Today it literally hurts to sit, breathe, or move my head. I’m totally not exaggerating. Yesterday, Kyle and I were a part of a snowboard jam where we hit tons of different features in the park. Both of us took some pretty gnarly tumbles throughout the day as we perfected some of our latest tricks. I myself, fell off a tall rail, caught the back of my knees on the way down, slammed my tailbone on the rail, and got some awesome whiplash as I slid off the end of the feature. Was it worth it? Of course.
Why? Because Kyle and I get to do what we love to do. Yeah sure, it causes some arguments every once in a while, but overall, it is the dream life. There are tons of things and people we miss in the States and most of the time it’s rough being here and away from them. But we know this is the opportunity of a lifetime, so… we live it up. Of course there are things we don’t like about our jobs, the place we live, or the people here… but isn’t that true for everywhere a person goes? Kyle and I have chosen to really look up, and see the rad things in our life. We have tried really hard to reach out of our comfort zone and try new things that we would never have done at home.
People here tend to know us by the things we do, and sometimes even classify us as “those kind of people” (whatever ‘those’ is) which sometimes, can limit our friendships. I mean, how many times might you have said, “Meh, I’m not into that kind of thing. It’s not my scene. They seem nice, but you know, they are the kind of people who (insert whatever here), and I’m just not into it. We probably don’t have a lot in common.” I know I’m totally guilty of it myself. The best thing I learned when moving here, was how to throw that sort of thinking out the window. It really opens you up to a lot of great opportunities in life and destroys the limits that we’ve created for ourselves.
Last night Kyle and I had come back from his new job’s welcome party around 10. It was amazing, and we are totally stoked that his new coworkers/students/bosses are much more like a caring family than anything else. It is quite different from his last teaching job. We were dead tired, super sore, and just crying for our beds, but we needed a bit of downtime together first. I was lying on the floor, trying to figure out a way I could lay without it feeling horribly painful, watching Kyle search on Reddit. We were both complaining about how sore we were, when it hit us… Our life in hirosaki can be defined by one word: 楽しい.
Kyle and I have only very recently started studying Japanese, and it is not easy. He learned his vocab from the Tsugaru-ben world (a very local dialect), whereas I have learned most of mine from the professional teaching world. Between the two of us we can make some pretty decent, and sometimes funny sentences, almost all of which are poorly conjugated and spliced. But, there is ONE WORD in the Japanese language that he and I both can conjugate in absolutely any form… We have never studied it, never wrote it out ourselves, never practiced it. But the friends we’ve made, and the things we’ve done with those friends, have required us to know every single form of the word. That word, is 楽しい (tah-no-shee : fun/enjoy). That was fun, please have fun, it will be fun, we will have fun, I will have fun, was it fun?, it wasn’t fun, it isn’t fun, that looks fun, I want to have fun, let’s have fun, it’s fun, FUN.
No matter how temporary our life is here, I think that if we left JET and Japan only knowing how to conjugate this one word, simply because of the life we’ve lived here, then we’ve been lucky. I thank my god for this life.
Now, please enjoy this short collection of some of my funnest pictures from the last 2.5 years. 楽しいんでください (please enjoy them):