Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2 years...

Coming into the new year I realized something that perhaps shouldn't have been as startling as it was. I realized that it has been two years since I first came to Japan.

It's been a little over two years since I submitted this photo to my study abroad program. Two years since the me who was terrified and who didn't know if I could make it in Japan stepped onto a plane. The me that took that step from which there was no looking back.

This was me two years ago after first arriving in Japan.

I was SUPER excited to be here.
Like. Over the moon.
EVERYTHING made me interested, curious (sometimes intensely frustrated) and, overall, happy.
More than anything though, I was trying new things. Doing new things. Who I was as a person changed. It wasn't bad because I was changing into the person I was supposed to be. I was becoming more me, so to speak.

Today, this is me.

I look back at the me of two years ago. The one who was balling at the airport as soon as mom and dad couldn't see me anymore. I remember the fears and the uncertainty and I wonder how I ever took that step and got on the plane. (Honestly, it's probably because I'm stubborn as all heck and my family wouldn't have let me NOT get on the plane.)

Even still, I look back at the me who had just arrived. The me who saw nothing but how magical this place was in my eyes. Now, the magic has worn off some. Things aren't always as shiny as they were then, but there is still no place that makes me happier.

For me, Japan has changed the concept of home. When I used to think of home, I would imagine the house where I grew up. The loud noises of my siblings while I was tucked off in some corner trying to read a book uninterrupted. I would think of the yard with the pool that I admittedly stopped using as I grew up and the garden that literally sprang up where there was once only blackberry bushes. That used to be home. That one, specific place.

Now, when I think about home, that idea has changed. It is no longer synonymous with family, or the house I grew up in. Home is the place where I am happy and content, even if I'm having a horrible, horrible day, at the end of the day, there is nowhere else I would rather be. As long as I am in this country, I think, I am home. Home is where the heart is and I found my heart.

I don't think it was a concept that the me of two years ago would have understood. There are many things about the person I am now that that me wouldn't understand. (Yes me of two years ago. I like beer. Get over it.) I have changed and I will continue changing until I'm the most me I can possibly be. I am also home. That feeling, more than anything is the most important thing in the world to me because it allows me to fully be me.

I think that every person should try to find this feeling. Try to find the place you can call home. For you, home might be being with a certain person. It might always mean that place where you grew up. For some of us, however, we need to look a little bit farther. Stretch your wings.

So, you have homework this year. Yes, I can do that, I'm a teacher. Yes, it might be difficult. No, it's not impossible. I want you to look at where you are. Ask yourself one question and be totally, 100% honest with yourself. Don't second guess yourself, don't make excuses. Answer honestly, yes or no.

Are you home? If your answer is yes, then blessed be your life. If your answer is no, you have some searching to do. Look for that place. Even if you don't find it this year. Look for the person or the place that is home to you. Stretch your wings. It's scary, the scariest thing you've ever done, to step outside your comfort zone. To step into the unknown, not knowing if you will succeed or fail. But sometimes you have to push your boundaries to discover who you really are and to be able to find that place you call home.


qwacksalot said...

Always love reading ,love the feeling

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