It's the Little Things
Hello Hello~! I hope everyone is doing well and ready for yet another edition of me ranting about Japan and what that has been like! Today my focus is on the little things that I wish to highlight since I want to immortalize these moments in writing before I forget them and it all becomes a nice dream. One thing (who knows how obvious it is) is that I enjoy writing! I've enjoyed it most of my life, but it is also apart of how I process things mentally sometimes. When I write things down, once it is completed I close it and then feel like it gets entirely wiped from my memory. Its sort of scary! But comforting when I remember that now I can go back and read this and experience it for the first time all over again! When I don't write things down it makes me nervous that I'll just slowly forget those moments and then that'll be it. So today is dedicated to all of the little moments I want to keep and hold tight for as long as possible!
And a quick explanation of the title for today "青春だいよね？" since the reasoning behind it is just a small conversation I had with a friend about the concept of "青春"(せいしゅん/Seishun) or "youth". It's this feeling of youth, and how certain things are just apart of that sort of "I'm figuring things out" stage of life, however long that may be. It's a messy, volatile time that can have moments of light sprinkled in the chaos, and its those little moments that we hold onto. Those core memories that kinda make you go "Those were the days" as you kiss your teeth in acknowledgement at how different things are now. So yeah, these will probably be moments that I'll look back on and do just that since they were certain things I latched onto during my day to day.
Walks back home
Let me set the scene. As a kid who usually took the bus to and from school, walking home alone after a fun day there was one thing I always wished for a few times and that was to walk home from school and hang out with my friends for a bit. It may seem a bit silly but I really thought it was something cool since there was that little bit of time between being out of school and heading home where you can just be with your squad and talk about whatever. When I got here to Japan, taking the bus to University in the morning I always saw the groups of students rushing to make sure they weren't late and I found it fairly entertaining since that is probably a conversation to talk about with friends. I got to have my little moment after classes when I just walked with my friends to Book Off. Just walking and talking about nonsense—and this was a core memory for me. One of my favorite memories in fact. Because after we goofed around at Book Off, we went to Sushiro to have dinner together. And again I know this may all seem kinda mundane but this was absolutely one of my favorite memories from being in Japan. It was really about the people I was with and what doing all of that with them made me feel and...without them I wouldn't have had that experience so shouts out to them. It was one of those moments that's hard to explain why it is so dear but you just had to be there to understand.
Another one of these moments that I'll hold dear would be a collection of things: Any time I played games with the people around me, whether that be a video game, board or card game. All of these things brought people together like no other, and it allowed for me to interact with so many people even if they were worried about a language barrier. If we knew the game then there was a shared language through that and that was all that mattered! I've previously mentioned that I got really good at Othello since being in Japan and ironically the person I played against all the time got into one last match with me--and we tied. Sort of full circle moment since it signified that we had grown equal in skill at the game.
Like I mentioned, this isn't just referring to board games but just any sort of game since they are a big past time of mine and its always fun to share something you love with those around you! So every chance I had got I was playing videogames with people just to laugh about the outcomes. It was always an amazing feeling being able to speak the language of well...the game with others since it really is a giddy feeling when someone else plays the same game as you and you barely need words to explain things to each other. My games of choice were "Yugioh Master Duel", "Mario Kart", and "Overcooked" since they were just the things I've been into lately. But heading to game centers also became something I did often with people, always roping them into playing "Dance Rush Stardom" with me since it quickly became my favorite arcade machine. But honestly it didn't even matter the game since what really mattered were the feelings we shared along the way~!
This may once again seem like a strange shout out in particular but I don't think I've talked about it much. Watching TV with my host family will be something that I miss since before going to Japan I did not really watch tv that much at all. But it was something about waking up and watching the news and the weather in the morning while eating breakfast that was so warm to me, and it became a routine. I would always groggily remark "おはいよございます。。" With a deep and tired voice before regaining some energy by time it came to play rock paper scissors with the tv host since that was always something I looked forward to. I would write down words I didn't know and ask my host mom about the meanings of random things I didn't understand. One cute thing was every morning there would be a dog of the day? And everyday there was an adorable dog doing something cute just...because. And it was great, I really did look forward to watching TV in the morning.
At nights the whole family also usually gathered to do the same thing—just around dinner this time. We usually had some sort of series we would together, an episode a night and man it was so much fun! We watched "Nodame Cantabile", "Don't Call It Mystery", and "Paripi Kongming" over the course of the semester and man did I look forward to it after a long day of just running around. There were even episodes that brought us to tears, which was really something because its been a while since I've had a piece of media evoke that level of emotion out of me. I teared up, but I think the reason I got emotional was because I would see my host mom and sister start crying and that was what really moved me. It just sorta hit me like "Wow...I should really let myself feel things more often."
Not Justice Enough
I should wrap up since there are just too many small moments that I'm sure will come back to me in a sudden flash from hearing a phrase or something to that effect. I could write and write down all of these moments and I'd probably fill up a book with how many different things I'd cherished with the people around me, but it wouldn't be doing it exactly justice like that in a strange way. This is perhaps me being more critical of myself but sometimes I hope that the words I write manage to invoke some sense of what these moments were like by comparison. I know these words can take me back in an instant to these times and by sharing it with all of you I hope I can do something similar, since I want to re-spark some of that magic in the world I feel like it used to have. These experiences were nothing short of magical to me, and I want to share that feeling with others through my words. I hope while joining me on this journey that this small moment is something to remember as well. So once again, Bye bye, Adios and じゃね~!
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I am an extroverted, amicable and overall goofy nerd who loves throwing herself in the deep end and coming back to tell the tale of how I did it! I love anything about culture, history and languages. I try to write for your enjoyment~