Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Scrapbooking Online Class - Part 4

The class was four weeks and we had an assignment each week. I was so busy that last week since classes at work had started and I was also preparing to start maternity leave. I was kind of lucky to have come across this piece that I wrote about a year ago for one of my classes. I was asked to write about the theme "The Road Less Traveled" since my students were studying the poem in their English class. I had always wanted to use the essay again, in some way, and found a perfect excuse to use it on a scrapbooking page. Yes, I did cheat a little because I didn't write it specifically for the on-line class.

Journaling for the "The Road Less Traveled"
When I was a high school student, I suddenly made a decision. I wanted to study abroad for one year. I applied to an exchange program, but my parents thought I would not be accepted. They were very surprised when I got accepted. Then, they had to start worrying about me and my future path.

At that time, I didn’t know that this decision would affect the rest of my life, but it did. While living in Japan, I came to understand the culture and language a little. I also made some great friends. I learned a lot about myself as well. But, most importantly, I fell in love with a Japanese boy in my class.

After I returned to America, I finished high school and then went to university. I tried so hard to live an ordinary life. My parents encouraged me to live a normal life too. But, to be honest, I was not satisfied. I often thought about Japan, the language and culture, my old friends, and of course, the Japanese boy I fell in love with. I sometimes regretted that I had studied abroad in high school at such a young age. I wondered what it would be like to live a normal American life.

When I was 24 years old, I made a big decision. I decided to marry that Japanese boy, move back to Japan and change my life forever. Sometimes, I envy my American friends back home who are living normal lives. What are they doing? They go to graduate school, they have BBQ parties with their friends, they go shopping at their favorite stores, they get married and buy houses, they can communicate easily with their husbands, and so on.

Instead, I am a foreign wife living in Japan. I have to speak Japanese a lot every day. Sometimes, my husband and I don’t understand each other and we become very frustrated. I have to eat Japanese food a lot, and I can’t shop at my favorite stores. We have to live in a small apartment because houses are too expensive. I can’t talk to my mother every day because of the time difference between Tokyo and Wisconsin. If I want to call her on the telephone, I have to wait until the weekend, and it’s expensive.

Sometimes, I do regret that I took the road less traveled. It is hard, frustrating and sad. But, there are good things about it too. I have learned so much about myself, other people and the world. My husband and I have a strong relationship because we have to make so much effort to understand each other. Yes, my life might be easier if I lived in America and married an American guy, but I don’t know if I would be happier. I think I am a stronger person because of my decisions.


Girl Japan said...

Oh... sorry I did not read your post in full but I noticed you have a "French Bulldog" too?

Gina said...

I never knew you were an exchange student in Japan. See, I learned something new. Have a wonderful weekend. : )