A few weeks ago I recognized that it has been one year since I have been living in Japan. I am amazed at how fast the time has flown by. What has been even more surprising in the weeks since is the repetition of many of the things I did when I first arrived. My first few weeks in Japan were a whirlwind of orientations, travelling, welcome dinners, meeting dozens of people, perpetual tiredness and suppressing the need to scream when you are one conversation or question or request away from either exploding into tiny pieces or drowning in it all.

One Year Later

One year later now I am no longer on edge, the sound of Japanese is no longer mostly gibberish, stepping out of my door is no longer has me suppressing my anxiety until I return home to fall asleep at 6pm. I’ve more or less gotten used to my routines, my responsibilities and I am very fortunate to have the persons here who do their best to ensure I am as comfortable as possible.

From Blur to Dreamlike state

Fast forward now a year later; I am redoing the lessons I did when I just arrived last year, I’ve met most of the new ALTs who have come to my prefecture this year, my house is now more homey, I can find my way around town, I have thwarted so many challenges than I can remember in the last year and I have have experienced all four seasons in Japan. Admittedly many things are still somewhat dreamlike but last year this time so much was just a blur that its good to know that after one revolution around the sun I am still able to make the best of this opportunity. Living in Japan is really a dream come true and I am getting more comfortable each day with my unique rural island town experience in Japan; so what if I don’t have a convenience store – I am surrounding my smiles, beautiful views I am already making an impact on the hearts and minds of my community.