It feels odd, to say the least, realizing that I’ve been living in Japan for more than half a year already. There are a lot of circumstances and things lately that remind me that I really haven’t been in my home country in 6 months. Even now I occasionally end up having to stand still in the middle of the street as I realize that I am on the other side of the world. It’s become such a daily occurrence for me to be speaking in Japanese, to go visit a Conbini and buy some Onigiri for whatever I have planned today, to have an insane amount of Anime lined up to watch on my Netflix account or even to just see Hiragana and Kanji everywhere around me. It was clear that eventually living here would feel normal to me, but the occasional realizations of that having happened are what truly makes it special.
Before I left Germany I talked to my counselor (I believe this is the word that best describes what she did for me) about why exactly I wanted to go to Japan. Not concerning why specifically Japan, but rather what drove me to go to such lengths in the first place. I believe my answer was actually quite true to how I thought about it, something I’ve gotten a lot better at thanks to said counselor. If I remember correctly it was that I wanted distance from everything in Germany to further find myself, as that had been what I was working towards for the longest time. I also added that I wanted to be more self-reliant, although if I’m honest that was the much smaller point.
I should add here, that finding yourself is an impossible task to begin with. The ‘self’, to me, is such a fluent being, that I don’t think ‘finding yourself’ is quite the right way to word this and I’ll instead rephrase to how my counselor would usually say it: “Living yourself”. I believe that we all know who we are and that none of us need to find out, but rather that we need to stop hiding it. At the very least, that’s how it was for me and that is what I came to Japan to do.