Monday, August 15, 2011

Farewell, Sayonara, Goodbye

It has been four weeks since I left Japan.  Those four weeks have been some of the busiest of my life! Not only did I have to move back home, unpack and mentally wrap up my past year in Japan but I’ve also had to prepare for and transition into moving down to Virginia to begin seminary.  As soon as I unpacked my suitcases I had to fill them back up again!  Today begins my second week of orientation at Virginia Theological Seminary and I can already tell that it is going to be a wonderful experience.  However, it is only now that I am settling down and beginning a routine that I am noticing how strange it is to be back home.  I still sometimes find myself on the wrong side of the hallway or stairwell. I have more difficulty understanding professors who speak fast than I would have last year and the other day I was shocked to discover that I don’t have the worship service completely memorized in English anymore!  I know that these things will pass and soon I’ll lose the awkwardness of becoming reacquainted with a culture that I haven’t been around for a year. 
The past year was such a learning and growing experience for me.  I know that I’ll always remember how my YASC year gave me so many opportunities that I never could have imagined last year before I left.  Even now in seminary, I have to stop myself from talking about Japan constantly!  On my desk in my dorm room is a picture of some of the kids I taught English to every Friday of last year.  I love to look at it and remember the place I was living last month and the people that I got to know well over the course of last year.  Even if I return to Japan to visit, I’ll never again have an identical experience to my YASC year in Nagoya.  For me, that year only lives in my memories, pictures and stories.  However, that experience is now a part of my experiences and is therefore a part of who I am.  As I begin new adventures and new studies, I am better prepared because I carry with me the experience of my year in Nagoya.


  1. glad to know your YASC year wrapped up well, with bittersweet goodbyes and new beginnings. all the best as you begin at VTS. --Seth

  2. Aww Christen.... I hope things are going well in Virginia - I'm so excited for you. Your blog is an interesting preview of what re-entry might be like. Hmmm... I hope we can catch up soon and I CAN'T WAIT to seeyou in NYC!!!! <3

  3. Prayers continue as you maneuver all these transitions!