the countdown begins

It’s been a while since I last wrote and a lot has changed since then. For example, I finished my last day at Eureka High School, forever! It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but a while from now I’ll feel depressed, but not now! Now I work fifty hours a week on my dad’s organic farm, weeding, harvesting, mulching, sweating, laughing…it’s difficult work, but it definitely keeps my mind occupied and prevents me from stressing about Japan too much. But my brain still finds time to worry about anything and everything that might or might not happen in Japan next year. Some nights I can’t get to sleep because I keep thinking of what would happen if I didn’t get to my next plane during my layover in Toronto. It’s all sinking in that my trip is actually reality and I’m not dreaming it all up and right now, that’s terrifying for me.

As the date of my departure -August 17th- looms closer and closer, I am starting to prepare myself mentally for Japan. I recently bought six Japanese magazines, for instance, and I am currently reading them cover to cover, making sure to read a little bit before I go to sleep every night. In this way, I am studying Japanese culture and fashion, as well as stepping up my Japanese reading skills. I have also decided to write bits and pieces of Japanese every day, also, because I am forgetting some kanji and also because I know the Japanese curriculum in Japanese high school next year will be exceptionally difficult.

I still am in the dark on what part of the country I am going to in a few months, and the anticipation is killing me. There are so many possibilities of where I could be placed and those possibilities appear and disappear in daydreams, constantly. But I also know that I will be content anywhere I am placed in Japan, so I try not to set my heart on a particular city or area in Japan. I hope to know this month, or at the latest in July.

I know, deep down, that everything will turn out as planned, but somewhere in my mind I’m worrying that it won’t. I worry that my flight will be cancelled, that my host family placement will not be made, that I won’t be going to Japan after all…and these possibilities terrify me. As much as I desire this study abroad year to happen, however, I wish I could have more time here to prepare. It’s happening too quickly now…

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