It’s my last weekend in Japan, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. Parts of me are so divided on the issue, it’s been almost impossible to get a real consensus and a good grasp on my thoughts. There seem to be just as many feelings on the issue of my departure as there were on my arrival. It’s a little exhausting to even beginning wading through the mess, and I shudder at the very thought of even trying. Nonetheless, I’ve been attempting to give it my best shot.
I guess a part of me is sad: I have absolutely loved every second (or almost) of the time I’ve been here. I’ve done so much and seen so many things and places I never thought I’d ever get to experience: I’ve seen traditional theater (Noh and Kabuki), ridden the train at rush hour, visited the rural mountain regions, and danced down the streets of Shinujku and Akihabara. In moments where this feeling is strongest, I don’t want to leave. There are so many more places I would like to go and so many more adventures to go on!
Another part of me is ready: it’s been a month full of frustration and triumph. I have conquered so many fears: crowded areas, big cities, trains, airplanes, and things completely out of my comfort zone (such as the onsen). In these moments, homesickness is at its worst, and it’s hard not to be completely frustrated with everything: my aching feet, my class load, crowds, and dietary issues that have left me sick for the past three days. This part of me is ready to go home- back to being surrounded by my family and friends and ready to share tales of my amazing adventure.
In between these two opposing feelings is a sea of grey. I find myself most often in this area, wading through the pleasantly murky depths. The waters here have a capacity to be turbulent, given the constant sea of emotion, but it also has the capacity to be calm. Everywhere I look, there is a possibility and an opportunity: it’s up to me to take certain paths and to determine how I view them (positively or negatively).
I have changed so much in the past month: I’ve become stronger and more confident. Most importantly, I made it known to myself and others around me that seizing your dreams is possible, as long as you’re willing to work for it. This adventure has made me think that anything is possible- nothing is too farfetched, as long as you’re willing to put in the time and effort. It is this newfound belief and change that has inspired me to continue reaching for the limitless expanse of dreamy sky beyond. But I wasn’t alone during this process: my amazing friends and family have been incredibly supportive, and I thank them immensely for it.
In particular, my older sister, Angela, has been an irreplaceable asset to me and this journey. She was there from the beginning, rooting for me and helping me along the way, not only financially when times got rough, but emotionally during all phases of this project. She’s been the person I’ve been able to call on, and no matter the situation or time of day or night, she has been there for me. I can’t thank her enough. It has been with her incredible support and help that I have been able to make this journey.
As my time in Japan finally dwindles and comes to an end, I am assured that this will not be the last time I set foot into this amazing place.