I can’t access Facebook or Gmail from my work laptop, which was given to me by the Kita Akita Board of Education. It’s also currently the only way I can access the internet.
The biggest problem is that I have 2 step verification codes for both accounts, which are attached to my phone in America to a number that doesnt exist anymore.
Gomenai in advance!
But I’ll be getting there no later than 7AM because I cannot miss my flight to Japan tomorrow!!!!!!!!!
As L and his awesome mom both said to me: just bring the best of what you’ve got here over there.
Today my organization held a pre-departure orientation and after my cohort got their passports back, grilled the travel agency on specific luggage parameters (“so, how big is a personal item exactly?”), and ate a huge fancy buffet dinner at the decked-out aristocratic Ambassador’s Place, I ran into a lady we’ll call Tomoya-san. I was in the 1-person restroom changing out of dress pants and heels into shorts and sandals when I hear someone jiggle the door handle. I yell “sorry!” and the jiggling stops. I finish up and open the door and see a pretty, small, and somewhat elderly Japanese lady who looked like one of the important dignitaries at this event. I warned her that I didn’t see any more toilet paper in the bathroom and after she closes the restroom door behind her, I hear “OH LOOK I FOUND A ROLL” shouted from the other side. I smile really big in that awkward/polite way (even though there was no way she could’ve seen me) and say “YAY.?!?” and then ended with a “BYE?…??!?”.
((((((lol how do i even bathroom))))))
While waiting outside for L to pick me up, Tomoya-san runs out of the building and into me and gives me a wink and a thumbs-up for satisfactory bathroom experience. She then kneels near me, explaining that she was going to change into sneakers to walk 20 blocks back to her home because her heels hurt. I excitedly exclaim “that’s what I was doing in the bathroom1!!!” and we get into this conversation about cheap shoes, exercise, and what I’m doing at this event and where I’m going.
When she asked me “why are you staying in Japan for 2 years?” I realize in the moment that I knew I had a variety of answers to pick like, finding a job back home, applying to grad school, or just to guarantee that I immerse myself in Japan for 1+ year; etc., but instead I say:
"Because I wanna marry my boyfriend."
If she smoked cigarettes, this would’ve been the moment where she lit it up, took a drag, exhaled, and give me a mature “oh, honey” look over the top of her glasses. If she was drinking something, this would’ve been the moment where she spat something out. Instead she tells me something I already knew:
"If you can make it through these 2 years, you two can make it through anything.”
I then get into a conversation with a complete stranger about how she married a man 10 years younger than her and how everyone didn’t think they would work out (with her being so old and all) but she proudly says, “We’ve got a beautiful marriage!”
AND THIS MAKES ME SUPER HAPPY because I don’t know too many Asian/ East Asian/ South East Asian/ Biracial with Asian couples who get to say that! I crey! I shriek! I squeal! I don’t think I need to tell you how ecstatic I am to just hear one more opinion affirming a goal that seems so silly and foolhardy to some. Progressive older Asians are gifts from God and the boosts I occasionally need to remember that me and L aren’t ridiculous 22-year olds, but that I’ve been blessed to taste little morsels of approval (from God? from society?) everywhere/no matter where I turn. (Isn’t that what the movie “P.S. I Love You” is all about? Reminders all around to indicate a love that surpasses death? Oh wait, that was written in the Bible first.)
And then she gives me her business card (offered and received with two outstretched hands, of course) and tells me that I can contact her at anytime.
I’m not going to lie - sometimes it’s a little difficult to force myself to be sentimental and sad when I have such an exciting adventure awaiting me. There aren’t too many people in the world who get to say “I love Japan… so I applied to get a job there and now I’m gonna move, live, and work there.”
Instead, it takes a bunch of super special awesome meet-ups (Y’ALL KNOW WHO YOU ARE) and spontaneous and wonderful conversations with adults in America to realize how beautiful everything is. (Can you tell I’m in a good mood? Everything pretty much smells like flowers and fresh peaches to me right now.) I really and truly have been blessed to be the best product I can be from my immediate environment. Even the bad stuff. So when L and his momma tell me to bring the best of what I’ve got here over there, I think it looks something like a keen mind, an openness to experience, an ear to listen, and a heart willing to be humbled and taught at every corner in life. God’s worth thanking for the transformation He’s done in me.
Some of you are super excited for me and some of you are super worried and some of you are indifferent or fall somewhere in between! But don’t spend too much energy doing any of the above and just live your lives because nothing stops or ends here.
How do I feel about only having 9ish hours left in this hemisphere? Pretty good, and it’s all thanks to ~you~.
Posted 5 days ago
“What kind of woman do I find beautiful? *laughs* This is going to sound strange, but I actually pay close attention to all the work women do to, um, ready themselves. I once saw someone say that you shouldn’t compliment a woman on something she can’t control, like her eyes or hips or something like that, and that complimenting her choices is better. So I guess the first thing you might think of is, uh, for lack of a better word, a really classy woman—a woman who dresses well, does her hair well, accessorizes well—don’t laugh! it’s amazing how much effort goes into that and I think all men can appreciate effort that’s planned well and done well. But I’m going to be honest for a moment, and don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying I don’t appreciate everything I just mentioned—but the kind of woman I really find beautiful is one who seems to almost leave a trail of making things better in her wake. Have you ever met someone like this? Like after being around her you can—and this is important for a lot of guys especially—objectively note that your day was improved somehow, that you trust people a little more, that you respect people a little more, that you want to help people a little more. By the way she carried herself she enabled you to see and appreciate the positive around you on a completely different level. And sometimes—a lot of times—this kind of woman leaves a kind of vacuum, instead of an impact. Vacuum is probably the wrong word. Like instead of being literally impressed or impacted, where there’s a crater left behind, the people around her are drawn out and more full than before. I think maybe it’s because many of these women have developed a kind of depth of pausing and listening that’s really rare now, hard to find. It might be that they sort of naturally do this, because it comes from being at peace with themselves. *laughs* This escalated quickly! Yeah… at the end of the day, the kind of beauty I admire the most comes from the good that comes out of a woman’s heart, because that’s going to last her forever.”
Hey bro, thanks for elucidating this thought in such a simple manner! I really had to step back and think about the statement, “objectively note that your day was improved somehow, that you trust people a little more, that you respect people a little more, that you want to help people a little more”. The first part is a part of natural attraction, but the other things are so outwardly focused, when naturally I’m drawn to someone who’s inwardly focused. Like, it makes sense when someone’s motivations and actions subconsciously make me pay attention to her and that I respect her and want to help her. That stuff is good, but it’s only a part of it— to me, the true essence of this beauty is that it’s life-giving and is powerful.
This makes me wonder about what I, as a woman, find beautiful in a woman/women. And how beautiful women are different from beautiful people.
Posted 6 days ago
Is our lust for cheap clothing symptomatic of a larger malaise? What role do social media, which encourage relentless image consciousness, play in our shopping choices? Do we believe that by continually acquiring and displaying what we wear, we are creating an identity, an eternal brand of the self?
Posted 1 week ago
Malaysia and all the relatives and friends of the 200 something victims need the comfort of the Lord as soon as possible.
Posted 1 week ago
— Lady Jane, an 82-year old woman in Washington D.C. my church met on their mission trip
Posted 2 weeks ago
Posted 2 weeks ago
And now that we are Christ’s, we are the true descendants of Abraham, and all of God’s promises to him belong to us.”
— パウロ、ガラテヤ人への手紙（３章２９節） Paul, To the Galatians (3:29)
Paul, To the Galatians (3:29)