Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The best of both worlds. Kind of...

I've been living in Japan for 20 years now. That number astounds me. I know this can be seen as quite an accomplishment, but for me it makes me kind of sad. That's 20 years apart from my home, my family.

Don't get me wrong, I've said it before but life here isn't bad at all. It's safe. That's the best word I can use to describe living here. For the most part there is very little violence. Children grow up slowly without the threat of drugs, alcohol and other pressures that force kids to grow up all too soon.

Jobs are safe - at least I think they are. My husband works in political media and there will always be politics and media. I teach conversational English and Japan is just now finally grasping that being able to *speak* English as well as read and write it are important.

We have a very well balanced national/private health care system where no one has to go without insurance. Schools provide strong, albeit very standardized, education.

We are safe here. And I love that.

But every once in awhile I feel a longing for things that aren't here. I'm sure that is true of every human. Sometimes I miss open spaces. Sometimes I miss Walmart and Target. Most times I just miss my family.

Obviously, my children are both Japanese and American. We speak English in our home, but as soon as we step out of the front door we speak only Japanese 95% of the time. They go to local public schools. We are not ex-pats, we do not live a glamorous life downtown Tokyo. We live in the burbs - away from most things foreign. Other than looking part foreign part Japanese and being able to speak English, my babes are mostly Japanese.

This is a page I made for my daughter. I hope both of my children will always be proud of being bilingual and bicultural. Children of two worlds.

most papers and elements from World Beat by Studio ViVa Artistry
black oval frame from LeReve by Studio ViVa Artistry
metal alpha is from After the Rain by Jennifer Labre Designs
font is Mandy H Script by Darcy Baldwin
page template is by Fiddle-Dee-Dee Designs

This is a page I made for the Scrap Challenge going on this week over at Tell Your Story Everyday. This one too has something to do with being a foreigner living in Japan. Just on a lighter topic.

papers and most elements from Summer Morning by the Digichick Designers
striped washi tape from The Daily Details by the Digichick Designers
journaling card is from Coming Home by Dawn by Design
clear alpha is Seeing Clearly by Etc by Danyale
mustard yellow alpha from Serenity also by Etc by Danyale
Four Square Storyboard by Charm Box Studio
font is Mandy H Script by Darcy Baldwin
hybrid cupcake liner is made from paper and candy holder template 
also in Summer Morning by the Digichick Designers

And these pages are me finally get around to scrapping some wonderful photos I took last summer. I thought I'd better get a start on them. Better late than never.

 all papers and elements from Serenity by Etc. by Danyale
font is I Love Me Some Tracy by Darcy Baldwin
page template is by Fiddle-Dee-Dee Designs

all papers and elements from Love You More Than Icecream by Jenn Barrette
font is Uncertain Tense by Darcy Baldwin
page template is by Fiddle-Dee-Dee Designs

Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the web. I hope you'll be back again soon.

1 comment:

Chloé said...

I can SO relate! Of course, being a Swiss girl living in France, I'm not as far as "home" (and in this word I include everything, from people to food) as you are, but I know how it feels to sometimes feel rootless somewhere. And how lucky are your kids to be bilingual like that, I think it's amazing. Hopefully we'll be able to do that with our babies too: DBF will speak in Alsatian and I'll speak English! Oh, and of course everyone around will speak French! LOL