It’s been a little under two years since I decided to post anything on my blog, mainly because I’ve been trying to get my act together and because I knew I didn’t have many viewers in the first place. Last April, I was living in a relatively large apartment in Fargo, North Dakota with my older brothers and my mom no more than 15 minutes away.
About 5 1/2 months later I found myself here, in Hokkaido, Japan, living in a small one bedroom apartment with no bed (I mean, my futon is still pretty comfortable), no mirror (who really needs one anyway?), no internet (I use my school’s) and no cell phone/house phone. To be honest, I’m so much more happier here than I was when I had a well paying job, a cell phone, internet, a mildly large apartment and my family surrounding me.
But of course, there have been some challenges, some that have left me physically and emotionally drained, and others that have given me bursts of energy after their completion.
The biggest challenge is getting used to having a not-so-bilingual boyfriend. He understands quite a bit of English, but for the most part we only use Japanese to communicate and it certainly makes for some difficult situations when I can’t agree with what he’s saying or doing but I can’t explain why. (I’m getting better as time goes on, but let’s be honest, who honestly wants to be the person who says “No, that’s not how WE do it in America, so that’s wrong”?) I’ve grown quite a bit in the last half year, and I’m certain he has too, we’ve become much more accepting of each other’s cultural differences as well as the differences in our personalities. I’ve even managed to ween him off of only wanting to be a company employee like the vast majority of Japanese men, now he’s searching for his dream, and I’m willing to help, no matter where it may take him/us.
Another one of the challenges I’ve faced is becoming an adult. Just to be a cliche:
“Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”
Becoming an adult is a really slow transition, one that I’m probably only about 1/10 of the way through. Becoming self-aware, something that I’ve been my entire life and yet haven’t been, is such a slow but rewarding process. I’ve begun to realize that just accepting I am who I am is okay, and there will always be people who will look at me once and wave me aside, but that’s just who they are too. It hurts, but there are certainly more painful things in life. I may not be a model, and I’m on my way towards better physical fitness, so that’s enough for me.
Another really agonizing thing that you realize living abroad; you don’t get to see your family whenever you want. There are things like Skype to make the lack of communication easier, but really? A virtual hug just isn’t the same as a real one. Sure I can get a hug from any number of friends, but a mom, dad, or brother hug will always win. No contest.
But I guess, as I wrote before, I’m still happiest here despite the struggles and lack of apartment space. My next big hurdle is deciding on where to go to college, and whether or not to do said studies in Japanese or English. *awkward laughter*
Thanks for reading. Comment on this post or private message me if you have any questions.