August 31st, 2016
Heyyyyy, it’s been AGES since I’ve blogged here. But I’m doing so now for a couple reasons:
- We’re not in Japan anymore! We’re back in DC, at least for a year.
- Today at the grocery store, a lovely woman named Kara (or is it Cara? Hi, Kara/Cara! It was so nice to meet you!) politely asked if I happened to be Bethany, and when I confirmed that I was, she said, “I read your blog!” :D
Sadly, I’ve basically abandoned this blog. It’s partly because Flickr changed so much that I didn’t like using it anymore, and Flickr was a big part of how I used to blog. And Facebook and Instagram sort of became a blog substitute for me. And then Rainbow told me to get on tumblr, and I did, and I found my people there. (If you find me on tumblr and follow me, feel free to send me a message telling me you used to read my blog!)
Another big part of the reason I stopped blogging is that the first year we were in Japan, I was pretty unhappy and probably depressed. I didn’t particularly want to go to Japan (nothing against it, Japan is a lovely country, but I’d never had any particular interest in it). But even more than that, I didn’t want to leave San Diego, and I definitely didn’t want to leave San Diego a year and a half ahead of schedule like we did.
That first summer we were there, it was SO hot and humid (my least favorite kind of weather). And Troy was deployed for almost two months in a row, so we missed him terribly, and I was in a strange country and we were living in a mess of half-unpacked boxes because I did what I could but there was a lot I needed Troy’s help to get done. And then Robin Williams died, and Mike Brown was killed and all the craziness was happening in Ferguson and around the country, and it all swirled together into this big stew of misery.
I did what I needed to do every day, I made sure my kids were fed and clothed and homeschooled, and that the bathrooms got cleaned once in a while. But that pretty much exhausted me, and I didn’t do much else. I barely crocheted the entire time we were there (I still owe my friend Erin’s son Atticus a baby blanket, and he turned 2 in May, oops), I rarely baked because my kitchen was frustrating, and I couldn’t paint pottery because there were no pottery-painting places in Japan, at least not the kind I like. I made a few casual friends, but no one I was close with.
So yeah. That first year in Japan was tough, but we got through it. And we got next-door neighbors the second summer we were there whom we really clicked with and loved, and they helped make our second year in Japan a lot more enjoyable.
Our second year in Japan, I did enjoy myself a lot more. I think a lot of that had to do with time, and becoming more familiar with and comfortable in the culture. By the time we left, I genuinely loved Japan and would happily travel back there for fun anytime. I think I wouldn’t even mind living there again, honestly, and would definitely make more of an effort to learn the language. (Because we lived on a US base and in a sizeable city, we were able to speak English almost everywhere we went. When we went places where people didn’t speak English as much, we mostly got by with the words we did know, and Google Translate. How did people manage before the internet and smartphones!?) We had lots of friends and family come visit us, too, which was fantastic. We got to do some really fun sight-seeing with them (my kids have now been to Tokyo Disney more often than they’ve been to Disneyland, heh), and it meant a lot to us that so many people were willing to come all the way to Japan to see us.
Anyway, now we’re in DC again, and we’re happy to be here! The Navy is sending Troy to grad school, again, and both girls are old enough now (Annalie turned 12 in May, and Elliora will be 6 in November) to enjoy museums and monuments, so we plan to enjoy ourselves as much as we can while we’re here.
Oh, and Elliora got her ears pierced today, and Annalie got hers double-pierced. They were both champs.
I can’t promise I’ll be blogging here much in the future, but I might show up every now and then. Otherwise, you can find me on twitter, instagram, FB, and tumblr. I hope you’re all well!