☆ being a dork,  ☆ life,  ☆ photos

Spiders, and why I write

I don’t think that anybody has asked me why I write down what happened while I was an assistant, or anything else, really, but I think that it’s important that I explain why I do. 🙂

I write because I like to. I write because I’ve been writing down my life story for 12 years now, on my old livejournal blog first, and now on this one. I was addicted waaaay before Facebook or Twitter were even invented. ;D

I also write because I think that I can inspire other people; people who want to do the same things that I’ve done, people who want to reach for their dreams in the same way that I have. Because I know that not everybody in your life is going to support your decision, or your dream.

Your parents, your family, your friends and teachers, everybody has an idea of what you should be doing with your life, and it can occasionally feel like nobody is on your side. I want to be there, even if I’m just words on a webpage that you stumbled upon on the internet, and be that person who can give you hope. That person who is on your side.  That person who lets you know that it is OKAY TO DO WHAT YOU WANT WITH YOUR LIFE.

It’s not selfish to make your life into what you want it to be. I have been called selfish for not staying around my family and helping my sister raise her children, or look after my grandmother. It’s not that I don’t care. But my family is from a tiny town, and I don’t like tiny towns. I don’t want to live in a cold, dreary climate, in a tiny town when there is an entire world, entire universe, out there for me to choose from! I want to travel to exotic locales, meet all sorts of people, and experience everything I possibly can!

Selfish people are the ones who tell you that you have to do this or that, or worse, try to guilt trip you into it. If you choose to live near your family, to get married, to have children, or to take over the family business, that’s great! It needs to be your choice, though, and it’s NOT selfish to want something else for yourself.

You are your own person. It’s your life. You are the only one who is going to make it into what you want it to be, whatever that may be!

It’s my hope that if you don’t have someone cheering you on, you can look at my story and realize that you’re not the only one who’s wanted to do something new. That there is someone else out there who is been through the same thing as you, and never let the naysayers stop her.

That’s also why eventually, I want to turn this story (and many others, but let’s go one at a time) into a book that you can hold in your hands. What you were reading is just the first draft. Sometimes I forgot something that happened and I remember it later, so I write it down and then insert it into the draft on my hard drive. In the end, it will be a polished book that you can physically hold in your hands, that will pull together this entire crazy tale, and, you know, if someone tells you that it can’t be done, or that you can’t reach for your dreams, you can pull out this book, hand it to them, and say, “she didn’t let people like you stop her, and neither will I.”

You know, my journey isn’t yet done either. I have a lot more time ahead of me, and I am still working towards my ultimate dreams. To be honest, my dreams are always changing, but, I know that if I follow my heart and do whatever footwork I have to, I will definitely get where I want to go. I know it, I believe it, and I believe the same for you.

Now, I mentioned Spiders…. That was mostly so that I could share all of these pictures. I thought that Japan was the only place where I would have to deal with so many Spiders, but I took this during a ten minute walk! At least they’re resilient, which in a way is sorta like me….


I don’t see any Charlottes yet. You?

See you tomorrow, everyone! (*^-^*)

(237 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.


  • Mona

    I have never given a chance to live my life the way I want, my family never liked the fact that I was watching anime or reading manga. They considered me a childish person and I was drawing since I was little but later my family insisted that I focus on my studies and let go of drawing. Due to that my drawings are not polished and I regret that. My dream is to go to Japan, my father said that we would visit it someday but deep in my heart I wouldn’t feel happy going with him since he would judge me harshly and I wouldn’t be allowed to go near akihabara X(

    Thanks for the encouraging words it doesn’t lift the spirit up.

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      *hugs* I understand how you feel. When I was in high school, my mother told me that it was childish to watch cartoons. That I should go outside and play like normal kids. I loved being outside, but not to play like normal kids– I loved to walk through the woods and imagine that I was lost in a fantasy kingdom. I was so eager to leave my house and stop being oppressed that I moved out as soon as I was able, even though I had to quit college for a year in order to do it. It was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made.

