Gratitude.

So I have been doing most of my posts at night after I’ve just written a ton of words for the day. I am usually super tired and even when I think of ideas to blog about, they usually leave me by the end of the day or I don’t have the energy to write them out.

But since I am done with my NaNoWriMo goal, (still have a half chapter and an epilogue to write on my book, but I’ll get there tonight) I have more free time on my hands. And less worry.

That’s what I want to talk about today.

Lately, I have been so stressed about being a decent teacher, making a difference, cooking for myself, going through culture shock (which I plan on blogging about in the near future) and a myriad of other things.

However, as I was biking to school today I realized that despite the things that have weighed me down up to now, I am extremely grateful.

Today I had to have a health check for work. I should preface this by telling you that I am a big baby. No, really. I cried today when I thought they were going to have to draw my blood. Turns out they didn’t, but I still cried.

But my supervisor went down with me to get my health check and show me how to do everything. She followed me and cheered me up and talked to me after things like my first Japanese eye exam (I have perfect vision by the way ^^;) and the blood pressure test, which I hate. I am afraid of doctors. My grandmother is a nurse and my mom used to be an X-ray technician. Now she does ultrasound. So I basically grew up in a hospital. My mom always made me watch ER with her at 9pm on Thursdays before bed. I should be desensitized to it all. But when I was 13 I had to get my blood drawn, and I passed out. So now my body likes to remind me that pain is bad bad bad and I even get empathy pain when I watch someone get hurt on tv or hear someone talk about it.

So I expected to come out of that health check feeling queasy and horrible. But my supervisor was there to smile and talk with me every step of the way, and I passed with flying colors. I looked around at all the other women getting check ups and most of them looked bored at best. But I had someone by my side. So even though it’s Thanksgiving in America and my family is eating all my favorite foods, while I am sitting here in Japan where no one has ever even heard of Thanksgiving before, I am still thankful.

It has been flurrying on and off since yesterday. I am not even bothered by the cold once it starts snowing. It’s an afterthought. I don’t heat my apartment, so I usually type away on my computer, trying to thaw my frozen hands and make them make words. But today I was smiling as I biked to school. A woman passing me on a scooter said “Good morning!” and just little things, like having someone sit by you when you are scared and being told good morning by a complete stranger, those are the moments I cherish the most.

Sure, I am living alone, away from my family and away from where people even celebrate my favorite holidays. But I have friends who will gather to have a makeshift Thanksgiving tomorrow. I am almost finished with a novel I started 3 years ago. I have friends far away who message me to tell me they are thinking of me. I have nothing to fear or worry about. Worrying is pointless.

Next week I have my elementary lessons, and I have decided to stop worrying about it. I have gotten through them this far, and I will get through them again. A few JETs at a meeting the other day told me they weren’t stressed out at all, that everything goes smoothly. I was shocked and jealous, but today I realized that it might be their attitude. They don’t worry about what’s to come, and they just go along with it. Because they can’t change the way things are, and they can’t predict what will happen next.

I started singing Christmas music today. I can put myself in a good mood. I am going to a lot of concerts lately, such as Arashi, Matsushita Yuya, Mayday, and MAYBE Big Bang. I am going to Hong Kong for New Year’s, and I get to see a lot of friends in December and January. I am going to see the Catching Fire movie, probably in January, and yes, it’s way after everyone else, but I still get to see it. And I am going to see the Persona 3 movie on Sunday.

I have cute students and my creative juices are flowing, and I almost have a completed first draft of a novel. I have a lot to be thankful for and I am going to try a lot harder to stop worrying and accept my feelings as they come.

I hope everyone has a beautiful holiday and a great day no matter where you are, who you are with, or what you are celebrating today. Try to say hi to someone on the street. It just might make their day.

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