The Rekindling

It was less than two weeks ago that I let it go, and laid my dream of studying abroad to rest, and already I find that I am trying to bring it back to life, and to dare to hope again.

Last Monday was the last day of a class I’ve been taking in an attempt to make up for a lost semester. It had been a small session, just between the professor, myself, and another classmate who was also planning on going to Japan. At the end of our class discussion, the conversation gravitated towards future plans to go to Japan. She was hoping to go in the Fall, and, well, I felt I had just decided to let it go. I had literally just come to peace with that decision, just a few days before then. Both of them strongly encouraged me to reconsider, saying that studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and that it’s different from working full-time, and basically reiterating everything I had just written in my previous post. I couldn’t agree with them more! My heart felt both torn away from, and yet at the same time, again, bound to this dream. They asked why I couldn’t do it next year. I told them that I couldn’t, that I was graduating next year, and it wouldn’t work. However, I couldn’t shake the thought, Why couldn’t I go next year?

Over that week, I thought. I did research, I prayed, I asked for people’s advice. In short, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can still do this. I can still study abroad. It may mean extending my undergraduate studies by a year or two, but it’s still possible. And yet, in the midst of this realization, it seems profoundly odd, to have your dream shattered, ripped away from you, and then given back to you shortly after you accept its loss. I fail to understand the meaning of this, although I suspect that the dream will be more whole in the end than before it began. I also realize now that I can make all the plans that I want, but if Nature and her Mother don’t want it to happen, then it won’t happen.  So it is with awe and humility, that I light the candle of my dream again, wondering if, perhaps, this is itself a dream. Or Inception : P


About Stephen Gabriel Falke

Stephen Gabriel Falke is passionate about loving Jesus and loving Japanese! He grew up in Virginia, America, and first visited Japan in 2007. He then studied abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo for a year in 2012. He also participated in the JET Program as an ALT from 2015-2017. He currently works as an English teacher at Hirosaki Gakuin Seiai Secondary School in Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan.
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2 Responses to The Rekindling

  1. April C says:

    Stephen, I love reading your posts. They remind me that my life is not the only one who’s earthly future directions and plans are unknown and may change at anytime. Still praying for you to have the opportunity to study in Japan. And do know that the number of years or amount of time it takes you to complete a degree is unimportant. The experiences you gain from the extra time are worth so much more. And in the long run, it’s really just society that dictate what our timetables for things like school are. God’s timetable is much more important and should override earthly ones. Thanks for sharing your vision and journey.

    • Stephen says:

      Thank you for the support and encouragement : ) I have wondered once or twice if the college plans were a little out there.

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