あけましておめでとうございます！ A happy new year to everyone! I haven't been writing as much as I'm supposed to because I've been busy with some stuff (mostly pertaining to my hobbies - gotta preserve my sanity, after all) and I had my first visit home after a long while! Despite the lag in the internet connection, I had a good two weeks with family and friends and I could only wish I was able to extend my trip a little bit more.
Anyway, I'm back in Japan and I feel like I can finally start the year right! But of course a little review of 2015 is in order before I can truly look forward to what this year has to offer to me. 2015 had been a year full of surprises and I wouldn't have it in any other way.
- Work had been really good. Sure, there was a few rollercoaster rides and a few bouts of discouragement and depression, but overall I feel I have improved and now I'm more confident with the way I deliver my lessons. A lot of new colleagues have made their way into the team and I'm happy to say that most of them have become really good friends, to the point of making me wish I live in Hiroshima. I have also been given a leadership role of some sort and while I feel awkward with the responsibility, I feel honored to have been given a task to accomplish. Everything has been enjoyable and I feel like I can still stay in the job for another year or so.
- There was a lot of travel opportunities! This year alone I was able to go to Tokyo, Fukuoka, Osaka and Hyogo. Most of these was because of concerts, but the other half was because of my friend who had travelled all the way from Korea to spend her summer vacation / Obon with me. I can only wish it wasn't as expensive for foreign residents (still wishing I could just travel all over Japan via the Shinkansen), but for now this is enough. I never thought that travelling can be so much fun and exciting! I never travelled as extensively in the Philippines simply because the transportation system isn't as friendly and it mostly requires me to go around asking people (or even try to bargain for lower prices...).
- And speaking of fandom - I was finally able to go see NEWS and Arashi for the first time! NEWS simply overwhelmed me in their Fukuoka, Hiroshima and Tokyo concerts for the White Tour and I couldn't have it any better. I only got to see Arashi once in the Fukuoka leg of the Japonism Tour, and while it was only once, I had gotten an arena seat and I was able to watch the concert along with a NEWS friend. The fandom is really a wonderful place as I had gotten to meet so many friends and fans for the first time, and some of them were really kind enough to give me gifts and even give me a lift back home. I haven't been happy with the damage to my wallet, but after everything else, I can only grin, shrug and say "Who cares, I am happy!".
- I guess I have been too preoccupied with happiness that I found myself not visiting any clinics and hospitals for the past five months or so. Maybe it's because of the vitamins I had received from family? Or being happy for the latter half of the year? Or.... something else? Hahahaha. That last bit I will prefer to keep a secret until a certain time, I guess.
Recently, I had made up my mind to transfer to Hiroshima, and while the date hasn't been definite yet, I am prepping myself for the new environment I will be having, both in terms of work and residence. I am going to miss my quiet life in Tokuyama for sure, but I have felt that I needed to grow in terms of work performance and language progress. I have grown too accustomed to my schools (especially Tokuyama and Hikari), and I had NOT been able to touch nor opened a Japanese language book since I moved here. Sure, I had the language app and phone dictionaries to help me out, but I had not taken any step in formal Japanese language learning. Moving to Hiroshima might force me to finally take that step to avenging my failure in the last N4 JLPT exam.
And savings..... ummm, maybe that had been my biggest failure in 2015. I was only able to do short-term saving, only to blow it all off on my fandom hobbies / family matters / credit card dues / health issues. I hope to be able to save more this year, but seeing the extravagant idiot as I am, I don't think I will make any progress...... (I seriously think I need help in this area, haha).
That's it for now, and we'll see if I can finally manage to achieve these goals in 2016. I am going to try my best, certainly! With work and fandom, I am going to make my second/third year in Japan even more adventurous, crazy and fun. :)
P.S. Been addicted to Jojo's Bizarre Adventure lately (especially with Stardust Crusaders) - finished the entire anime franchise entirely in December. Now looking forward to the fourth arc in April. Shige, I finally understand why you like this series, lol.