Compared to week one, the second week since arriving in Osaka flew right by. Introductions have been made, orientations finished, the goals of the program are more or less understood. With the expectations of the program established, this week was the start of our classroom lessons and meetings. While I kept up with the pace of the classroom and finished homework assignments successfully (and somewhat enjoyed doing them), the amount of work given to each student, including written and speech homework and a number of meetings, is a lot. This is expected, since the CET program is language intensive, but even so, this week has definitely went by quickly, and I honestly cannot remember much of what has happened within that time.
Being this busy is certainly something I am not used to. I tend to prefer to have time available where I have no plans, as it makes me feel more at ease to know that there is that time slot available to do whatever I’d like when that time comes. Because this sort of lifestyle has turned into a habit, adapting to a packed schedule with classes and outside excursions have been overwhelming and exhausting, but also fresh and, in my own case, somewhat necessary.
Unless you grew up being that kid— the one who is part of the school sports team while juggling the responsibilities of student council and band lessons, or if you had responsibilities outside of school at work or at home, such jam-packed schedules are not the norm. While growing up, I wasn’t apart of this lifestyle, and so I had spent much of my time (until recently) by myself and with others sharing my lifestyle. However, while it’s nice to have time for yourself once in a while and I believe it’s necessary for everyone, that life becomes boring and passionless. Having too many empty time slots left me in constant search of doing something new and exciting, or something that was valuable and worth my time. Slowly, I began to run out of ideas as to what to do, and as time progressed, I began to learn that this lifestyle was no longer healthy for me, and I needed a change. Although the idea of being busy constantly terrified me for a number of reasons, it was what I was yearning for. I wanted to place myself in a position where I felt useful, and to gain a personal sense of value towards my actions.
With all of this in mind, the workload placed on me week by week is easier to handle. It definitely won’t be the easiest schedule for me to handle, but this is a position I want to be in, and because of that, I know I will succeed. In fact, during one of our program’s field trips today at a temple, I took my chance in picking my o-mikuji fortune. In order to gain this fortune, you stick your hand in a box filled with small strips of paper filled with random fortunes that carry varying levels of luck, and you choose one paper to take out of the box to read. The fortune I received was the dai-kichi (Great blessing) fortune, which is the best possible level to receive. Not only am I giving myself the guarantee of adapting smoothly to this lifestyle, but there are others supporting me through this change as well.