I often have trouble loving past versions of myself but as memories of our last Japan trip trickle into my news feed, I am reminded of just how happy I was in 2014 (despite my brain telling me otherwise). I was married to a man I had chosen; visiting a country we both love. Its impossible not to admire my skin, my hair, my earrings, the pristine strap of a new camera bag that held so much promise. It was before the maelstrom that would test my resolve, my relationship, my self-esteem, and set the next 6 years of tumult in motion.

My desire now is to be this happy, and this content with my life as I was under a cherry blossom tree in Osaka surrounded by roasted chestnut smoke and sweet taiyaki and crisp river breezes and a self love that I will never again take for granted.