So yeah, I didn’t exactly blog while my stay, but reflective pieces will go up soon. For now, I have 8 days till I got back to my home country, the States, and it’s so weird. I’ve never felt like this before.
August 31st, 2011- I left my country for the first time and arrived in Japan confused, lost, but excited.
My first month was hard— everything was overwhelming. I did my best to get by on context and such. Once things like my foreign resident card, phone, and internet were set up, I secluded myself a little. Because school hadn’t started, I didn’t know where or how to make friends. I’ve never been much of a city/out on the town kind of girl. I usually make friends through class, clubs, and interests.
When class started, I was excited, and the classes were helpful—but because I didn’t really have them with other
Japanese students, I wasn’t making friends but with other exchange students. I was reluctant to spend too much time with exchange students because I thought I should be looking for more Japanese friends. I should have relied on their friendships more in the beginning and I should have reached out to the Chinese and Taiwanese students in my apartment building. I was afraid no one knew English and didn’t have enough confidence in speaking Japanese at the time.
I doubted myself when others in class did better than me and stressed myself out. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but even with all of them, I don’t regret coming to Japan. Experiencing this place means so much to me. My love of people, culture, and the language— for these things this trip was essential.
The people here have been nothing but kind to me and I want to thank them so much for their friendship even though I was poor at making plans with people. I wish we could have hung out more, but my time was so short, and school has been busy for everybody.
Even if we never meet again face to face, we will still be friends, I think, always. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.
I’m usually not the kind of person to cry or get sad over usual things like weddings and goodbyes, but I feel the melancholy settling in. I will feel tearful for the next 8 days, I know it. I wish there was so much more I could do, see, with all of you. I’m regretting missed opportunities here, even though I shouldn’t dwell on it.
Before I went to Japan, I was recommended to spend everyday out, find something to do. I wish I was more motivated to do so—I see why they said that now. I wasn’t brave enough, confident enough to do so. I didn’t know what there was to do or where— but I could have asked.
I don’t want to this to be the end. Somehow, I’ll come back. I’ll meet old friends, and make new ones too.
And Japan, I know you’re going through a hard time, recovering and dealing with the radiation. Ganbatte, Japan.