Sunday, August 7, 2011

I'm not sure that I am living for myself yet. But I want to be. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happiness is overrated.

I was just thinking about happiness today. Our happiness is fickle. We always want more than we have, going to whatever lengths we think we need to, to make ourselves happy. We want the people we love to go to any and every length possible to make us happy and if they don't, we look for it somewhere else. Most of the time, not even taking their feelings or emotions into context at all. And overlooking small or big things they do if we don't feel completely satisfied with our lives. Moving on, thinking the grass is always greener on the other side. But, what if it's not? What if we're just destroying our lives and/or our happiness just trying to feel happy? We're gluttonous by nature, it's engrained in us. I wonder what would happen if people just stopped and basked in the moments that they were happy, and then when they're not feeling especially happy, could just pull those moments out of the memory bank. Instead of always wanting more, could just appreciate what we do have. Would our lives feel more fulfilled? Could we stop always wanting more than we have? Or is it impossible? I really don't know. And I've said "we" through this whole post because I'm guilty of searching for happiness too. But what if we're searching for something that we've already got and we're just not capable of realizing it?

Lately I have been bouncing back and forth from the extremes of being completely happy to a complete jumbled mess of emotions. Random things like this have been bouncing around in my head. I want to feel completely happy and to be able to make others feel completely full of happiness. I'm just starting to wonder if it's even possible.

Monday, April 18, 2011


What I've learned so far...

you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for the rest of your life.

it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

you should always leave loved ones with loving goodbyes. It may be the last time you see them.

you can keep going long after you think you can't.

 we are responsible for what we do and say, no matter how we feel.

either you control your attitude or it controls you.

heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of consequences(I'm looking at you, Fukushima power plant workers).

sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn't stop for your grief.

our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different. Perspective is a personal and an amazing thing.

even when you think you have no more to give, when someone you care about cries out to you, you will help.

credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

love really can change everything.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Self-teaching myself a new language.

Alright, so I really have to come clean right now. I've been living in Japan for a little over a year. I still only speak limited Japanese and can't read it. Correction, I can now read 20 of the basic hiragana characters. I don't know why. I feel like I've basically let myself down while living here so far.

I got all 3 levels of Rosetta Stone six months before moving to Japan. Yep, I've had it since September of 2009. Can we say wtf am I doing not speaking Japanese then? But in my defense, there were some problems with the tracking file in the program, so it would always make me repeat lessons I had already completed and wasn't tracking how far I'd gotten in the lessons at all. After a few frustrating phone calls to the Rosetta Stone customer service line, they reset the pin for the program. So basically. Uninstall, reinstall. Luckily for me, I didn't have to do any uninstalling since I was just going to put the reset program on my new macbook. Um....anyways. I just did that. Installed it on the mac. Like, two days ago. I've had this computer for, oh.....6 months. Haha. 6 months seems to be the trend in this story. But sadly, no. The whole one year thing is the trend. One year living in a foreign country, surrounded by it daily, and I'm still not speaking it.

Oh, a little off-topic rant. I've always hated when people in the US declare "Learn English or get out" or "I shouldn't have to press one for English, this is America!" Well, you know what. You all can suck it with that attitude. It's difficult living in a foreign country and not knowing the language. But you know what....I'm a foreigner in Japan. And maybe some of them feel that way, but to my face everyone is extremely accommodating for me, since I don't speak Japanese. I hope all of you that say that never, ever go on vacation or live abroad anywhere unless you are completely fluent in the language. But wait, even if you do, they should speak English for you, right? Because it's the universal language? Ha! Until you've lived it, you have no idea how frustrating, difficult, and embarrassing it can be when you don't know how to say something that you need/want to. I'm actually loathing going back to the states because of the rude attitudes everyone has in America. Seriously. Hate me if you must. But it's true. I'm going to have culture-shock upon returning because I'm not going to be used to everyone being such self-involved, unaccommodating twats all the time. (No, I know this doesn't apply to everyone in the US. But compared to here....a lot of people seem mean and self-absorbed.) Oh, and P.S. Unless you're Native American, someone along the line in your family was a foreigner in America, too. Just a heads up. *Steps down from the soapbox*

Phew! Sorry about that. Anyways. My mom got me these amazing self-teaching workbooks for hiragana and katakana for Christmas. I cracked one of them maybe twice before, but it was a half-hearted attempt. Well, I'm diving in head first. I've already learned and memorized 20 basic hiragana. From there I'll move to the basic 46. And then the derivatives of those. From there I'll move to Katakana characters. And then Kanji. And so forth. While also doing speaking lessons, so I can read, write and speak it. My goal is to pass the JLPT 2....sometime within the next couple years. It's going to be hard work. But I want it. Why? Because then I can work internationally. I could translate for people. I would be certified bilingual. Yes, there is a JLPT 1 test. Yes, I would love to pass it. I've heard it's extremely difficult. If I can pass 2, I'll be happy. And probably at least try to pass one then. By the way, there are 5 levels of the JLPT. Gotta start from the bottom at 5. I'm making it a priority to study everyday, at least for a little bit. You can't learn a new language without really putting in some effort, especially a difficult one like Japanese. But I want to speak it. I want to be able to write it, read it, type it....everything. And hopefully it will be beneficial to me in my life.

