FOMO and decidophobia describe me. Now, that I think of my worst qualities…how they ask that in interviews-those are my absolute worst qualities.
“We walked to dinner, ate together, and talked nearly the whole time. I was amazed that I had as much in common with her as I did. I’d been raised mostly in a completely different country, yet we were so similar.”
― J.M. Richards
This could not be more true especially with the people I have come across so far in Japan.
Tom taught me about FOMO. Fear of Missing Out. The fear of missing out held me down my entire life. You know, the fear of missing out on…births, birthdays, holidays, celebrations, tragedies, memories, children growing up, but most of all missing out on TIME. Likely, time with you-the person reading this. Time passes too fast and time is the only thing that never stops. The thought of having a defined amount of time with people who I care about scares me deep down to the core. You could tell me I have 1 year left with my parents or 45 years. There is no differentiation in the way it makes me feel thinking about having 365 days with people I love or 16,425 days with them. If I could see the future, I wouldn’t. I worry about it so much though, you would think I already know what is to come. I hate to leave because there may not be a defined amount of time I have with the people I love…but there is a limit to the amount of time each of us has. How can something that NEVER stops [time] be LIMITED?! That cannot and should not be…but that’s life and that’s the danger in FOMO. It sucks you in and traps you. My biggest anxieties revolve around these thoughts. It’s not just because I’m in a different country. These are anxieties that I have every single day-no matter where I am in the world. I guess to me FOMO means-I have to live my LIFE while others [lives] will go on without me, as they should. But, I should too. I don’t have my own family (I have MY family)…so I feel like I miss out on home. But when I leave-it’s just me leaving so everybody who stays is with their families and grounded lives. They continue to function and they don’t have that feeling of “fear of missing out” because they remain in their constant, routine life. Maybe you do have the FOMO, but I don’t feel like anybody has the fear of missing out with me-and I have the fear of missing out with so many people…especially the children that are growing so much each day…
One of my favorite lyrics from the Insane Clown Posse….
“Enjoy youth, cause that you don’t get back! Forever revolves around you. That’s your time, I’m living in mine too
How much positivity are you blind to? You only live once I’ll remind you!”
– This song is called FOREVER. If you get a chance, listen to it. This was the first time I felt like it was expected that each person be selfish, because this is our only life. It’s your time and I’m living in mine too. That hits home for me. Forever-ICP
Decidophobia-the fear of making decisions. Also me. I’m scared to make decisions because I think about what could happen either way. The amount of situations my brain goes through- makes some decisions not worth making.
My dad taught me that if I don’t make the decision, it will be made for me.
From tiny decisions to the biggest of decisions. I’ve always preferred that the choice is made for me. However, that is one thing I hope to be changing. Now when I want to say no, I say no. Which I wish people here would do too. I hate the thought of people doing something they don’t want to-even though I did that for too long. The biggest decisions are the hardest. Those decisions I usually think about what I want to do-and do the opposite. Prime Example…When people say pick a hand…I will point to the right and and before seeing what is in it I will say I want the left hand. Or Visa-versa. Heads or tails-I might pick tails and then I do what Heads was for. Some might say its a quark of mine. I’m indecisive and I’m scared of making the wrong decision. Every single day I have these fears. Do you? Apparently, not all humans get these fears/yucky feelings. Some people make it through the day without worrying, overthinking, or contemplating every choice that they make.
If you are one of those people who walks confidently in the direction of your dreams…be kind. Some people have to find the courage to get out of bed each day or the strength to make it through the day. I don’t struggle to get out of bed…I struggle to go to bed. I don’t need strength to walk out the door-I needed strength to get here.
Now-I plan on making my own decisions and instead of missing out on your life…living my own life. I want to be happy with 1 day at a time instead of worrying about the next 365. Of course, that is easier said than done. Everything in my daily life is easier said than done. Japan was not an option for me. It was pivotal step for me to grow and it was the easiest decision I have ever made. “They say” the right choice and the easy choice are not often the same…in this case “they” were wrong.
If I could rewind life-like a tape (Little Eminem knowledge) …I would have started exploring the world much earlier. The world is HUGE and I have barely seen any of it…yet I’m overwhelmed with new experiences/people/norms each day! I’m thankful to be right where I am. I probably wasn’t ready for a journey like this until now.
People do not show emotion here. I am a walking/talking basket of every emotion. I show emotion. I’ve cried several times. People do not say anything-I think they are unsure of how to react when seeing someone crying.
Sometimes people stare at me. Sometimes I stare at people. I observe more than I DO so that I can see how things are done. I hear the less you talk, the better. But when I cannot understand the language that especially seems true.
Before I came to Japan I was told a few things. . .
People will touch you-and your hair. I have had less human contact in the past three and a half weeks than ever in my life.
People will stare-mostly the children stare at me. At home when I smile a children they smile back…I smile at everybody here and I find it special when people smile back-like we are made of the same cloth.
