A hard worker and extremely passionate about music, California born Justin brings a unique perspective of the world with his deep roots to Japan. A kind-hearted man, he always looks out for his friends and makes sure they are having a fun time.
What matters most to you in your life? What are your values?
Balance is important to me. I love to work but it’s important for me to make time for myself. I like to go outside and listen to music as I walk through the breeze as if there are no worries in the world. I think I can appreciate those moments because I unconsciously make myself busy all the time. I find myself camping or going to the beach by myself for self-reflection.
What authentic action are you taking in your community, big or small. Why are you taking these actions?
I don’t really consider myself an extrovert, but when I see someone who’s not really engaged in the environment, I tend to bring them in. When I was in grade school, I wanted to play music, but was too shy to ask people, so I used to hand out cassette tapes of music I thought were cool. That got me chances to actually talk to people. I saw a friend who was tapping on the desk with his pencil, and I asked him to join me. He wanted to play guitar, but I forced him to play the drums with my instinct. Now he is a drummer, a really good one too. He was also an event promoter with me too for a bit.
Justin popped onto the zoom with a bright smile and with a hint of nervousness he was ready to answer my questions. Although born and raised in California, his deep roots to Japan created a unique perspective of the world. I have known Justin for a quite long time, and what I can say about him is that he is a hard worker and extremely passionate about music. As he shows me pictures from a few years ago when he was singing in his band, it’s hard to imagine from the mild mannered man sitting in front of me that they are the same person.
Growing up means you have more responsibilities and singing in a rock band doesn’t necessarily pay the bills. But Justin kept in the industry. He currently works as a tour manager and coordinator for artists mainly from Japan. Due to the demand of this type of job, he is busy 24/7, but lately has time for himself. He tells me how important it is for him mentally to reward himself during his days off. “I don’t do anything extravagant, but do something small like take a walk around the neighborhood listening to music while enjoying the breeze. I’ve always been bad at self-care but I’ve been trying to be more mindful. Having this work-life balance made it easier for me to get through the days that are a bit tougher.”
We are told that if you want to get anywhere in life, you have to work hard. While there is nothing wrong with that, it’s also important to give yourself a break. Nothing is important to lose your mental health over. Even a short trip to the beach or a quick walk does wonders. Justin doesn’t necessarily need to take trips around the world, but he give himself these small which in return gives him a boost of energy.
A self proclaimed people pleaser, Justin has a hard time truly being himself around people. That is why it is especially important for him to surround himself with people he can trust. “One of the things I really like to do is just hang out with my friends and joke around.” You can really tell he enjoys the company of his friends by the way he smiles. He recalls the moment where he made his friend from grade school play in a band with him and made him play the drums instead of the guitar because he saw potential when his friend was hitting the table with his pencils. “We ended up being really good friends, and he became a drummer!” he exclaimed proudly. When asked if he considered himself an extrovert, he shook his head saying “I’m actually an introvert, but the need to involve people makes me an extrovert to the people around me. That’s why it’s important for me to have those moments to myself.” Although some might not understand why he can't just ignore them, I understand why. It comes from a place of kindness. He wants to give people a space where they can express their problems and have people listen to them. “We need a place other than social media, where people can speak up. Because if we don’t nothing will get resolved and people will feel left behind.” He also wants to educate people on how to listen. “People struggle to really listen. I want people to be able to talk to each other without the power struggle.”
You don’t need to be an extrovert to connect with people. Like Justin, as long as you have compassion in your heart, you can make a difference in people’s lives. He found a common connection in his friend which resulted in a lasting relationship. We all can try a little harder to lend a hand to those who might be in need. You never know, they might be your next best friend.