Kyoto: Imperial Palace (Gosho)

After visiting FUSHIMI INARI-TAISHA, I made my way to the Imperial Palace. I got a little lost on my way there and wandered down a few side streets. Unfortunately, when I got to the park everything seemed to be closed off. All of the gates were closed and I honestly didn’t want to walk all the way around that entire wall (the length of which seemed to extend into infinity) to see if there were other gates/entrances that happened to be open.

Seventy-five percent of the way through this huge palace/park/estate (located in the middle of the city, by the way), I sat down on a cold stone bench with the wind whipping at my face metaphorically hitting myself for only wearing a cardigan in 40 degree 15+mph weather. As I sat alone in this empty park on a cold bench in a country in the Pacific Rim thousands of miles from my husband, I, of course, started to cry in the most stereotypical way possible. And as I wiped the snot and tears on the sleeve of my cardigan, I furiously wrote in my journal about missing Aly and wanting to be back in the arms of my husband. About being 26 years old and feeling completely lost not only in the city but with the current direction of my life and clueless as to what God’s purpose is for it. About how much I miss my hobbies and being creative; making things with my hands and being active with bowling, racquetball, and frisbee. About how drained I am with living in a foreign country where every single little thing I need to do every day is exhausting and frustrating. About my deepest desire to do something beautiful and meaningful and my dream to have a self-sufficient homestead in the middle of Tennessee with a half-dozen children running around. About how I doubt and worry that I’ll never get what I really want and I’ll be stuck in an endless cycle of pain and sadness.

All of this went through my head and down on paper in a matter of moments. Sighing deeply, I pushed my insecurities back down and I wiped the tears off my journal and my face. I put my journal in my bag and continued to walk through the park, taking photos.

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