Letting Go

Assistant Language Teacher Japan - An Everyday StorySee this girl, that’s me. 10 years ago, living my dream; my dream job in truly one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places on earth; Takaoka, Japan.

I had so many dreams. I was going to be a Japanese teacher. I would bring student groups here and show them Japan, my Japan, Japan from the inside. They would love it as much as I did.

I would inspire students to want to travel and live and breathe another country; really immerse themselves, live with passion, be compelled by the beauty to just want to be out there looking, taking it all in, filling them up.

Everywhere I went I was collecting, learning, experiencing; I wanted to know everything so I could give my students an authentic language experience. I studied Japanese exhaustingly, took calligraphy classes and Ikebana classes and tea ceremony classes. I learnt to tie a kimono and how to build a festival float.

I took thousands of photos, collected old cereal boxes and newspapers and menus, bought maps and magazines, CDs and manga, and all kinds of wonderful Japanese trinkets, all to set up my classroom; a little Japan.

Then, three years later, I brought it all home again. Ready to start.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Thousand paper cranes - Japan - An Everyday Story Lights of Tokyo - An Everyday Story OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Cherry blossoms - Japan - An Everyday StoryI had such dreams….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut that never happened. I never got to take a student group. And in my 10 years of teaching, I taught one year of Japanese; one amazing passion-filled joyous year.

And so all my trinkets and all my menus and magazines were boxed away along with my dreams. And there they sat, waiting, hoping that I would be given just one more chance….

But that chance never came. Life moved on and so did I… eventually.

And now, when I look at those boxes, they make me sad. They were never meant to make me sad, they were supposed to bring joy.

They still could bring joy. And so I am letting go, letting go of that dream, making way for new dreams.

And those boxes? Well they are going to where they should have gone all those years ago, to a classroom, a classroom full of students.

Takaoka Japan - An Everyday Story Sunset in Japan - An Everyday StoryI’m letting go.


27th January: Thank you everyone for all your lovely comments. It is hard to let go of a dream. But since that space has been made I have been inspired with a new dream. It’s just a whisper at the moment, but the wheels are turning and I am feeling inspired again, like I did before. 

23 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. Your dream was beautiful to read…someday your dream may come into fruition in a different form…never stop dreaming…I feel for your loss however it may help tp make someone else’s dreams come true by passing on your boxes…your dreams…someone else’s reality…you may have created a new doorway for others. Thank you

    • That’s what I feel too Philomena. Now that I have let go I can see it coming to fruition in another way, albeit not as I had hoped or expected but indeed I am feeling inspired again and can see myself returning to this beautiful country, this time with my family, my children, and showing them the country that I loved so much all those years ago.

  2. You exchanged one beautiful dream for another one! I actually get really sad and depressed when I look at old photos or videos of my kids when they were little. It seems like just yesterday and my oldest is now 36 and I have a grandson!

    • I did Sylvia and it wasn’t until I physically packed all the stuff away and said goodbye that I realised that I have so much opportunity ahead of me particularly since our children will be homeschooled, we have the entire world to explore.

    • Keyana, I am newly retired from many years of teaching Pre-K children, and my husband and I are continuing to travel.. All of our own children are adults, but we never waited to travel when they were little. We traveled across country by car. We camped out. The children have such wonderful memories and tell the stories often. It does take a little more planning, but I have warmed up many a bottle of formula over a camp stove and everyone survived. Right now my letting go (a little at a time) is with teaching supplies. Passing them on where they are needed.

      • Passing on the teaching supplies really was a huge weight gone. They were just sitting there and since I have no intention of returning to the classroom I really didn’t need all those things anymore. It was hard to let them go, having not got the chance to use them, but what was the point of having them sit in the cupboard? At least now other children can enjoy them.

        And I think you are right, my husband and I used to camp out all the time before we had kids and have only done it once since. We really need to make this a priority again. Like you said, I too have such fond memories of camping/holidaying with my family.

  3. Beautiful photos. I can tell by them and your words that you were (are) so passionate about Japan and Japanese culture. I can also tell by your blog in general that you are very passionate about your children and teaching them lots of wonderful things. They’re lucky to have you. Hopefully letting go of these things will bring you some peace.

  4. Are you teaching your children Japanese? I was so excited to see your post. I studied Japanese in high school, and am now trying to teach my 2.5 year old. I’m finding it very challenging though, given my extremely limited Japanese, and lately have been half-wishing that I had gone to spend a year in Japan after high school!

    • I am but not intensively. We have some books and things around the place but we aren’t teaching them explicitly. At the moment we are introducing them to different cultures and the idea that people speak different languages. It’s a difficult concept but they are enjoying looking at the writing and the different things I have kept from our time in Japan.

  5. I don’t know what to say about your post.
    It hurt to read it. Such passion. It doesn’t sound like you’re ready to let go.
    Do you have a new dream?
    It’s wonderful that you can allow your collected treasures to be utilised, rather than remain packed away. That takes strength.
    Your photos are just beautiful.
    Best of luck ♥

    • I do have a new dream. It’s not quite speaking to me as loudly as before, being a teacher defined so much of who I was and what I did, but I am excited about this new venture. It is a much more creative venture, and will be a lot of learning for me, but I am excited. 🙂

  6. Beautiful photos and dreams, it’s amazing what can change in ten years. Letting go does seem to help other opportunities open up, I hope that happens for you x

  7. I want to give you a hug and say there’s still time but I understand that sometimes you need to let it go. Sometimes, when you let it go, it just happens to find you!

  8. What a wonderful dream to have had in the first place. It’s good to have dreams. Just as it’s good to let go of them when the time comes to make new ones.

  9. What a beautiful and brave and generous thing you have done to pass your treasured memories (and the tangible evidence of your most special dream) on to others so that those treasures can be used and loved and learned from. Big hugs to you Kate.

  10. What a powerful post Kate…my heart wrenched for you as i read it and struck a chord as i think many of us are dealing with lost dreams by the time we get to this age! But i do believe something greater is awaiting you and perhaps you have just turned the light on to welcome in that new energy….so lovely of you to share and pass on your treasures though xxx

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