Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 1 – Thursday, August 20 & Friday, August 21, 2009

Today is just the beginning. Before me I have one incredible year in Japan full of adventures, challenges, friends, & firsts. Yet in order to experience such a unique opportunity, I’ve had to say good-bye to my life as I’ve known it. My family, friends, home, & comfort zone are all now behind me in Minnesota. As I wait to board the plane at gate G4 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport I marvel at the realization that this year is up to no one but myself. It’s sure to be an exciting, challenging, & unpredictable year. Now if my plane would just board! I’ve been delayed several hours already and I really want to start The Shawshank Redemption…

Plane Update – So I’ve finished The Shawshank Redemption, I’d forgotten just how good that movie is. I can see why it’s one of your favorites, Dad. I asked for an aisle seat and ended up with a nice place in the middle of the plane near one of the big movie screens. I’ve just read your letter to me, Weaver, and I had to try really hard not to laugh/cry again. I can’t wait for this to be you. You’re going to have so much fun in Spain! And Mom and Maria, I had my iPod on shuffle and as I was writing this very paragraph the song, “Can’t Turn Back Now” by (ironically enough) the Weepies came on, I think it’s fate playing with me. I can’t believe how fitting these words are for my year abroad. I wonder if you’d known that all along Mom…

Yesterday when you were young everything you needed done was done for you,

Now you do it on your own, but you find you’re all alone, what can you do?

You, you, And me, me, Walk on, Walk on, Walk on. Because you can’t go back now.

You know there will be days when you’re so tired you can’t take another step,

Now you will have no stars and you will think you’ve gone as far as you’ll ever go

You, you, And me, me, Walk on, Walk on, Walk on. Because you can’t go back now.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah go where you wanna go. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah be what you wanna be.

If you ever turn around, you’ll see me. I can’t really say why everybody wishes they were somewhere else.

But in the end the only steps that matter are the ones you take are the ones you take all by yourself.

Yeah You, you, And me, me. Walk on, Walk on, Walk on.

Yeah You, you, And me, me. Walk on, Walk on, Walk on. Because you can’t go back now.

Walk on, Walk on, Walk on. You can’t go back now.

Yamanakako Update – I arrived at the Narita airport to be greeted by Mr. Aoyama who is my rotary exchange officer and Ayano Baba. She’s from Tochigi and went through an exchange to Minnesota four years ago. We drove two and a half hours in the middle of the night through Tokyo and westward until we came upon the sleepy shores of lake Yamanakako. At the cottage I met Max Beard, the Rotary Inbound from Jacksonville, Florida. We hit it off immediately and everyone finally got to sleep around 2 am. I’m exhausted but thrilled. I can’t believe I’m actually here.

Today was just the beginning.

1 comment:

  1. What an experience Sam! Keep the lyrics of that song in mind throughout the year, they're so true.