brought me peace.
I enjoy talking with friends or seniors and getting drinks with others, but in the end, I feel like spending time alone and getting myself in order suits me best.
And so, without closing the door, I’ll continue to alternate between getting closer to people and taking a break. I hope to learn about the warmth of living with people as I communicate one by one, little by little with the people I like.
I hope the people reading this can somewhat relate, or at least find it interesting even if they can’t relate at all. I think that’s also what encounters are about.
In the future, I hope to cherish my “alone time” where I get myself in order while still enjoying new encounters.
The picture at the beginning was taken on the day of the photoshoot for this column’s banner. The editor gave me a fried egg pin and said, “I look forward to working with you. Here’s your favorite food, eggs.”