So....that's the news. Teaching myself Japanese. I'll try to update as I progress. Maybe even in Japanese? :]

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Your Love is Beautiful.

Love is a funny thing. You expect it to be easy. You expect it to be a world of roses and laughs and perfect moments that you only find in movies. You expect her to always say the right thing, and always know exactly how you feel, or exactly how to react to it. You expect her to calm you down when you're yelling or to chase you when you run away. You expect so much that you feel entirely, and utterly defeated when something doesn't exactly match up with all your plans. But that's the thing. Love isn't a plan. It doesn't have a certain beginning and it certainly has no end or visible finish line to those deeply in it. 

Love happens; it is so incredibly messy. People around you can't comprehend why you do the things you do, or why you fight so hard for something that seems to cause you so much pain, because simply, they can't see. They can't see the invisible ring of insanity that surrounds you when you're in love. It's inconvenient and painful and devastating at times, but we can't live without it. What you don't learn is how hard love is. How much work it takes. How much of ourselves we have to put into it. How it isn't worth it until we are complete and utter idiots about it.

Love isn't her calming you down when you yell. It's her yelling, just as loud, just as hard, right back at you, right in your face to wake you up and to keep you grounded. It isn't her/him bringing you roses everyday or cute things that make your relationship appear more presentable. 

It's after a long fight, that drains the life and bones right out of you both, and yet her showing up at your door the next morning anyway. It's not her saying all the right things or knowing exactly how to handle you. So no, it's not her caressing your hair and telling you everything is going to be alright. It's her standing there, admitting she's just as scared as you are. You have to remember that with love, you're not the only one involved. You've unknowingly put your life, your heart into the palms of another persons hands and said, here. Do what you will. Mash it into mince meat. Or forget I ever handed it to you. As long as you have it. 

It makes us crazy. It makes reality invisible and it erases all the lines that we shouldn't cross. Because love isn't about fencing ourselves in; feeling safe, feeling sure about the future. It's about scaring the shit out of every nerve in our body, but pushing forward anyway. Because all the fighting and all the tears and all the uncertainty is worth it. And it's a hell of a lot better, than being 100% happy without someone to show us that there is a world of a difference between feeling 'happy' and feeling whole. 

-Andrew Landon

Monday, March 28, 2011

Master Bedroom Revamp.

I'm in severe dislike with my bedroom. I hate the wallpaper, but it's a rental house so can't really do anything about that. The windows are placed oddly in the space and along with the huge floor-to-ceiling closets, leave very little room to rearrange furniture without it looking completely weird.

I've bought a new bed. I need a new mattress because the queen size one I have is apparently too small for the queen size bed I've bought in Japan. I've got my eye on a memory foam mattress. One of the bedding sets I've been drooling over for the past year has went on holy-crap sale (we're talking less than half of what the original price was), and now I'm anxiously awaiting to see if they'll ship it here if I buy it, since the website doesn't have information on shipping policies. If not, I'm going to have to see if my mom can ship it or bring it with her when she comes to Japan at the end of April, because I want. So so much. I'm just hoping they don't sell out before they write me back on shipping policies. Along with that comes new sheets, which they don't have flat sheets in Japan, so....again ordering and shipping from the states. Blah.

I think I've figured out the lighting situation. I hate fluorescent lights and they're in every single room in my house, except for the tatami room and shower. I prefer the warmer, more yellow cast of light. I had an eyesore of a lamp in my room because of it. And tonight made a pendant lamp into a table lamp that I dig quite a bit. It's big, but cool. I'm on the hunt for some really cool fabric to make no sew curtains with, but only if I get my drool-worthy bedding. A new dresser would be nice, or at least a different clothes organizing plan since my dresser now does not match my bed at all. A big full length mirror is on the wish list, along with a cool area rug. I'd love a vanity/dressing table, but they're hard to come by in Japan and expensive if you do find them. That's on the "In my dreams" wish list. And then just awesomely fun accents to liven everything up a bit.

I hate waking up in the morning and not liking the way my bedroom looks. It's supposed to be my safe haven, my own little retreat from the world. I'm going to see how many things I can tick off on the wishlist to at least make it a "I kind of like it" bedroom.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Destruction & Devastation

As all of you know, Japan had a huge earthquake last Friday, March 11th. It was a 8.9 magnitude, the largest earthquake to ever be recorded in Japan's history and the 5th largest recorded for the world. About 30 minutes after the earthquake hit, a section of northeastern Japan was hit with 30 foot tsunami waves, leaving mass destruction and devastation behind.