I hope that you’re doing well! Today I am back with a bit more of a personal post. Today marks around 216 days of living and working in Japan. I can’t believe that I am already on month 8! While it’s not easy and I do struggle with wanting to return home sometimes, one of the things that I started this year to help me is a calendar of things that I look forward to. I have one calendar for my work schedule and other obligations and then another calendar only for events and things I am happy about to keep me motivated and moving forward. If the calendar is empty it’s also a good hint that I need to make plans and keep myself active.
This past week I also lost someone very important to me. A friend from my second year of high school and part of the high school crew that stayed close even after college had to leave us way too soon. While I have been struggling through not knowing how to mourn a friend while also fighting with a cold for two plus weeks, I am slowly coming to terms with it and able to speak about it now. It has helped that I have let my emotions run their course and just felt. I feel like I can sense her presence around me and I think about her every day. One thing I am grateful to her for is that she has brought our friend group back together. I hadn’t really talked with any of them for a really long time. We hadn’t exchanged probably more than a handful of messages since I left Hawaii for college on the mainland but we always made plans to meet when I was back home.
I have also always been bad at responding to messages and messaging people, mostly because I am not really a fan of messaging, much preferring to write or speak in person because the pace is better for me, but I want to change now. I don’t want to regret not having said something that I felt or made it clear how I felt about someone but never telling them directly. I am really looking forward to going home in a couple of weeks and reconnecting with friends and my family and just being able to give everyone a big hug.
Besides looking forward to returning home and then having a bit of time in Tokyo to catch up with friends or my host family there, there are also small things that I look forward to such as chill evenings in with my best friend here in Asagiri, meeting up with my wonderful and caring host family for dinner, my almost weekly 3-4 hour Skype dates with my best friend who lives in New York, and other small things that pop up here and there that make me feel more connected to this place which is going to end up becoming like another home to me. I look forward to receiving Snapchats from my sisters about memories and pictures of Tobi (our dog) from my parents and grandparents.
As for my time in Japan, here are some of the other things that I really want to do or experience that I don’t have any plans for yet:
- Meeting with my relatives in Kumamoto, Nagoya, and/or Yamaguchi who I haven’t met before.
- Go and see my relatives in Tochigi again.
- Visit the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Nagasaki.
- Visit the sea or the coast.
- Go to Tokyo Disneyland and/or Disney Sea again with friends.
- Host another Hawaii cultural event.
- Find another job for after JET.
While I sometimes think about returning home, I still have so many things that I have yet to accomplish here in Japan so I cannot return home yet. While I do miss family and it is a tradeoff, I know that I have their support and that I am trying hard for them as well.
I’ve got 5 more months before I can say I’ve lived and worked here for an entire year and I look forward to seeing what is yet to come.
Thank you for reading!