Even though I contributed to Kickstarter, I didn’t watch Live Your Dream: The Taylor Anderson Story until recently. I wanted to make sure that I could sit down without any distractions, and I also needed to be in the right mental place. For those of you who started following this blog after March 2011, I was a 2008 Miyagi JET along with Taylor Anderson who lost her life in the tsunami. Even though it’s been two and half years and many of my fellow JETs who lived through the disaster have gone back home or moved to another place in Japan, the pain still lingers.
Photo from JQ Magazine
However, watching Live Your Dream brought some closure. I didn’t know Taylor that well, but we had a connection as Miyagi JETs and the documentary gave me a chance to learn more about her life, both before JET and while she was in Ishinomaki. I also got to see different sides of my friends, whom I will always admire for their courage and perseverance, and my heart goes out to them for their loss. It was heart-wrenching to have to see them and Taylor’s family revisit the sad news.
Sometimes I can be critical of JET and other exchange programs because it’s easy for people to be there for the wrong reasons or, in my case, when they’re not quite ready for the responsibilities. However, Taylor’s story is one of how two countries can become connected through one individual. Not only that, she is a role model for anybody who wants to pursue a dream.
The film also talks about Monty Dickson, another JET who also died in the tsunami. He too showed an enthusiasm for teaching, learning, and life that we all should have. Live Your Dream is inspiring in that way. It celebrates life, and even though many tears were shed in watching it, I come away with restored faith in humanity and a new optimism. Thank you to Reggie Life for making this documentary.
To see a trailer and order the film, check out www.taylorandersonstory.com .
Listening to: “Bi-Li-Li Emotion” by Superfly