Friday, June 30, 2017

"You are in my prayers"

R's relative's mother has passed away yesterday.
The email from her included the phrase "Keep us in your prayers" which is very common in the U.S. Her email was very short and I have met her only once, but when I saw the phrase I felt what I did not feel before due to lack of my understanding of American culture.

6 years of college education (actually 7 years including an ESL year before being able to take credit classes. I took my first PSY class (101) in 2012 January) taught me a lot about the U.S. A lot of negative things, but people are the same everywhere. Culture, including religions accordingly, gives us a different mind set that derived from ways of survival based on what and how much resources we have. It's not something to fight about pursuing righteousness, we are just humans that can adapt environment.

I shrunk a lot by realizing how much I don't know and R knows much, much more than whole of my life, but my quality of life increased very much. He is my man, and we plan to marry after my graduation. He can put up with everything of me and gives me whatever I want, and we appreciate each other. I do not know what he is getting from me, but he says he won't leave me, so that's ok.

I did not know how "community" works in this country since it's a lot different from Japan. I think I made a huge mistake in Fairfax community, where I used live before moving here, when I left there. I did not make an official announcement to the group about I was leaving. I thought I would come back and nothing would be changed, but things do not go that way. Also, I misunderstood what individualism is as people do whatever they want when they want to do without restrictions or social obligations. I had some distance between them and me with confusions. My culture does not suggest to discuss private matters in public, but I felt people know everything about me from the events (which only people who know my history in Northern Virginia understand what I mean). I now realize that I was fully accepted there, but I, without knowing, rejected them. I kept myself quiet, but I think I should have opened my mouth more to explain who I am, but I did not know what to say since I thought I can't please them and I do not want to bother people.

I am hoping I can relate myself to people around me better with the new understanding of American culture in future. It would be difficult because I need to make myself comfortable as well by establishing me as an individual.

This summer, I am mentally too tired to go out to see people. I am so far skipping all of university's events and social gatherings that I was not supposed to miss, although I wanted to see a few people I like. My garden is my whole world right now hoping myself to charge energy for the next semester.

Every morning, I look forward to seeing the growth of R's birthday gift for this year.

I have almost a month. Hope they survive until then.