Being away from friends and family has gotten me down a bit lately.  It’s been a month, and the homesickness started to kick in.  Also, I think I understand what they mean by culture shock now.  I admit, I was starting to regret my decision just a little bit.  All I could think about was how long it would be until I could have a hug from my mom and my dad and my boyfriend, and my mind started to become physically tired from all the Japanese.  It’s exhausting to feel like you don’t understand a single thing in your life; when you don’t understand what anyone is saying, when you don’t know anything about where you are, when you don’t know anything about the people around you, and when nobody who truly loves you is by your side, and won’t be for another 11 months.  But then I remembered: I may not understand anything around me, but I understand myself.  It sounds so moral-y, but I honestly think it’s important to remember.  I need to remember it, and anyone else who encounters something out of their comfort zone needs to remember it.  So maybe I can’t speak Japanese as well as most people here, and maybe I don’t have any close friends or family here, but I’m on an adventure.  I can take risks, try new things, be brave.  Even Indiana Jones encounters obstacles.  I enjoy my company, and I have the drive to have fun; that’s why I’m here.
When you don’t understand something, ask a question.  When you feel lonely, seek companionship.  When you’re tired, sleep.  When you’re hungry, eat.  When you’re bored, try something new.  When you want to be back home, living the life you’re used to, learn about what Japan has to offer and remember why you came in the first place.
The littlest things are the easiest to forget.  Go ahead and forget a few vocabulary words, just don’t forget to be brave.  It brings great rewards.