Happy New Year everyone! A lot has happened in the past almost two months it has been since I’ve written my last blog post. I’ve gone through probably what I hope to be some of the hardest periods of transition – being here over the holidays – and have also gone on one of the best vacations of my life. I want to start off this post by sharing something I’ve realized about myself while being here, that is more on the personal side but important I think to share.
There is this thing that they do here that I’ve never really experienced before and every time it happens I always think to myself “Wow, why do I get so emotional doing this?” Whenever it is someones birthday at work, we get the person a cake, sit down, and all go around and say palabras (words) about that person. This seems like a simple thing, right? So did I… until I realized I’ve never in my life been forced to sit down, look someone in the eyes and tell them why I care about them in front of a group of people, especially a coworker. Of course I’ve told someone why I care about them before, but it’s never been something I’ve had to do, and at least for me, it tends to happen more so in writing than in person. I quickly realized during these birthday gatherings that I get emotional when telling someone something even as simple as “Thank you for welcoming me here, your passion at work really inspires me.” I didn’t understand why I started to tear up and because of that confusion, I caught myself trying to figure out why… why do I get emotional when I tell someone how I feel about them? It’s not something that should be hard to do, but it always has been something that’s hard for me. I don’t know if it is because of my Japanese background, personality, past experiences, or just a combination of it all, but it’s something I’ve realized about myself and become more aware of these past 4/5 months. I still don’t exactly know why, but I think one of the reasons I get emotional is because when I tell someone why I care about them, I’m exposing a part of myself I don’t usually show, and that’s difficult for me. It’s not something I think about on a daily basis; what about a person makes me love them. I know when someone is an important person to me, but to explain what exactly it is about them that makes me care for them is not something I usually think about, because I don’t necessarily have to, because I’m not forced to tell them. It’s made me think more about the people in my life, why they are in my life, and why it is I’m so grateful for them.
This whole story and realization is not something I necessarily feel comfortable sharing, but that’s what this year is about – not feeling comfortable – so I thought it was something I should share. It’s just one of the many things my time here has forced me to think about and realize I need to work on. I’m learning how important it is to tell others how you’re feeling, not only about them but about yourself and what you’re going through. Just being more open in general to people. There is only so little time that we get with people and get the chance to open up to them and I’m quickly learning that as the months pass by here.
On another note, we had a week long vacation from the 25th of December to the 1st of January and I took that time to visit Cusco! One of my oldest friends from high school, Rachel Gilmore, was able to come down and travel around with me and we had an amazing time. We visited Machu Picchu – such an incredible day – and explored the city of Cusco (I’ll add some photos at the end of the post). I hadn’t seen her in two years so it was really incredible to reunite in such a beautiful place and be able to catch up on each others lives. I feel so grateful to have shared that experience with her in a country that is becoming a big part of my life.
Thank you for reading my wandering thoughts of today, and thank you for your continuous support! Below are some photos from the past couple of months!