Surrounded by new friends and old, in a jam packed British pub in Tenjin Fukuoka, I rang in 2015 with a hopeful heart. 2014 had seen me graduate, fall in love, fall out of love, be accepted into the JET program and move half way across the world to Nagasaki, Japan, and I was determined too make 2015 even better.
I hope to be happy.
I hope to explore and fall in love.
These were my hopes for 2015, and for the most part they were fulfilled. As I do most years, I started the year with high hopes, the vision of a new me and a new life pushing me forward. I wanted to test myself this year, and do everything I could to distance myself from the sadness that had filled far to many of my nights in November and December.
All in all 2015 was a busy year indeed for me, with many ups and downs and loopdy loops. Lets take a closer look at what happened and why, for me, it was a pretty memorable year.
Making my own happiness
One of the goals I had set for myself was to make my own happiness, especially when it came to relationships. Being a person of somewhat low self esteem when it comes to certain areas of my life, I always waited around for someone to make the first move, never wanting to assume anyone would like me or find me interesting. In February, however, an opportunity arose to challenge myself and I took it. I decided to take happiness into my own hands and to confess to a fellow ALT in Nagasaki, someone I played in the Ukestra with, that I had liked him for a while. The result? A kiss on my doorstep and an amazing boyfriend.
One of my other goals this year was to travel to at least two new prefectures in Japan, and I did it! Along with revisiting my old stomping ground of Kitakyushu where I spent my third year of University, I also ventured to new places in the summer of 2015. Let’s take a look at them all shall we:
May–Kitakyushu・北九州 Kitakyushu Adventures ✨
May– Oita ・大分 Oita flower garden ✨
July- Yamanashi・ 山梨 *Blog to come
July- Osaka ・大阪 *Blog to come
July- Kyoto ・京都 *Blog to come
December- Wales *Blogs to come
I Passed N3!
That’s right folks, you read correctly. In spring 2015 I finally decided to take JLPT, which is the standardised Japanese language proficiency test. Ranging from N5 being beginner to N1 being fluent, I decided to start off with N3, and am so happy to say I passed. I was so nervous, but I’m glad I did it and I’m looking forward to taking on N2 this spring.
Along with all the wonderful things that happened, however, 2015 brought a lot of stress, and in July, I was rushed in for an emergency operation. Initially I was a little nervous about having an operation in Japan, but ultimately I was happy to have it there, and after just under a week of amazing care, I was home and doing my best to recover for a friends upcoming wedding and going to Tokyo with Chad to meet his parents.
Stress at work
With my students and colleagues finally more comfortable with me and not so shy to converse with me, along with my own confidence growing each day, work was starting to go great. I began to enjoy my days, even when they were long and sometimes arduous. That is, however, until one teacher in particular began to make it his life’s goal to make me as unhappy as possible. This may be a little bit of an exaggeration, but I think towards the end this was not so far off the truth. The reasons for his sour behaviour is still unknown, and I don’t like to speculate too much, but a very cynical part of me feels it was because I was a young girl. It’s possible he was in a position of power and enjoyed it a little too much. Panic attacks became a constant, and on the days when I knew I would see him, getting out of bed seemed almost impossible. Thankfully though, due to his contract ending, in mid December he left and I could finally breathe again.
As you can see above in my travel section, this year, I made the decision to travel home for the holidays, and much to my surprise, as some of my avid readers will know, my boyfriend Chad decided to surprise me with the news that he would be traveling home with me. We’ve had the most amazing time too. After over a year away from my family and friends, country and culture, coming home and recharging my batteries was very much needed. While here, I’ve collected hundreds of pictures and many interesting stories to share with you, stories I can’t wait to share with you once I’m back in Japan and settled.
So there it is guys, a summary of my 2015. I hope you enjoyed this read an that you all had an amazing 2015. I wish you all an even better 2016, one filled with love, travelling and success.