20 Seconds of Insane Courage

“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.”

― Benjamin Mee

I believe in this with all my heart. I have experienced it, seen it and remind myself of this each day.

My first week of work has come to an end. The past five working days I had “English Workshop”. This is when junior high students come to learn/practice English. There were 6 or so ALT’s and we each had a group of 4-6 students.
These children were able to communicate using English and make huge progress in only five days! The bravery and courage these students showed was inspiring. I could have only dreamed of being that brave, that young.
These students are learning a new language. I am trying to do the same. They were able to get up, give speeches, laugh, learn new words, and continue to try even when it was incredibly challenging. At this point in my life I am able to say words and feel silly and embarrassed without giving up…but at their age I wouldn’t have even tried. I am blown away by this. Insane courage.

 

I have been befriended by wonderful people. People that are helping me grow and learn about myself and Japanese culture. Thelma is my friend I ran into at the store-who showed me how to get to the mall. She and her husband live here in Japan and have been accepting of me and willing to show me some new things such as my first public bath.
This was such an experience…I really cannot find the words to explain it-but I will try. Thelma’s husband, Satoru took me (before we went in he checked to see if tattoos were okay). On the way there he explained a few manners and do and do not do’s. I called Thelma beforehand as well because I was nervous as ever. She explained to me what it would be like…but even listening I still didn’t understand. At home we have NOTHING like this…maybe a public pool…?
Anyways. It is exactly what it’s called. A public bath. A place where people go and bathe. My best night of sleep was to follow. It is a cultural experience. I was so nervous…now I am thinking about what it might be like to take a foreigner, with tattoos, to an honorary place. I wonder who actually had the insane courage here…me or Satoru. Such accepting people who are willing to introduce me to things I never thought I would do.
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Another friend came and spent a day with me…teaching me some phrases, helping me with the buses and just talking to me. She’s got a special place in my heart…She took me on my first bus ride here-WOOOHOOO! We are going to go on some more adventures soon-she’s a great guide with the most genuine heart.
I have another friend here who I can call when I just want to talk or have a funny story to tell. Beautiful Angel I call her 🙂 She reminds me of my best friend-and I think she will be one of my greatest life long friends.
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I am still walking around with a smile on my face. I love the feeling of seeing/experiencing things for the first time. Every single day I am doing things for the first time…like a child growing up. I am trying new foods, hearing new words, learning a new language and learning what is right and wrong.
I found a little wooded area near me. It’s more like a wild jungle. It reminds me of my brothers. We use to play in the woods at our elementary school. They would LOVE these woods. The tree branches twist and turn, the roots have broken the ground and the stumps are huge. The bugs buzz loud, the dragon flies fly thick and the feral cats walk through these woods like it is their own jungle and they are lions/tigers.
my brothers…
Tom would explore these parts day or night. He would be the best exploration partner. I can’t wait to adventure with him here.
Dave would LOVE the people and the culture. He would fit right in and he would try everything.
Phil-he would enjoy the food. He wouldn’t even be nervous to order like I am 🙂
The sunflowers remind me of my mama. I see her in every flower.
The athletic complexes remind me of my dad. He never missed one of my games.
The tiny pick up trucks-they remind me of you!
I wish you could be here exploring with me. The world is so much bigger than I imagined and as my world gets bigger…I somehow become less lonely. Strange, isn’t it?
These are just a few of the people who cross my heart each day here in Japan.
I have the next week off from work. I was hoping to try and get to Okinawa but I think I better just get familiar with my surroundings and the city where I live. I hope to see the ocean soon and make it to the mountains.
Tonight I have made it up until 11:50pm…all my family is getting up for work while I am turning in for the night. I think maybe I am FINALLY adjusting to the time change.
Remember…20 seconds of embarrassing bravery.
illie
Until next time

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