A lot has happened since the last time I posted on my blog. For starters, I am over the half way done with my study abroad program! How crazy is that? To be completely honest, if I had only taken one semester at Hitotsubashi, I would have left Japan wanting more. More time to experience the seasons change, more time with the people that I met during this entire program, and more time to appreciate Japan’s unique charm. Although it hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows here, I am starting to remember the things that make me happy and how much I enjoy being there for others. People would always tell me to be careful and to not let others take advantage of my kindness, and over time, I gave into that idea of reserving myself for people who I thought mattered. This mindset led me to becoming more selfish. I put myself first before others. I caved into the idea that it was a form of self-love and self-care. All over social media, people emphasize one’s own personal health and well-being and encourage others to do the same. Of course, this is good advice, but sometimes being trapped in a bubble where you only think about yourself can be really isolating.
For a moment, I began to distance myself from my friends and used the excuse that I needed some “me time” to validate my behaviors. From there, it went onto not wanting to see anyone at all and wanting to stay in my room all day sleeping and watching videos online. It became numbing and I wasn’t feeling like myself. I had too much “me time” and eventually I became a bitter person towards everyone. I knew that this wasn’t healthy for me, but I didn’t know how to fix it. I would wish that I was back at UCSB again with my housemates, my friends and my family. I would envy the fun times I had with them as I sat in my room moping. I didn’t like it. I wasn’t happy, which is a constant struggle that I’ve had since coming to Japan. I thought the solution was to take time for myself… to think and reflect. Take time for myself to do whatever it is I needed to do, so I can be happy again, but then I realized something. As my friend’s birthday was soon approaching, I remembered how much I loved doing things for others. Whether if it was waiting to see their reactions when they opened their gift or if it was a small gesture like cleaning up after the party, it made me feel good being able to do something for them to show how much I appreciated them. When I became kinder to others, I became kinder to myself. And at that moment, I began taking more steps towards what made me feel most comfortable and happy. Getting wrapped up in my own thoughts and ideas got me nowhere, but being able to provide for others helped me find my footing again. There are many things that I can get angry about, but knowing that I can be kind and compassionate makes my day a bit brighter. It’s has definitely helped being around friends that make me feel safe to be myself, and I can confidently say that I am in a better place, so I guess that’s where I’m at now 🙂
Also, happy to report that I am healthy and safe in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supplies like toilet paper and face masks are slowly becoming easier to find, but who needs toilet paper when you have the magical power of the Japanese bidet ❤ I hope that everyone is healthy and safe! Please remember to practice basic hygiene and wash your hands often! ^.^