Today is my anniversary. However, rather than receiving a bouquet of roses from a dashing gentleman, I’ve received an invaluable opportunity from a country full of patience and charm.
A year ago, clueless and terrified, I boarded a plane in Washington D.C. During that 14-hour flight to Tokyo, I started crying above the Midwest, stopped crying above the west coast and felt hints of excitement above the Pacific Ocean.
Since then, I have adjusted to my new life and developed a daily routine. However, most days, that daily routine is a mere outline and the people and situations surrounding me fill in the lines–sometimes neatly and sometimes abstractly–but, without fail–colorfully. Today was no different.
I woke up and went to school. On the train, I kicked it with some third-year students who think I resemble Blake Lively. I won’t tell them that this comparison is completely irrational and unrealistic because I secretly like it–a lot. (And, yes that link will take you to “Betch of the Week.”) Next, I played table tennis with the table tennis team for three hours. Every team member could teach Forrest Gump a thing or two. Then, I discovered that a history teacher speaks amazing English and we chatted about “The Federalist Papers.” After coming home, I concluded the evening by playing volleyball with two friends and a team full of the loveliest and sportiest Japanese women, most of whom are in their 40s or 50s.
Although my anniversary fell on a seemingly normal day, it was full of unexpected happenings. I love the unpredictability of my life in Japan. There are certainly bad days when I would like nothing more than a piece of cornbread and a glass of sweet tea, but for the most part, something or someone always makes me smile. I can only hope to form more relationships and encounter more surprises during my second year in Japan.