I am back with another exclusive on the ‘Japan-study-abroad’ channel, and this week I come with a juicy scoop… Ladies and Gentlemen –
I made a mistake.
I wanted to share this piece of experience I had because I thought it would help some people out there feel better about themselves, and even take off a little bit of the pressure they might be feeling from the ‘study abroad’ experience. Before I begin my story, I wanted to clarify one point: I make a lot of mistakes. I make mistakes every single day, whether it is on my way to school, at the convenience store, talking to my teachers, etc. etc. However, this mistake was one that helped my personal development and taught me more about myself.
The moral of this story is pretty simple: no matter where you are, you are still yourself. On the contrary, that also means that you can CHANGE who you are, anywhere.
Last week was a very important holiday in the Jewish calendar – Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, where we eat apples and honey for a sweet year and sound the Shofar (Ram’s Horn). This year I had plans to go up to Tokyo and spend the holidays there, when I got a phone call from a close friend, asking if I could come to Nagoya for a day before the weekend. This weekend was a special one, and my friend (as a one-time thing) insisted I should come. I thought it won’t hurt anybody, so I agreed.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that my actions will all lead towards a bad habit of mine that I have developed over the years: over-promising.
I get to Nagoya and have a great time, and they ask me to stay another night. I call my close friends in Tokyo and ask if it ok for me to stay another night, however, I also say that they are my ‘first priority no matter what and I will do as they prefer’. My friends in Tokyo completely understand but ask me to join on Zoom for a morning meeting where I had to speak in Hebrew. I hang up happy and satisfied-
Only to realize the next evening that I completely forgot to join the Zoom meeting.
In this event I recognize a couple of problems: 1) I disappointed my friends in Tokyo, very important friends; 2) I completely went against my words that were ‘you are my first priority’; and 3) I overestimated myself, once again.
I have a bad habit of forgetting plans easily, which I worked on for the last couple of years as my schedule started to book up with all kinds of events. I created an alternative habit of adding everything to my calendar so that I won’t forget such things. However, I did not do it this time, and I suffered the consequences. In truth, I forgot all about my scheduling technique when I got to Japan.
What I learned from this experience is that you don’t change as a person when you are abroad. The ‘once-in-a-lifetime-experience’ feeling I got from being abroad made me feel free, extraordinary, different. But in truth, I am no different. I am still a 23-year-old girl in college, the same ‘me’ that arrived in Japan three weeks ago.
In the end I apologized, and everyone understood. However, I do not want to repeat this mistake again. But if I am not mistaken… I can change; I just need to continue to put the effort into fixing my habits and creating new ones. Right?