A Year In Review.

久しぶり。。。
Long time no see… I’ve been pretty bad at updating blog life since I arrived in Japan, but actually it might be a good thing. I am constantly facing new challenges here, and to be honest, I think through a lot of that, it’s good to process alone.

But as the end of the year is already here, I figured I might as well update about my life… So get ready for a long year of reflections… P.s.. Thanks for all of you new people. It’s crazy to me how many of you possibly read this.

So… I began 2015 with literally the most amazing people I will probably ever meet. My mom always says that people come into your life for a reason, and no matter how distant these people may become, they will forever be a truly life changing force in my life. They continuously show me that it’s okay to be myself, it’s okay to want it all, and that even though I can’t exactly feel it yet, I do deserve better than how I treat myself. It’s rare for me to feel so strongly towards people, especially in such a short time that we spent together, but I would take a bullet for them, no questions asked. I’m feeling glum I won’t see them all this New Year, but I cherish every second I’ve been able to spend with them.

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Time moves on, as do people, and so quickly this comfort of close bonds had to be broken. Some friends moved on to new and exciting life adventures and for many months I was depressed and feeling lost again. For me, the lack of permanence in life is a hard fact to face, and again, I had lost people that mean everything to me. And yet, so many good things continued to happen. I had good marks in school, I was accepted to study in Japan at my first choice university, and I was still growing as a person. Maybe I can’t change my gloomy personality, but I learned how to stand up for myself, present myself, and how to at least begin taking new risks. After all… I had to prepare for a life changing adventure to Japan, right?

So after facing a hard trial that I can’t discuss since it involves another’s personal life, I landed here in Japan.

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I still don’t believe anything can really prepare you for studying abroad. Out of all the things that you’ll waste your time worrying about, I recommend you be most afraid of yourself. That will be the highlight of your anxieties. Who am I? What am I doing? What’s next? These questions will plague you. And everyday you learn more and more about yourself, sometimes there’s no time to grasp it until it all hits at once.

So how have I been here? I feel it’s too soon to really reflect too much on it since I still have several months left to go. However, I have learned a bit.

The beginning was fresh and new and just the change of pace I needed. New sites, new voices, a new language, new faces. I was in a place I had dreamed of being since I was 5. Had I proved to myself dreams come true? It felt that way.

I had expectations to regain the bonds I had made with several friends back in the States who live in Japan, but when this didn’t happen, I became very, very lonely. I acted out in ways that are still affecting me to this time, but importantly I am every day learning from it. How to notice my own patterns. How to observe the way I let others treat me. Things like that. And ultimately,  I think I’ll take a very big lesson from this.

But I have met some truly amazing people in this dorm life of mine. Crazy… but amazing people.

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I’m struggling a little recently because soon it will be time for most of them to return to their home countries. I’m faced with my same dilemma of having to let go and accept time.  These people help me cut loose every once and awhile and show me that even though people come from all over the world with different backgrounds and customs,  we are all very much alike. I only hope that I have showed them the same amount of support and fun that they have given to me during this short time of us being together.

The New Year is about to start… We are always supposed to have goals. Honestly I feel my first semester here in Japan was spent adjusting to the world around me and to myself. I regret not challenging myself more, so that’s what I want in 2016.

I want to try harder with my Japanese. I feel I haven’t improved at all, and I can only blame myself there. In order to do this I plan to study harder, put more effort into hanging out with the amazing Japanese students I have met, and joining a club. I’m terrified of joining a club. I have no confidence in myself with either my Japanese or performing anything in front of others… but that’s why I should join. To gain those things in myself.

I want to become even more accepting. I haven’t really figured out if there’s a line between accepting or if I’m just repressing… But overall I feel like in some of the stupid situations I’ve put myself in here in Japan, I don’t look at them as mistakes, I feel I’m genuinely learning. And even if I’m letting others treat me poorly, I still know that I’m a good person and that unfortunately for them, they’ll face their own consequences over time for the way they treat others. So I think, that’s a little more of me still knowing my worth, even if I don’t give my most valuable time to people who deserve it yet.

I’m madly in love with Japan. Every day is a struggle here, and it sucks, and I hate it, and I long for the simple times I had with the people I love from last year, but I would not change a single thing about this life right now. Because I’m growing. And that to me is the only thing you can do in life. I’m living. And the person I was a few years ago never thought I would see that day. So I’m grateful. I want to appreciate every hardship that I put myself through. I want to become a strong person. And I want to always love other people, even if they can’t love me.

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These charms started a very huge turning point in my life. Lessons of letting go and lessons of moving forward. I have a lot to learn about both. I think I’ll never stop learning about both. I think that both will always hurt in so many painful ways. But I want to embrace everything. Through that pain, if I can manage to smile at the end, I think that’s what life might be about.

So… I’ll try my best to embrace this New Year. Even bringing it in, it’s not the way I want it to be. But I want to make memories with new people and experience more that I haven’t experienced, so the changing me says… Don’t dwell on these things.

Until next year. ❤

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