2016. This has been quite a year. So much has happened that I really do not know where to begin.
This year started out with me struck in limbo over whether I would get the scholarship to Japan or not. Without the result, I was unable to start anything else and the wait was driving me nuts. It also felt like this would be the last time that I could try for something so huge as this. It felt like if I did not move now, I would never be able to muster my strength up again. To say I was desperate is putting it lightly. And then David Bowie died. Bowie has been my hero for a long time and has helped me get through so much. I was devastated. I still miss him.
I got the scholarship.
9 months later, I still sometimes stop in the middle of the street and stare around me open-mouthed. I still cannot believe that I am in Japan. First time traveling out of the country alone, first time living alone, first time studying in an international university. Everything was new and exciting and terrifying. You constantly hear how polite the Japanese are. In fact, people here are so genuinely kind and caring, even complete strangers who have no reason to bother with you, that there has not been a single moment that I’ve been scared or at a loss. It hasn’t all been a bed of roses of course. Going to university is a wake-up call. Yes, I’m good enough to get here but there is still so much to be done. So much that I don’t know or can’t do right now. My Japanese is still mediocre and needs a lot of work. But…
This is Japan. This is the land of my dreams.
There is an Animate store 20 mins from my apartment. I saw Kalafina live. I saw Miyano Mamoru live. This one I still cannot believe. That surreal moment in that concert hall as I was listening to Miyano Mamoru talk, in the flesh, and I kept thinking back to the very first time I heard his voice, in Wolf’s Rain. I went to Osaka-jou and Himeji-jou. I walked through the Senbon Torii of Fushimi Inari Jinja. I was in Kyoto. I went to Hiroshima and fell in love with that beautiful, dignified city. That feeling of looking at something that you’ve been staring at pictures of for years is indescribable. Dreams come true. But you must hold on and keep going no matter how slow your progress is. I know that for sure now.
The coming year is a big one. I must work to make sure that I can make full use of this little miracle of a scholarship. I still have that feeling that this is my last chance, that I will not be able to do something so big again. I don’t know if that is true, but that is how I feel right now. But, being a little desperate is alright; it will help me focus when I need to. There is also so much to look forward to and I always have my anime and my books. I have also made quite a few friends this year, in real life and online. The coming year will be fun.
My resolutions or goals for the upcoming year are to work more on my languages. Surprisingly, though I’m in Japan now I haven’t had much time to work on my Japanese. Getting adjusted and settling down has taken most of my time. The goal is to be able to read fast and be able to use keigo without having to stop and think by the end of the year.
I’ve also been neglecting my German and I can feel it slowly fading from my memory. I want to start practicing German again. I also want to start learning a new language. I’m still contemplating between Russian or French.
Other than that, my resolutions are simple: read more, be a little more kind; both to myself and others and believe in yourself a little bit more.
“No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.”
― Virginia Woolf
Happy New Year!