Precious Time 貴重な時間

The results are in! I’m in!!! And boy, are there lots of forms to fill out!


Honestly, having been through application processes for going to Japan like this before, I didn’t expect to be that exhilarated by the news. And yet, when I stop to think about it, it seems so huge. To be accepted into the program, given an open door to another nation, a ticket to the other side of the world—that’s not an everyday thing. It’s a sign of yet another new chapter, the end of one season and the beginning of another.


I’m also finding that actually getting the official acceptance somehow affects the way people look at me. When I first meet people and tell them that I love Japan, they often don’t understand just how deeply I mean that. They usually hear, “Japan is my hobby,” not “Japan is my obsession,” and so they assume that I’ll be around for a while. They’ll assume that I will stay in the job that I’m in now, or in the community or overall life position that I’m in now, not that there’s anything wrong with any of those things. But I’m serious about my love for Japan. And somehow, being accepted into this program seems to make that more real, more believable. I suppose that sometimes words can only go so far in communication.


But the time I have left in this life position and is indeed precious time. I leave August 1st, which means that from today, the time I have left is 120 days. It seems long on the one hand, but on the other, it seems so short! 120 days to treasure being with family and friends, 120 days to prepare for the journey, 120 days to be fully present in, but not paralyzed by, the here and now. It’s hard to look both forward and backward at the same time, but sometimes that’s what it feels like. I find that’s where I am now. And I want to do now well.



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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