Today while we were out shopping in Yokohama, I realized something.
It's getting better.
I was so excited to move to Japan. I was excited to travel the world and expose my girls to so many new things.
And then, we moved to Japan. It was more difficult than I had anticipated. When I traveled to France and Austria, I hadnt known how to speak French or German, but I could still read. The alphabet was the same. However, I can't read Kanji, Hirigana or Katakana. I can't read anything on signs in Japan except for "Yokosuka" or "Exit." It was a LOT more emotionally difficult than I had imagined it would be. And I won't lie - there were several points at which I cried and wished I were back at home.
I still don't know where exactly to get all of my groceries besides the commissary on main base. I still don't know where to get my haircut besides the tiny salon at the NEX. I don't know where to buy clothes, I don't know where any streets lead, and I don't know how to say anything more than "Good morning," "Excuse me," and "I'm sorry."
But today was better. I stood out in crowds, I looked lost, I had kids that were too loud on the train, and I just smiled and nodded my head when a cashier spoke to me. And it wasn't completely unbearable. Being uncomfortable became a little more... comfortable... today.
When my girls yell, "Ohayo gozaimasu!" (good morning) to the Japanese cleaning-lady sweeping the steps of our tower each morning, or ask to go back to the neighborhood ramen shop for dinner, or bow to Japanese people they meet, or talk excitedly about visiting Thailand and seeing a golden Buddha in March... I just can't help but be thankful.
I'm thankful that I could give them this adventure so early in life. I'm thankful that they are realizing - much earlier than I ever did - that there is a whole world out there to explore.
And honestly, I'm a little proud too. Moving to Japan was a challenge. But I did it. My little family did it. And it's finally getting better.