So I've been thinking lately about where I'm at and what I'm doing in life. Obviously, I'm in Japan, but it's more than that. Physically, I'm in Japan, but my head and heart have been in the US. Which I think is probably silly, because no matter what, we are only in Japan for a finite amount of time. I had been feeling really homesick, and kind of bitter about the military, darn them, they took me out of the country I know and love, and away from my family. Wahh wahh wahh, etc. But then I had a realization-I need to just stop and enjoy where I'm at. Yes, this is not my home country, yes, a lot of things are different, yes, Japanese people are......really nice, but almost....not sincere? I guess living in the southern US for the past ten years has kind of spoiled me! I've grown accustomed to people bending over backwards to be nice and accepting. People waved me on at a 4 way stop, people held doors, people waved it off when my kids acted badly, people always made excuses for me if I was not in the mood to do something, and so on. It's nice, but does it make me grow? Does it help me? No!
Now I'm not saying I don't love those people and their friendly, well meaning ways. I have made so many dear friends, and am thankful they were put in my life. But I do think that a little of this Japanese culture has been good for me and my family. My kids see Japanese kids walk around with no supervision (seriously, like, 4 and 5 year old kids walk/ride their bikes to stores that are waaaay farther than I would let my almost-7 and almost-9 year old go!), and they wonder why. It's hard to explain the cultural differences sometimes-apparently child pedophiles and kidnappings are unheard of here? And their road systems are so organized, people DO NOT jaywalk, EVER. They stop when the little red guy at the crosswalk light is red, and they go when he's green. It's that simple. So it makes sense for them, but not for my children, no way, no how. I guess part of me feels like I have not taught my children well enough for them to be able to do that. I feel like that about a lot of things. I guess I just need to realize that's part of life. And live with it.