My newest and most favorite thing is ONOMATOPOEIAS!! In Japan, dogs say wan-wan…cats say nyaa-nyaa and when you are nervous (good like butterflies or bad like moths in your belly) it is doki doki!!!!!!
Japanese culture is work oriented-100X YES. I cannot believe the amount of time that the people here put into their jobs. That’s why I smile at EVERYBODY…because people have such LONG days…I want them to see one reason to smile (even if it is a foreigner that has no idea what she is doing or where she is going).
It makes me sad that people work so much. Fear of missing out is kind of related to the fear of being replaced. Everybody is replaceable (I don’t think so) but in the work place…if somebody leaves, they will be replaced. I hate that people spend their life working so hard that they lose their sparkle. If work makes you happy-GREAT but if you work because as adults we have to…you have to limit it. Work has to be limited because our TIME is limited.
I have not seen/heard much talk of mental health. It’s a pretty down low thing here. In the USA we are behind times with mental health…but as a teacher in the US, I talk to my students about their hearts, feelings, minds and how to keep themselves happy and healthy and what to do if they are not. I tell my students at home that I love them! Those children become apart of me-they change my heart and they need to know that. I don’t think that would be acceptable here (yet).
It takes generations to make big changes-but mental and emotional health is a change I will always be passionate about. Nobody wants/chooses to be effected by mental/emotional issues…Life is just hard. I hope to be a person here that people can be open and comfortable with. Comfortable enough to share emotions that they have never had the chance to identify or put into words. Without people to love and support me, I cannot imagine living a happy and healthy life. The United States is behind in my opinion…however, we rank number 38th out of 177 countries for our suicide rate.YIKES. It has impacted my life in indescribable ways and the loss of these people/children to suicide is the most heart shattering event. Japan ranks 18th on this list. Japan has one of the highest rates for suicide. It is the leading cause of death in people under 30. Most of the lives I touch here will be people under 30…this is why every single interaction with people is important…it could be life altering, for the better. People are special, especially children.
Children are not all given the same opportunities but I hope to help every child I interact with find their own special sparkle. Adults too, because sometimes we lose our happy wandering down the road of life.
I hope that I remind every person I come in contact with that they ARE ENOUGH. Life is hard enough without the pressure. Be kind to people.
My dad comes tomorrow. He helps me find my sparkle. I hope I remind him of his too. Missing my people, as usual but finding myself in the mist of missing you. I can’t wait to show my dad the wooded area, wild cats, the most wild kmart/ross/walmart like store and see how shy he gets when people talk to us and we both have no idea what they are saying. I’m looking forward to the adventures we will have. My dad will probably end up showing me around Japan-even though I’m the one that lives here. Maybe I can let him ride on the back of my bicycle. Hah.
I have about 2 hours until my first typhoon. I was out riding my bike and the wind about blew me off. 🙂 I was laughing as I rode thinking [great here comes fall number 2, good thing my bike insurance started yesterday]!! Most days I am riding along laughing and if not laughing, smiling. I had lost that and it is something I am so happy to have found again.
A few quick learnings/things I want to tell you!!!!
The toilet paper holders here are GENIUS, we are behind the times with toilet paper holders. Pretty much the whole bathroom experience from the “privacy sound” effects to the spray and wash is oddly amazing.
Kids play/laugh/cry and throw fits the same-everywhere in the world (I know, you knew that) but I’ve come to appreciate that.
I have a doorbell/speaker phone really at my apartment, like HAPPY GILMORE…
When you buy something-you bag it yourself at MOST stores. If it is bagged for you, the bag is tapped closed. Prevents theft. Wow.
You buy refills here instead of new plastic containers. (detergents, shampoos…)
You must carry 1+ towels with you when you leave out the door. Every part of your body will sweat and you will shower 1+ times a day. Once a month laundry is no longer a choice for me…it is more like daily (due to a far less amount of clothing here with me and far more amounts of stinky sweat). At home I could probably do laundry once every six months because I have too many clothes that I never wear. Here, I wear multiple outfits a day.
When you use a public bathroom, you can use one of your towels to dry your hands-no paper towels.
Bike parking-2 hours free is one of life’s little gifts.
I saw a building that said CHAMPION and I was so excited. I’ve seen some champion sweatshirts for sale here that I’m sure I still own back home. I rode my bike to this giant [champion] building. It was a place to play Pachinko (casino). Hah. Yet again, I rode away laughing out loud.
Clothing gear that is the freshest- Fila, Champion, Lee. Self explanatory. Oh, also OVERALLS which I don’t think ever went out of style. Obviously, because I never stopped wearing them 🙂
Hope this finds you happy and healthy and SPARKLING bright. Life is hard. Share it with people who make you feel good and it becomes easier. Find the magic in the people you choose.