Fear has been my theme recently…

I have something I want to talk about.

I’ve started, and re-started… stopped and pushed it to the side… picked it back up again and then thrown it away again for the last week or so.  I hesitated for a while because I didn’t want to let my emotions rule every thing that I wrote… I knew if I wrote it when I first had the idea that it would worry some people.

I’m sorry if it’s going to bother you, worry you, etc. but this is something I need to get off my chest.

I live in the 6th largest city in Japan.  I’m surrounded by over 1 million people, yet at the end of the day, I still feel alone.

The decision to come here was a really difficult one to make.  I battled with it, silently, for over a year.  I weighed every possible option, went through mental checklists of all the good and bad things that could potentially happen.  When I came here for Golden Week in 2013 it was just the straw that broke the camels back.  As soon as I landed back in America, I knew I would be going back.  For many reasons, some good, some bad, but the most important was that I wanted to run away.  But that’s not important right now, that’s a story for another day.

And that’s exactly what I did.  I packed up what I could into three bags, hopped on a plane and made my way to Japan.  I had no idea what was in store for me, but I knew it had to be better than what I was running from.  And it has been.  This to, isn’t the point of this.  But it kind of sets up where I want to go.

I have no intention of ever returning back there, at least not for the moment.  The pain is still too real, the scars still biting into my mind.  And the longer I’m here, the list of people I can count on/rely on continues to dwindle.  So many people don’t understand (or don’t want to understand) why I did what I did.  I’ve made peace with this now, and I no longer find myself itching to reach out and communicate with them.  I’ve grown so much since I first got here, and I know I still have a lot more to do.

Let me cut to the chase, before I ramble on to far and lose my train of thought.  I’m lonely.  I’m surrounded by people… and yet at the end of the day, I return to my apartment, kick off my shoes, sit back and try not to let this feeling overwhelm me.  I was doing really well, until my friend came for a visit in August.

Being able to spend two solid weeks with her put a lot of things into perspective, and it made me realize that my whole life I’ve been trying to keep people an arm’s length away.  To me, it’s easier to never let someone in and be lonely rather than let several people in and all of them ruin you.  I’ve had it happen too many times in the past and it has left me jaded.  But now, for the first time in a really long time, I want to let people in… I want to build connections, and for once in my life, I would actually like to find a man and be in a relationship (I didn’t think I would ever say that…).

I’ve lived my life this way for so long, that I don’t even know where to begin.  I’m standing here, looking around me at all of my friends that are happy… married, with kids, or off having some grand adventure, and here I am… just stalled out.  It’s like I’m stuck in the mud, and no matter how much I spin my tires, I’m not going anywhere.  Because I really have no idea which step to take first.  I’ve made this impenetrable fortress around myself and I’ve run out of dynamite.  I lived for years hoping that someone with dynamite would stumble upon me, but I know that’s not going to happen.  I have to do it… I have to fix this myself.  But how do I even make dynamite?

Enough metaphors, I need to learn how to let people in.  I need to drop the sarcastic bitch attitude that I’ve used for so long to keep people at bay.  Step out of my comfort zone and go into uncharted waters, but I’m terrified.  I don’t know how to swim, but I feel as if people are trying to push me off the raft and into the water head first.  The more I get pushed the more I fight back, clinging to the twine binding the logs together.  (Apparently I can’t stop with metaphors)

I’m lonely, and it’s my own fault.  And now, at 25 (half-way to 50!) I want to fix it.  But can I?  I don’t want to end up bitter and alone… That has always been my biggest fear, being alone.  But I’ve never done anything to avoid it, and now… in a country where making connections is hard thanks to the language barrier, I feel bitter and alone.

I’m thankful for my friend’s visit and for the courage she instilled in me.  I’m also thankful that she opened my eyes to just how truly alone I am, because now I know I need to fix it.  I’m going to work on me every day, even just little things.  I know it won’t happen over night, maybe not even in the next year, but eventually, I’ll find a way to create that dynamite and blow these walls away.

I say fear has been my theme recently, and I really mean it.  Over on my other blog, August’s emotion was ‘Fear’ and even when writing this, I hesitated so much because I was afraid.  I don’t want to be afraid any more, I want to live my life to the fullest.  I’m going to start each day with a smile and be thankful I have another day, another opportunity, another chance to be an even better version of me.


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