Twenty-seven days ago (we started November 3), a friend challenged me to National Blog Writing Month. I decided to take the challenge, because I had tons of free time, right? Well the last month has been insane (in a good way). Just before that I received my first Japanese course book and began work on that, meaning that I would be spending (I had no idea of this at the time) about 2 hours a day working on one lesson (I think I picked a book that was too hard).
• 27 blogs written
• 11,000-ish words written to my blog (they were added up in excel, which died when I had to restart my computer) – I have a friend doing National Novel Writing Month (50,000 words), I had to see if I was anywhere near her word count – nope, but I’m super happy with what I have.
• Shortest blog: 30 words
• Longest blog: 652 words
• 19 of 20 lessons completed in my Japanese book (did one and a half today)
• Great improvements in Japanese. I was actually able to hold some very simple conversations in Japanese today!
• Several Skype records broken, including the longest conversation I’ve had (over 6 hours) and most people in one conversation (at one point we had 5 people in on our conversation)
• Getting involved with a really amazing church with a pastor who’s words challenge me (via a translator)
• 3 Wednesday night Mini-volleyball meetings (super fun!)
• Attempts at riding a unicycle
• My first times driving in the snow
• Conquered the heater with the “magical rocks”
• First school festivals – my elementary school students are so incredibly cute!
• Getting clothing that is warm enough for Hokkaido winters
• Watching the 2 year anniversary of a good friend’s death come and go
• Cooking Natto – and getting to hear the story over and over after
• 115 hours spent on Skype How did I ever have the time to do that? That’s just phone time, not chatting with friends time. That does, though, include some amazing Bible Study time and a few epic conversations with a friend
• 13 hours spent on a train getting to Wakkanai and back (and visiting the most Northern point in Japan)
• As of this weekend I officially used up the original $10 I put on my skype account when I first arrived in Japan (August 2)
• Christmas presents ordered to arrive at my house in the states for Christmas . . . and December hasn’t even started yet!
• Lots of growth in the Lord
• Discovering some of my passions
It was a good month. I think that writing everyday was a positive distraction for me from the homesickness I was feeling a lot in October. Will I continue to blog everyday in December? Probably not, but I think I’ll be blogging more regularly. Flickr is next on the to-do list. It’s been since almost a month since I added any new photos and I’ve taken plenty since then
How shall we end the month? Maybe with a fun story about the last point. I was talking to a friend and I said something like “I think I’m passionate about writing.” Her response? “I knew that.” I had no idea, but there was one day when I wrote two blogs and I think I wrote a poem (plus my prayer journal). That’s when I realized it. I’m sure you’ll see me writing more. I went from being the kid who hated writing and could barely get a clear thought down on paper, in Middle and early High school, to a grownup who loves to write. How did that happen? I’m thinking the Lord has something to do with it. How will he use my writing in the future? I have no idea, but I’m excited to see where he takes it.