The last few days have been a bit of a blur. I truly have NEVER felt so many emotions at one time. It was so hard to say goodbye to a place we called home for 4 years but also thrilling to see so much adventure ahead of us. Most of you reading this will know that anxiety is a daily battle for me and this HUGE change put me and my buddy anxiety to the test! But I made a promise to myself shortly after I had G (public site – keeping some things private) that I would never let her feel my anxiety or know that some days a fork out of place would send me into a tailspin. So as you can image making the decision to move to the other side of the world came with a lot of thought and preparation. I would continuously bounce between excitement and genuine WTF did I/we decide to do! Thank you (you know who you are) to all those that accepted my calls and texts during the many, many months leading up to the this adventure. I view this new life in Japan as just what I need to challenge myself to rebuild my confidence. I will not let anxiety define me or control my life. Everyday with the help of my sweet hubby, my faith and utilizing the tools I have learned, it gets a bit easier to put my fears aside and pursue happiness. Which brings us to the first few days in Okinawa.
The flights were better than expected, but we all agree there is no need to do that again for some time! We finally got to the hotel/apartment and settled around 0100 followed by waking up about 0600 and ready to take on Japan.
After taking a walk around our current neighborhood, we were picked up by my Sponsor (the fellow installation employee that has been walking me through the transition to Japan) and we headed on to Kadena Air Force Base to go grocery shopping as well as showing us around the base. Upon arriving back at our apartment the jet lag hit us and for me the exhaustion triggered some anxiety. I could see that we were in Japan but it just didn’t seem real yet and the reality that we were no longer a quick flight away from family/friends. The most challenging part has been not being able to drive were we want to go. It is a several step process to obtain a license and also we need to purchase cars. Which leads me to the other point, you drive on the left….. talk about intimidating! Needless to say the exhaustion lead to some racing thoughts and I needed to pull my life together! So after finally getting G to settle down for a rest, I focused on some deep breathing and prayer…. followed by waking up 2 hours later from a glorious nap! Life always is more manageable following a nap! Plus it was a very exciting time…. we were headed to pick up Opie!! It had been a long few weeks without him and long story short he really struggled being away. Despite losing a lot of weight and a small escape injury to his nose, he is doing just fine. Especially since he was reunited with his “best friend forever” as G refers to him.
By the time we picked up Opie, returned home and had some dinner G and I were past our prime and feel asleep around 2030….. followed by my eye lids being pulled open at 0230 with a mini me ready to take on the day. After some early more grapes and some family chats, we got out the lavender oils for our diffuser (way to go hubby for bringing our oils as part of our baggage, life changing!) and 2 adults, 1 restless toddler and a dog piled into a queen size bed and fell back asleep at close to 0500.
G and I woke up around 0830 and the jet lag was in full effect, but we had plans to go on to Kadena for brunch with our sponsor and her family ( 2 girls – 1 old and 1 younger than G) followed by letting the girls play at the library. Once again the afternoon was blessed by a glorious long nap and some down time. We all woke up quite groggy, but it had been raining all day and we needed to get out of the house now that the rain had finally stopped. We decided to venture out for our first dinner at a restaurant in our neighborhood….. goodness it was DELISH!!! Definitely built some confidence to venture out navigate with the help of the few Japanese phrases we know and the help of Google Translator! We all had a fantastic time! Another stress and anxiety cure… a full belly and large bottle of Japanese beer! (Benefit of having to walk everywhere) I should also add that Japan is very family friendly! The restaurant brought G her own children’s plate and plastic ware… she was beyond excited.
We capped off the night with night with G experiencing her first Japanese vending machines. They are everywhere…. and I literally mean everywhere with all sorts of interesting beverages.
All and all we are adjusting as well as can be expected and trying to stay up later today in the hopes that we will get a better nights sleep. If the weather clears up (we are in rainy season) we plan on taking a 2 mile walk west to check out Sunset Beach and some local attractions.
Excited to see what the day will bring as we continue on this new journey.
Much Love! -KC