2016 Was the Year of Changes

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Christmas Letter

If I were to pick one phrase to describe the past year, it would be “The Year of Changes.”

On the professional front, I left Shearman & Sterling in May after seven and a half years at the firm in order to join Amazon in Japan. The jump from being an experienced lawyer at a mega law firm to a first-time in-house lawyer at an IT company has brought major changes to my life, the most obvious manifestation of which is an improved work-life balance. On the personal front, I lost a family member when my grandmother died at the age of 92 in October, but I will soon have two family members living much closer to me as my mother and sister decided to move back to Japan after all the years living in the U.S.

As I look back on the eventful past year, I’m reminded of the old saying, “All good things must come to an end.”

 

2015, a Busy Year with Moments of Reflection and Fun

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Christmas Letter

As I look back on the past year, which flew by even faster than usual, the biggest news for me was the retirement of The Honorable Peter E. Doyne, the Assignment Judge of the Bergen Vicinage of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

Judge Doyne was my first boss and mentor. I became his law clerk right out of law school, when I had little knowledge about the law and knew even less about working to earn a living. I learned how a model lawyer ought to look and behave in the year I was with him simply by observing. I owe much of who I am today to the judge.

 

2014 Was An Uneventfully Fulfilling Year

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Christmas Letter

It is hard to believe, but this past September marked three years since I transferred to Tokyo. I am entering my seventh year with my current employer, meaning that I have now worked in the Tokyo office longer than I did in New York.

How time flies.

Life is interesting in that you remember important milestones in your life, no matter how long ago. I first moved to the United States when I was eight years old, and I still vividly recall the mixed emotions I felt eight years later when I reached a point when more than half of my life was spent in the United States. Now that I have reached a similar milestone, this time professionally, I feel nostalgic going through similar mixed feelings I felt so many years ago.

Apart from going through a major milestone, my 2014 has been uneventfully fulfilling, both in and outside of work.

 

Let’s Have More of the Winter

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Four Seasons

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it’s a tough one month period because, after the calendar turns to December, the mind begins the countdown towards Christmas. On the other hand, there is something indescribably jolly about this time period. It’s not just the shopping for the gifts, the colorful red and green illuminations, the Christmas carols and the holiday dinners. Japan has embraced the commercialization of the Christmas season as much as the United States, but there’s a distinct difference that I suspect comes from cultural differences that can’t be simply imitated. For all the materialism that seems to drive Christmas, the holiday season has an intrinsically special meaning for people that puts everybody in good spirits. And happiness breeds more happiness, something I observed even while I was living in the perpetually grumpy New York.

 

Music and My Life Moments

My life consists of obsessions and it’s no different with music.  When I buy new music, I listen to it over and over (and over and over) again until it is playing in my head and driving me insane.  I then find the next music to obsess about.   Because of this, many of the songs I listen to bring back a particular memory–fond and not so fond–of different moments of my life.

 
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