Hi my dear readers,
Sorry to have been away so long. It’s been a crazy, busy, challenging year. A roller coaster ride if you will. I just returned from a trip to Japan. My sixth visit. I never imagined ten years ago that I would be saying that! But my life has changed in amazing, unexpected, and positive ways by embracing this new life of adventure that comes along with marrying someone who is a different background than mine. I wouldn’t change it for anything.
At the close of this year 2016, there is a lot to think about. Big changes for this country and the world. What can we do about it but embrace it? Dive into the unknown and hope things continue to progress and change for the better. Continue to stand up and fight for the things we believe in. Hope in our future. If there is one constant in life, it’s change. We can expect it just like taxes. And when we begin to ride the tide of it, we see some amazing sights and begin to transform in unimaginable ways.
It is hard to let go of all the things we hold dear. The safe and familiar. For me, flying halfway across the world, living in a time zone completely opposite of ours, is always an adjustment. Japan in some ways is the complete polar opposite of the U.S. Their culture is polite, quiet, and small compared to our freestyle lifestyle, chatter, and super-sizing. But sometimes there’s a beauty in living a life different from your own. Like the city mouse and country mouse switching places for a day. You see the world through new eyes. You find out the way you always do things is not “The Way” but simply the way you always do things. You learn to adapt and find new things to treasure. You also better appreciate the familiarities of home.
On this particular trip, I embraced both flying alone and getting around Yokohama for three days by myself while my husband finished up his business trip. With the jet lag, feeling under the weather, and not knowing the language very well, I wasn’t sure if I could manage. But I took up the challenge anyway, even knowing how directionally challenged I am. I managed to ride the subway a few times, explore the city, shop, and eat out at restaurants. Sometimes not being able to talk was a welcome blessing. A quiet I don’t often experience at home. Other times, especially because I’m a Gemini and love to talk, not being able to communicate was frustrating, lonely, and even a little terrifying. But luckily, it’s very safe to walk around Japan alone as a foreigner. And if you’re lost or confused, someone will undoubtedly come to your rescue and try to help, even without knowing much English. As it turns out, I found many ways to connect with others. Laugher being one of the best universally shared experiences.
So I challenge each of you dear readers to end the year by stepping out of your comfort zone. Don’t wait until 2017. Do it now. Take that first step toward your dream. Meet someone new. Go somewhere foreign. Experience a different culture. Learn a new language. Talk to someone of a different background or faith and really get to know them. And if things become awkward at any moment, don’t walk away, embrace the moment, and simply LAUGH. Imagine the kind of world we would live in, if we all laughed just a little bit more. Feared a little less. Life is chaos, but we can all join in the dance.
“We live in a rainbow of chaos.”- Paul Cezanne