Sunday, September 23, 2012



For every conversation I have in Japanese, there are two versions of the conversation happening:
1) The words that I am actually speaking;
2) The words that I want to speak; the thoughts and feelings I want to express:

I grew up on a farm, 10 minutes outside a town of 10,000 people.  To me, when I was growing up, THAT was a big city.  Imagine what a big change it was for me to move to Tokyo!  My experiences in life have probably been vastly different than yours, yet I am in Tokyo by my choice.  I love America, and I love the country-side, but I'm glad I'm here in Japan--this is where I need to be.

I wish I had the words to tell about the amazing series of events that brought me here.  I never planned on living overseas, and especially not in one of the biggest cities in the world, but God is amazing and powerful.  Would you believe me if I said that I didn't know I would be moving to Japan less than 3 weeks before I actually moved here?  God can call us to new places and new circumstances at any time, and I learned that I need to be ready for His call.

I never planned on staying in Japan... until March 11.  That day, and the days that followed, changed everything for me.  I didn't just see or hear about the grief people were feeling; I felt it, too.  A part of my heart now belongs to Japan and it always will.  I didn't leave after the earthquake when so many other foreigners did leave.  Before the earthquake, I wasn't planning on staying.  Now, I'm not planning on leaving.  Though Japan is not my home-country, it has become my home for this time in my life.

I am sorry if my silence feels rude.  I want to speak, and I want to listen... I just don't have the words to say.  I spend as much time as I can in addition to my job studying and practicing Japanese, but it is not easy.  

I try so hard to listen, to catch every single word that I sometimes feel like I'm going to pull a muscle in my ears or maybe my brain.  It is very frustrating for me to not understand a language.  I love words; love speaking, reading, and writing in my native English.  Words have always come easily for me until now.  Don't worry, I am not stupid--the learning process is just taking a long time.  Please be patient with me.

Thank you for allowing me to speak with you, and to practice my Japanese.  Thank you for welcoming me into your country and helping me to feel at home here.  I sincerely hope that one day, I'll be able to speak to you in fluent Japanese, and that I will be able to listen and to express myself exactly as I want to.

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