So, why do I need a blog? Why do I want one?
I’m a writer and I have been a lazy one lately. No more college classes means no more writing papers. Which is a good thing, I suppose. But I LOVE writing papers. I love writing everything. Mostly because writing something down helps me solidify my thoughts and helps me remember them. It’s more for my own sake that I write, but I do love sharing things.
I aspire to be an educator who has a positive influence over not just other people but over systems, over ways of doing things. I decided I wanted to become a study abroad advisor when I was a freshman in college. I had been to Japan through an exchange with AFS for two months, and after graduating high school, I went on a two-week long sister city exchange. Once I entered college, I immediately went to the study abroad office to inquire about going back to Japan, this time for a year.
However, I was not in the school of my choice. I was actually at my back up school, even though I was accepted to the three others I dreamed of going to. Finances prevented me from being able to attend anywhere but a state school, so there I was. After two weeks I knew I wanted to leave. But that campus was the birthplace of the thought that I could be the one sending students abroad one day as a career. It sounded exciting to me because I would be able to guide and calm giddy or nervous students who were interested in broadening their horizons. Oh, and because some study abroad directors get to travel to the countries they collaborate with. Talk about a paid vacation.
After a few months, I had chosen to transfer, but I had to wait until the following fall semester. I got involved with the university as much as I could despite knowing I would leave it. I was an active member in the Asian American Association, hung out with other Japanese language learners, and made friends with international students from many countries. But to me, that year was a blur.
The real fun came when I entered the University of Alabama. The campus was gorgeous, the people welcoming. I had international students as my roommates, and my Japanese classes were challenging and exciting. I joined a taiko drumming club for a while, I studied Korean, education, communication, and I learned far more than I ever could have imagined. I had wonderful professors and advisors, and I held an internship at the Capstone International Academic Programs office (the CIA hehe).
For one year, I studied at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. By far the most rewarding part of my experience there was joining a theatre club. I would work for 6 or more hours every day after class and even on the weekends putting together plays. I made some of the best friends and my Japanese hit a level where I doubt it will ever return…
I went back home, graduated early from UA, and spent the next few months preparing to live here in Japan as a JET. I took substitute teaching jobs before becoming a full time day-camp counselor for the entire summer. It was exhausting but it gave me the money to start up fresh with plenty of room for growth.
I am a very futuristic person, so I am ALWAYS looking toward the horizon. I want to plan everything in advanced so I can relax a little now. But that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying my life. People always say if you are always planning ahead or looking back you can never really enjoy the present. But the present isn’t static. The past can be five years ago or two seconds ago when you were reading that last sentence. The future can be tomorrow, a year from now, or in the next few minutes when you move on from reading this to go do something else.
Living without regrets is something I really aspire to do. But there’s a trick to that. Even if you mess up or realize that you could have done something different, it’s over. It’s already done. Hindsight is always 20/20 but now is all you have. You can’t edit life. But you can edit how you think about it. So, of course I have things I think of as not going well or things I could have done differently. However, if those things didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be here right now. And there isn’t much use in wishing you could change it. So I believe, in thinking about it this way, I am living without regrets. Instead of focusing on the past, I focus on my next step.
My next steps are planned, but not over. Even I don’t know what will happen. But I can hope for good things and prepare for the bad (sometimes) and writing it all down will help me figure out my feelings now and it will remind me of the lessons I shouldn’t, but might, forget after time passes.