Well I've been here almost four months now. And that's just crazy. There are moments when it feels like only minutes, and others when it feel like years. I still laugh at how back in June I hadn't the slightest idea of where I would be living or if I would be teaching or not. I smile when I think to the first day of school watching my students walking in my classroom door. I'm not sure if I've ever been so nervous as when I first looked into fourteen pairs of eyes I already loved more than I could express knowing that they are my responsibility and somehow I'm supposed to teach them something. Now I look into the same eyes and I love them even more, and grow more and more proud of them daily. I can see how they are growing, and learning while in my classroom. Which maybe my proudest accomplishment thus far.
I've learned somethings since I've been here. I'll only share a few with you because you have more important things to do than read this. I have learned to stand on the left of an escalator so others can walk up the right side. I can get around on the subway. I know how to use my oven that's the size of a small microwave in the States. I know random words in Japanese (Tanpopo means dandelion.). I can find the things I need in the grocery store, normally. I can talk about the weather in Celsius and have an idea what it means in, occasionally. I can even recognize a few characters in hiragana!
Sometimes living in Japan is all things fun and exciting. It can mean learning a new language, eating new food. It may mean going to another country for a long weekend because flights are less expensive. It means reading shirts, logos, bags, and other things with English words on it that looks like it came from Google Translate. It might be using an app on my phone to communicate with my neighbors. It has been an eye opening experience to the lost in this world. It is meeting new friends and building new relationships. Getting to tell my favorite stories from childhood to people who have never heard about how I got that scar, or how my brothers put spiders in my hair as a child. Every week I laugh at the "Selfie Sundays" "Throw Back Thursdays" "Flashback Fridays" and such that I see on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Little do many of you know you're a day late. :]
But it's not always these things.
Sometimes living in Japan is hard. It can be trying to buy shampoo and conditioner three times but then getting stressed out and just walking away. (I stood on the aisle several times for over 5 minutes then I just got stressed out and gave up. Seriously. This happened at least three times before I actually bought some...) It means my first holiday away from loud, hilarious, and loving family. It is moments of missing my family and friends. The people who I don't have to explain why things cause such joy or pain, because they walked through it with me. At times it's finding a black dog hair on something and remembering that she's no longer mine. In this moment it's knowing I would give almost anything to be in my mom's sewing room talking to her as she cuts, sews, and irons fabric, turning it into beautiful creations I hoped to find under the Christmas tree with my name on it.
Even though life is full of these momentarily highs and lows I know that one thing is always constant. Whether I'm full of joy that I live in Japan, or it's a moment when I wish I was a bit closer to home, I know that God is always here. He is always beside me, comforting me, guiding me, sharing my joy, or comforting my grief. He has brought me here for a purpose and I couldn't be more excited to see how He uses me here.
I'm glad that life is full of sometimes, but God is all the time.