Friday, July 28, 2017

Farewell, but Not Goodbye

The night is winding down on the eve of my departure and so much has happened in the past month.  I left my job two weeks ago, my bags are packed, my apartment is (mostly) empty, my storage unit is full, I've said my last goodbyes.  Today was pre-departure orientation at the Consul General of Japan's residence where I was able to start new friendships with my fellow ALTs (and one CIR) leaving out of Detroit.  There are so many interesting people in my group.  I look forward to sharing this experience with them.

I am excited to go to Japan, but it's bitter sweet.  I'm leaving behind my family, my friends, my church, and life as I know it.  I know I'm not leaving forever, contrary to popular belief.  I'm not going to Japan to die, nor do I plan on staying in Japan for the rest of my life.  But I will be gone for quite a while in order to live one of my childhood dreams.  Living my dream does come with some social casualties.  I'll miss my youngest niece learning to walk.  I'll miss my oldest niece's first day of kindergarten. I'll miss helping to run the A/V department at church.  I'll miss so many places, events and people that I love.  I'm going to miss being around for so many things here in America, but it can't have my cake and eat it too.

However, I will be growing as a person.  I'll be learning a new language.  I'll be learning a new skill set.  I'll be learning how to adapt and change with my new environment.  I'll be experiencing new things that will challenge me physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and I will have to overcome all of that, and I will.  While I may be gone for a while I will come back home a different person from when I left.  I aim to be stronger, wiser, and better.  I hope to travel to countries close to Japan to expand my world view and see places I would never have the chance to visit otherwise.  I hope to make an impact on my community in Japan and on those around me when I return.  I hope to have a lot of adventures so that I will have a lot to share here.

And so, in the worlds of a famous cartoon 80's rock band, this is farewell but not goodbye.  Farewell to my home country, farewell to life the way I knew it, farewell until I return.

I don't know how soon I'll have internet, but my next post will be from Japan as I finally start my adventure in the land of the rising sun.

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