  • evol

    I am going thru a situation dealing with this same issues. When i saw this post i almost cried. Thank you for letting me know that i am not alone. Thank you!!!

  • Velma

    Have you ever checked out Hannah Brencher? She found More Love Letters and has an excellent TED talk you can watch for free~ her experience is becoming a book, too, and she might be inspiration for you? You might even want to write some love letters for her charity project!

    Also, have you heard of Sparkler Monthly, the new manga/prose/audio online magazine from Chromatic Press? They’re super new, but made up of ladies from all sorts of comic backgrounds including former Tokyopop editors and I think if you pitched your series to them when they open up again for comics in summer, you’d probably get scooped up immediately~

    If you have any free time, you should definitely check these things out .3.

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      Wow! Thank you Velma for the recommendation! I could really use a pick-me-up, and I’m going to look her up right now. <3

      Ooh, yes, I have talked to the absolutely lovely people at Sparkler before. They even read my posts! I'm sure that they'll be happy for the shout-out. I'm planning to meet some of them in Toronto in May, and perhaps we /will/ work on something together! It would certainly be an honor. 🙂 After I'm done with the Tenipuri story, then I plan to concentrate full-force on making comics again. 🙂

  • Caroline

    I love love love this post! Seeing such encouraging writing is truly inspiring! I’m pretty sure I originally found your blog when I was thinking of applying to JET/EPIK (I never ended up doing that.. I digress) and I wanted to learn more about life in Japan. I was hooked immediately by the plethora of photos and detailed posts. I also was fascinated because you worked in a manga studio which is brilliant!

    Keep up the awesome posts!

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      Aww, thank you, Caroline!! ^^ My theory is that a life shared in photos makes a more interesting blog than one that’s just text all the time. I’m just writing the kinds of posts that I wish other people would write, too! 🙂

      Not a lot of people know, but I actually applied to the JET program and was rejected! The most frustrating thing was that the rejection letter won’t tell you why you weren’t selected, and tells you in bold letters that you’re not allowed to call and ask. It was quite maddening! I really wanted to go to Japan, though, so I searched for other ways and made it in the same time I would have left for the JET programme. Plus, it was better for me since the JET programme places you in the countryside most of the time, and with my new job (NOVA english school), I was placed in Tokyo. I suppose it’s another example of how not giving up can really work for you!

      • Caroline

        I had no idea you applied for JET! JET’s application process struck me as extremely intense. The reason I didnt end up applying was because I didnt brown-nose with any of my professors enough to get academic references. I went to a big university where the classes were always 100+ people so I was just another number and few profs were interested in actually interested in conversing with students.

        I’ve also heard that JET has changed a lot since the early to mid 2000’s. Most people are placed in countryside places where one teacher is stretched amongst many schools. That’s awesome you were able to be placed in Tokyo (also awesome that you were able to go to NOVA right before all of the craziness).

        I know I definitely will go to Japan in the future even if I dont get a teaching job there.I figured I would put all my energy to getting a job here in Toronto and then pool together as much money as possible to go on a trip there. I’m considering travelling alone because majority of my friends dont really want to go to Japan.

        • Jamie Lynn Lano

          I was really lucky to go to a small university. I’m not sure what my professors wrote, but I was so nervous asking them for references! It is too bad that their effort went to waste. ToT Even though it worked out for me in the end!

          I hear ya on traveling over working there! That’s what I ultimately decided– traveling is the best way to experience the good parts of a country without a lot of the bad ones that only show after being there for a while. And you’re in Toronto? Ooh, you should go to Toronto Comics Fest, if you weren’t already planning to. I’m planning to be there too, if the cold doesn’t stop me!

          • Caroline

            I’m definitely going to the Toronto Comic Arts Fest! It’s just an hour commute for me into the city. Hopefully you can make it to Toronto! The weather in may is usually quite reasonable. Depending on how long you’re staying check out the site BlogTO for things like good restaurants and things to do, it makes things loads easier.

            I’m really hoping I can on both the saturday and sunday at TCAF. I’ll be doing my publishing program so I dont know how much free time I’ll have.

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