Part 2: “I think I’m getting the hang of this place – I don’t feel like a “fish out of water” anymore!”
Several weeks into my academic year program and I still feel a sense of urgency to return to my family and friends. But I also am feeling a greater desire to stay in Japan for a bit longer. Suddenly, things like the tiny aisles in stores – that seem to only accommodate the width of a single person, don’t bother me so much anymore. And speaking primarily in Japanese to strangers in public no longer makes me a nervous wreck or turn me into a “worrywart” about saying the “wrong thing”. I have even come to realize and accept that no what store I shop at, there really is no such thing as a “SALE” (unless you really call 10-20% a “great” sale)! Rather than feeling huffy, I look for alternatives like second hand shops for clothes instead of mainstream stores, and also mom-and-pop shops instead of generic grocery stores.
I no longer feel depressed and terribly anxious wanting to take the next plane back to California. In fact, life in Tokyo is starting to feel normal– almost to the point that it is a little bit boring. I am cognizant that because I haven’t lived even a full year in Japan, there will be new encounters and problems that I may not be fully prepared for. However, I finally KNOW that I have the mental, physical, and psychological ability to overcome these challenges
End of Part 2