“When was the last time you did something for the first time?” A question that’s been running through my head for ages. Well, it’s been so long since I did something for the first time. You could say, I have a routine life. I’m not complaining though. I actually like everything in my life. I have my family and friends to spend time with. However, I can’t help but think, ‘Is there something else in store for me in the future?’. Luckily, after the long wait, a great opportunity has finally arrived and changed my life.
At the beginning, I felt overwhelmed and at the same time exhilarated. But, after the elation subsided, I started feeling apprehensive. Don’t get me wrong – it’s an incredible opportunity. But, it entails a bigger responsibility. I was afraid I couldn’t be able meet what’s expected of me. However, I realized that, this kind of attitude would just bring me to nowhere. I should just embrace everything and perform to the best of my ability. Facing something new and making life changes are really scary. But, regretting is even scarier. I don’t wanna wake up one day, old and empty, regretting and asking all the ‘what ifs’. I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and welcome a new beginning, a new challenge. Hence, the start of my journey.
Starting this journey brought so many firsts in my life. One of them is being away from family. It’s not actually new to me, though. My parents live in another island and I don’t live together with my brothers, so we don’t usually see each other a lot. But then, this time is different. I would be really far away from them. Just the thought of leaving made me feel anxious. In addition, I would be entering a new country for the first time, a new environment with a different culture and lots of unfamiliar people. It’s indeed frightening. Nonetheless, I have a great support system I could depend on. So, I just reminded myself, what I’m doing now is also for my family.
I encountered a flood of firsts right after arriving as well. On top of the list is riding a train. I was so astonished at just the sight of it. It certainly exceeded my expectations. Oh well, you can’t blame a country girl whose life revolved around jeepneys and buses. Anyway, I was greatly dumbfounded one time, when I got on a jam-packed train on my way home. My colleagues told me, it’s actually normal especially during rush hour. At that time, I squeezed myself in and held a handrail for support. It was really a shocking experience. Additionally, I was thinking of pickpockets, but then, ‘Hey, this is already Japan!’, so I just shrugged off the idea and enjoyed the ride.
Another first is the use of “washlets”. Many people say, it’s one of the greatest inventions ever created. I thought so too! Although, I just hope they could have translations on each button, so, there won’t be any misunderstanding when foreigners use it. It’s a good thing there are visuals on the first washlet I used. It enabled me to identify which buttons to use. I’ve never seen such a convenient thing in my life. I could stay in a comfort room forever!
Anyhow, moving on to another highlight of my firsts, “celebrating my birthday“, away from my family and friends, in another country. It’s heartbreaking of course, being far from your loved ones. As you blow the candles on your cake, you don’t wish for yourself, but wish for everything and everybody at home to be okay. That’s a reality we couldn’t change. I’m just so glad that there are people whom I could run to whenever I feel down or homesick. Anyway, don’t mind me being overly dramatic. This is a time to become stronger and face every challenge head-on.
As I continue this new chapter in my life, I’ll come across more “firsts” and would gladly accept everything there is to experience. Whether it be positive or negative, I’d wholeheartedly embrace and learn from them. With this in mind, I feel motivated and excited of the new memories I would create and the new adventures to begin. After all, we need something to look forward to, right?