This was the moment that I had the feeling of being released from a year of work.

It was 9:20 pm on Dec. 23rd, 2019. I was working at one of the most popular vintage kimono shops in Tokyo. That day, I was really tired from the end of the year big sale week. After taking off my kimono, I just wanted to climb into my bed and sleep/hibernate like a bear. But I had to prepare to travel to summer—to Sri Lanka—where the season was opposite. My husband Ian and I were going to fly out the next morning.

We spent a wonderful Christmas and New Years’ in a magical country. When we arrived there I was not exhausted anymore. My cheeks felt looser and I enjoyed every moment. This was just a few months before the pandemic came and changed everything completely.

Tomorrow is Dec. 23rd, 2020. I am no longer employed. I have no plans for traveling. I’m not tired from the end of the year sale week, but my cheeks feel stiff.

– Yuki Kameguchi