If we were born and raised elsewhere, would we have been different? Certainly. The population shapes the place, and the individual is in turn shaped by the place. Especially in a sprawling metropolis like Tokyo, individual power to effect change seems limited and instead one feels the weight of the city pressing from all directions. The huge numbers of people around, the towering skyscrapers, the busy traffic, the noise- everything just overwhelms your senses. You can't escape from the clutches of a city once you are in it.
I do feel that I'm being shaped by my city- Singapore. Every country that I visit gives me a different feeling and brings out a certain aspect of me. In Singapore, I tend to feel mellower, creatively stifled, more likely to 'go with the flow'. It's so easy here to fall into a certain routine of doing things. The greatest tragedy of life is where nothing new happens anymore and each day feels like the one before. "Well, that's life," some would say. I think they've made a mistake of accepting the life handed to them, instead of pursuing the life they can have. For the rest of my life, I say, I want to be intellectually and creatively stimulated and challenged, so as to live my days with fulfillment. I want to look forward to each day with the excitement and anticipation that something different, something magical, is going to happen that day. It might be less comfortable, and more exhausting, sometimes, but I think it'd be a life truly lived.