It’s been a little over a year since we started our journey in Japan. This milestone has brought reflection and an abundance of emotions as I realized just how much change can take place in such a short amount of time! As I ruminated on these changes, waves of nostalgia, amusement, pride, and comfort flooded me. I’d like to highlight a few of my thoughts from the past month and my favorite flashbacks from our first year in Japan.
The first wave: nostalgia. Independence Day is a family favorite of mine, with my grandparents’ fireworks display rivaling the city’s each year. 4th of July, 2015 was the last time I spent with my family before we left the country, so this year’s holiday was not only nostalgic for the normal missing my family during the holidays thing, but also because that officially marked one year since we’ve seen our family! All I can say is, thank God for FaceTime! If you’re reading this and you’re with your family, hug their necks and count your blessings.
The second wave: amusement. TimeHop (the app that shows you what happened in your life on that day in years past) never fails to show you things to make you laugh. I laughed at my throwbacks from this time last year because I was excited by every little “Japanese” thing: our apartment, my first exchange of USD to Yen, and our first time at the fish market. I was also amused remembering some of our other firsts, like my desperate attempt at making the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, and how that was nearly demolished by our cat, Nikko. Nikko tried to destroy the dish I was most proud of, the pumpkin pie. Haley, being the saint that she is, tried desperately to shoo him away and put the pie back together before I saw it. I still saw it, but I digress, definitely some amusing firsts this past year!
The third wave: pride. Throughout the last year, I was so unsure about my career and how I was going to spend my time while in Japan, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I wish I was one of those people whose career’s spoke to them at an early age or seemingly had their lives planned out. I was never one of those people. I’m not exactly sure how I got here, but with a little soul-searching, what felt like months of applications and interviews, I’ve finally landed a job that I enjoy and am on my way to completing my education! For those of you that don’t know, I’m a member service representative at Navy Federal Credit Union and I’ll be finishing my associates degree in Health and Fitness this fall before pursuing a degree in Human Resources. 🙂
The final wave: comfort. While a lot of things have brought about nostalgia, amusement, and pride, mostly thinking about our first year in Japan I feel comforted. Comforted knowing that we’ve made it this far and that we’ve established a real home with great friends! Hopefully we get plenty of opportunities in year 2 so we can continue sharing this beautiful country and culture!