My Japanniversary!

Today is my one year japanniversary. Looking through my blog and pictures, I can see I have achieved a lot of things. Some of which include Asian babies, giant fruit, new friends, of course teaching, cycling through the countryside, playing dress-ups, a couple typhoons, a few failed tinder dates, learning to kill a cockroach, open a jar, and to fetch the remote all by myself, and all of which include food: sourcing it (still haven’t found beetroot) cooking it and eating it. Sometimes with friends, most times alone. The latter not a good feeling. Basically, it hasn’t been easy since I live really rural and I can’t speak the language. But, (prepare for the cheese) it has been real. I have achieved what I set out to do – which was to gain more life-experience, in order to grow both as a person and as a writer. And, I have enjoyed. Now, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my year in Japan, it’s this: we must never settle. Though not in the physical sense of the word. What I mean is, to have an open mind about the world, our world, its people and our experiences with it/them. And to be accepting of change, of transformation. For not only is change good, it is growth. And the only way we can change is if we become exposed. And how do we become exposed? We throw ourselves into the open, into the unknown. Though by this, I don’t necessarily mean a geographical point. For even opening our minds to viewing a single minuscule thing in a different way is throwing ourselves. In the words of C. JoyBell: “we can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.” Ari-ga-to!

to tell the truth…

Ever since starting IAATWT (that by the way, is the very unattractive abbreviation of my blog’s name) I’ve tried my best to be honest and authentic. Recently, I wrote a few personal posts that received more attention than my others (poor eggplant pizzas) which got me thinking about honesty and in particular, honesty in this day and age. It seems that being honest has recently become synonymous with being cynical. Honestly revealing our worries, troubles and secrets – that sort of honesty is seen as admirable and audacious. And, I agree, it is (secretly I’m just blowing my own trumpet) but so is talking of our joys and our TRIUMPHS. So without further adieu, I want to say that I have never been happier. I am in a foreign land with a completely different culture and I can’t speak more than a few words of the language but I have never felt more excited about the future. If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt in my mere 23 years, it’s that life really does begin when we start challenging ourselves. I hope that you too, attempt the unimaginable for I assure you, the results will be priceless. In the talented Drew Barrymore’s words, “If you don’t take risks, you’ll have a wasted soul.”

Recent highlights: seeing how rice dries, more cosy dinner parties and late summer/early autumn fruit.

Upcoming adventures: Silver Week (Japan’s second longest public holiday after Golden Week); where I’ll be doing a fair bit of travelling. So, watch this space!
image image[3] image[1]