“Where have you been?”

It has been quite a long year and a half since I have written a well-meaning blog post. I left off with a list of Life Resolutions for 2018 to beyond. Well, it is 2019 and I can safely say that I did not upkeep any of those. Have I tried, sure. Did I forget they existed after awhile? Honestly.. yup. I always knew they were there but I definitely forgot what they were.

Throughout this past year and a half, I’ve laughed hard, lost hard, and been through more than I bargained for, especially being overseas. Many of our friends have left Japan, leaving holes in our hearts (and weekends). I think my house has become mostly memories of the times that have passed. Like the time Jen and I dressed up as Blades of Glory for Halloween or the time Tabby and I talked for hours on my balcony, ending with me falling asleep with a block of cheese next to me. 

But of all the things that have happened since I last wrote, I think the biggest change that has come my way is actually dealing with my past. Or at least starting the process of dealing with it. With lots of friends and not much time to just be alone, I have always shoved everything down and told myself that I would just deal with it later. Apparently, later is now. Now that life has slowed down a bit there is lots of time to think about it.

If I told you everything that happened in my life you’d be reading until dawn. It by far isn’t the worst story I’ve heard, but it isn’t best. One thing I have learned is talking to someone about your life can help to lift the endless stress of carrying around the baggage. If anything, to have an ear to talk to, so you don’t end up yelling at the cat or exploding in the car when people don’t drive as well as you do. I realize it’s easy to say we should talk to people about what’s going on, it took me 15 years to be able to talk. That’s how long it took for me to realize I seriously needed to get this stuff out and deal with the skeletons in my closet. I felt as though I have been running from everything my whole life.

I have known for a while that depression and anxiety are some of the post-trauma things that I have been dealing with internally. What I didn’t know was how to deal with something I was too proud to admit I had. I always thought if I ignored it and pretended life was fine then life was exactly that.. fine. I’m sure I am not the first person to feel that way. I have reached the point in my life where I can no longer push through these things. Like they say, the first step to recovery is admitting that there is indeed a problem!

To all the people who are like me, who have been prideful, lost, surrounded by addiction, death. You are not alone. There is always somebody willing to listen to you if you are wanting to talk.  If you are just not there yet, something that has helped me are finding my outs, whether it is writing, running, or just playing video games. BUT the number one thing for helping me get over my internal obstacles is: Rid yourself of negativity (especially people on social media).

This post, like life, has the light at the end of the tunnel. (Even if it seems like it’s a very long tunnel.) This blog started as a fun way for our friends and family to keep up with our adventures through Japan and in life. However, I think it was a way for me to make my life seem more perfect than it actually is (Yes, Andrew you were right). Instead of using writing as an out I used it like most people (myself included) use Instagram.

Now, coming to the sharp realization that my life is in fact not perfect, I come out with one goal from this post. If I can help one person through their struggles, make one person laugh or see the bright side of life (even though sometimes I am trying to find it too), then I feel like I am completing my life goals. There has been a lot that’s happened in this house over the past year and a half, but I think that the most promising thing is the new memories we are going to make in our last year here in Japan. And all of our future years in America or Europe or wherever we decide to go once the military life is behind us. (spoilers…)

For now, we wait. More stories, how-to’s (even though I haven’t made anything yetttt), and adventures to come!

xoxo, The Lintag’s

“What’s next for me?”

[[This is a very real and blunt post about my own personal life. I only hope that you don’t judge who I am based on what I say. My hope for this post is that I can help at least one person realize that no matter where they are in their lives it’s never too late to change yourself for the better.]]

For me, New Year’s Resolutions have always been those things you say but never keep, which is the main reason I made it a point to never make them. I have always hated starting things I don’t finish, which is why most days I sit around watching Netflix, on social media, and doing chores around the house (cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc.)

I am a textbook lazy person. I’ll admit that. I don’t like the idea that there is something out there that I never finished. So, to try and prevent that I don’t set myself up for failure. I realize at this point in the post you probably think, “If you don’t try, how do you achieve things?” And to be bluntly honest, I don’t. I know that there are people out there who know me and say that I have finished things, like high school & college, I have a husband, you know life’s good? And it is, I have done things that I am proud of and I having an AMAZING and loving husband, who is my rock and my world. But, ever since I graduated college, the question that I have been asked several times has always remained, and that is,

“What’s next for me?”

