Thursday, July 18, 2013

Shuffled Feels

As I walked home from work last week, I listened to my iPod on shuffle.  An eclectic taste in music combined with a 60 gig listening device results in a musical cache almost too diverse and vast to navigate.  When I find myself unable to make a musical choice to match my mood, I put the 8000+ songs on shuffle.

My iPod has been living on shuffle the past few weeks. 

I feel this is a musical manifestation of my emotions lately.  Tomorrow marks the beginning of our final week living in Japan.  I am elated to be moving back to my city on The Lake and to be once again near to my family and friends.  On the other hand, I am feeling melancholy.  Melancholy to leave my international community of dear friends, my little Japanese town, my life of international adventure. 

As I sift and sort through this myriad of emotions, I consistently come back to this one emotion: gratefulness.  I am so grateful that I have had this remarkable life experience.  Grateful for the friends I have made.  Grateful for the things I have learned.  I have changed (for the better, I think) a considerable amount since living abroad.  For this too, I am grateful. 

Major life changes can be bitter sweet; I like to focus on the sweet.  Although leaving our friends and community in Japan is difficult, I can’t help but stay positive.  My life has been so enriched by my experiences and friends over the past three years that I cannot be sad. 

The feeling I had when I graduated from university is similar to what I am feeling now.  I was ready then to graduate and move on to my new adventures of marriage and moving abroad.  Now, I am ready to graduate again.  I am ready to move forward to my next phase of life and discover new adventures, challenges, and experiences. 

And so I take a breath, count to three, and take the plunge into the next pool of life. 

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