This is the time of year that most people take time to be with their families and spend time with people they love or haven’t seen in a long time. As for me though, I’m spending time in the office working hard (or hardly working) which is the first time in my life that I’ve actually not spent time with my family or friends on Christmas day itself. Of course I’ll be spending time later tonight with my in-laws and wife so it’s not all bad!
It’s been a rather crazy and exciting year all told for me. I travelled back to South Africa in February, changed schools in July, got my Japanese drivers license in and got married in October. It’s only now at the end of the year that I have finally gotten into a rhythm of sorts and feel like I’ve got a handle on my job and new life.
I do sometimes miss my old students and friends back in Kagoshima, especially when I saw many of them in November when I travelled back to my first school. They were as crazy fun bunch of kids that really helped me transition in from three years back when I first arrived there. They’ll certainly always have a special place in my heart and maybe in the future I’ll have a chance to visit there again.
In terms of regrets there are some I have. Once again I was particularly lazy and did close to no Japanese studies. I fell so far behind that I didn’t even bother taking the JLPT test at the start of December. Next year I have to really knuckle down with my grammar and kanji!
One highlight of my year was the chance to show my family and friends from South Africa what life in Japan is like when they came to visit me for my wedding in October. It was definitely awesome to have the chance to travel with them and see everything anew through their eyes after I’d become used to it after several years of living here. I also had the chance to catch a Japanese baseball game with my friends in Yokohama and even though it was raining I had a blast!
Overall I’m glad that 2014 turned out the way it did and I’m looking forward to what might happen in 2015. The next year or so should be interesting for me as my time on JET reaches its end. New challenges, new friends, new adventures and a whole lot more awesomeness is coming in 2015 I’m sure!
So a merry Christmas and a happy New Year to one and all!