Well, here we are again. The end of a year, the end of problems, the end of triumphs and the end of 2018. The longer I live, the more I am amazed at what I learn and have to endure each year which was unlike the one before. Whether that be: job security, exam difficulties, career changes, physique issues, physique conquests, goals and many other mixtures of sugar and spice. In the last hour, I think a lot of people are probably creating their final Instagram posts summing up their experiences this year (Me too). In my final hour this year, I will use this chance to reflect on my life and what I look forward to in the New Year.
This year I have learned the importance of family and time.
So this year I had one of the moments in time which I have only previously seen in TV shows, but I never personally experienced it myself. I have spent 4 and a half months away from my family in Japan, and yet I already missed them more than the 5 years I spent away during university. I truly started to envy all of my students who had their parents coming and bringing their study materials to school when they had forgotten them. This feeling combined with the nostalgia of elementary school is enough to write a cute idol group song. Also, when people would be eating dinner out with their families at Sushiro enjoying their Conveyor Belt Sushi. It made me start to question my decision to travel to Japan because of the feeling of missing out (FOMO – for you youngins). What was I missing out on? My family – my cousin’s 16th birthday, my cousin’s new job, my parents also growing up right in front of my eyes, which in all honesty are just normal temporal events. Though, I came to the realization that these are moments that I will never be apart of. I will never be able to attend them again, and as one who truly values the people they love – really put a tiny pin needle in my heart. Though, I believe this is all just a natural part of growing up, right? Growing pains as they call it. Luckily, I was able to return home for Christmas, but it is through my travels to Japan that I really have started cherishing the bonds that I have within Canada. So, tonight instead of going clubbing at a party or a dinner with some people I hardly know – I will just drink a nice glass of champagne with my parents waiting for the ball to drop.
Certain things in life, we cannot change. Personally, I wish I could be slightly taller at times (This will never happen). Or maybe, I would have started things earlier in life. Maybe, I have regrets about my studies or friendships which could have ended. However, one thing that will never change in our lives is the past. Being in the JET Programme has revealed how temporary my presence in Japan may be. My position on average has participants only staying for 2-3 years, with 5 being the longest possible length of time I could remain in Japan under the programme’s Visa. Being in Japan has made me look back at all the time I spent in Canada and yet, sometimes I would not use my time to accomplish anything. Seeing how much that has happened, only in a period of 4 and a half months, I can now look clearly at how valuable time may be. For that I am truly grateful for everything Japan has given me and I look forward to a future where I have used my time properly to carve out my future whether that be in Japan or Canada.
So, I think this year will be full of contemplation. I can already tell. There were many things I never expected to encounter, and in foresight I think I will be going through many other struggles. Hey, perhaps in the future I will make a Youtube channel like Courtney. However, for now I enjoy writing out descriptions of my feelings and experiences because it gives me a good opportunity to accurately describe how I feel with comparisons and precise wording. This year, returning to Japan – I have a goal. By returning home, I have solidified my resolve to achieve this goal before leaving Japan and considering moving into the big cities of Japan or back home to Canada. For the first time in my life I saw that although somethings may change, others will never change. When I returned home it seemed almost like the 4 and a half months that I spent in Japan really only seemed like 2 weeks. Canada will always be a home for me and I will always have a place here. Nevertheless, by taking a step away from my home and discovering the whole new world of Japan has allowed me to see what I really treasure about Canada. What I enjoy about living in Japan. How life is different in each part and whichever path I choose, there will be miracles of joy and despairs of pain in both. Instead of making an empty promise to myself about my weight, this year I will promise myself to keep going when my thoughts become sad or tough and to treasure what I have discovered in Japan for the rest of my life. Oh, and hopefully I will make a lot of Japanese friends! Y’know?.
Happy New Years Everyone!
With Love, Peace and Hope.