Monday, September 1, 2014

Possibilities (Janae)

As I set out on this journey, I feel that life is full of possibilities.  Right now unfortunately I can’t seem to stop focusing on the bad ones.  What if I forgot to pack something?  What if I miss a flight connection?  What if I have trouble using the ATMs?  What if my new roommate wants to cut out my spleen for a cult ritual?

I just know that something(s) bad has to happen and that I’m going to inevitably make mistakes and do stupid things no matter how much I might try not to.  Understanding this and accepting the challenges and learning from the mistakes when they come are part of growing as a human being, but recognizing that doesn’t always come easy.  I know too that it’s almost certain that I’ll want to return to the security of home when the culture-shock gets bad and I made a fool of myself for the unknownth time with some cultural blunder that got missed in my research.  But, I’m going to have to learn how to adapt to a new environment, even if at times it’s going to test what I’m made of.

A new road.
I also feel really wet behind the ears in an I-don’t-know-what-to-do-where-the-heck-am-I-going-how-does-everyone-else-look-so-much-like-they-know-what-they’re-doing-all-the-time kind of way.  I have the hope that this experience will get rid of some of that feeling, and that I can gain some more confidence in my abilities.  It’s a little ironic how doing something that makes you really uncomfortable, like studying abroad, by doing something could make you feel more comfortable in your own skin in the end.

Underneath the anxiety though, I am really excited for the good possibilities.  I’ve been interested in Japan for so long, and I’ve taken classes relating to Japanese language and culture, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to live and study in Akita for a semester.  I look forward to getting to try so many things that I’ve so far only read about, and to seeing how reality contrasts with my expectations. (Hopefully there won’t be too many unpleasant surprises.)  I’m sure I’ll get the chance to meet so many new people who will broaden my perspectives too.


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