For Andrew it is to continue his career, for most of my friends it is joining the workforce, for the other part of my friends it was more education. For me, my answer was always, I was moving across the world to be with my husband, which is an amazing experience. But here we are, all settled in and living our daily routine, and often I feel like I am being left in the dust by people by the people I was once competitive with. In this moment I feel like Meredith Grey in Season 10 when Christina turns to her and says, “You let up.” I stopped, fighting for what I wanted in my life and I turned to what feels like an easy way out. All the while, letting Andrew and the people around me down, when my potential is so much more.

While I have had different influences in my life, from friends to family to total strangers whose blogs I read. I have recently met a person that has made me really think about my life, and the direction I want to take it. She has made me think about my life in the past and how I can be a better person at this point in my life. She is the first person I have met that has made me take New Year’s Resolution’s seriously, whether she meant to or not.

I have a need to make a difference in 2018. I saw a post on Facebook that made me think about what I needed to change to achieve my goals, the post read:

Here’s a reminder for you in 2018:

  • don’t beg for someone to stay
  • save space for people who matter
  • don’t chase anyone
  • accept what cannot be changed
  • leave what isn’t good for you
  • no matter what happens, think positively
  • give time for yourself and love yourself

I need to make a change in my life and I hope that I can make a difference in the lives of the people around me. That being said, I decided to create a little list of my own named Life Resolutions, rather than New Year’s Resolutions. I want to fight for what I want and have something to show for myself. I don’t want it to end with 2018. I want it to begin in 2018 and carry it with me throughout my life.

Life Resolutions:

  • write more, whether it be in journals or here on my blog
  • back off social media, not finding my satisfaction in how many likes I get on my Instagram photos
  • not trying to take the perfect photo so that I see how unperfected and messy my life can be, Andrew and I aren’t perfect so why try and force that into a photo
  • become a pilot and work for Delta Airlines
  • learn to love my life as it is rather than being sad and jealous because I don’t have that one thing
  • read more so that I can learn more, you can never learn too much
  • learn how to admit I am wrong without getting angry about being wrong and lashing out
  • and last but not least, love more, I want to show people what it is to be a person who loves you unconditionally and will drop everything to be there for you

This list is something that I am taking seriously this coming year and in the rest of my years here. Matthew McConaughey said once in his Oscars speech,

“And to my hero, that’s who I chase. Now when I was 15 years old, I have a very important person in my life come to me and say, “Who is your hero?”. And I said I don’t know I gotta think about that, give me a couple of weeks. I come back two weeks later, this person comes up and says “Who’s your hero?” And so I thought about it and I said you know who it is, it’s me in 10 years.

So I turn 25, 10 years later that same person comes to me and goes “so are you a hero?” And I was like, not even close. No, no, no. She said “Why?” I said because my hero is me at 35. So you see every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away. I’m never going to beat my hero. I’m not going to obtain that, I know I’m not. And that’s just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.”

I know that I may not succeed at this list every single day. But my hero does and from this day on, I will strive to be the greatness that my hero is. I will fight to be the person I want to become. I can’t beat my hero, but I sure can chase her.

More stories, how-to’s, and adventures to come!

xoxo, The Lintag’s

[[Written for Andrew, my loving and amazing husband who supports everyday; for my grandparents who never gave up on me; my mom, meemaw, granny, and shawn smiling down at me; for Hayley, Bry, Michelle, Caitlyn and so many more friends who are in America right now working on amazing things; and last but not least, to Jen, an amazing friend I met out here in Japan and has shown me what it is to be stronger than you ever thought possible, you inspire me and make me want to fight for greatness.]]

“So?! How’s Japan??”

Number one question we have gotten:

“So?! How’s Japan??”

Well, firstly, moving is just as stressful as they say. Military moves are never easy, and anybody who has talked to me about it knows that ours certainly wasn’t a cake walk. However, despite the difficulty it took to get here, Japan has surpassed all expectations I could have had. Andrew and I got here a little over a month ago and every time I walk outside I love it here just a little bit more. Everything here is within walking/biking distance, which has been pretty nice (except for grocery shopping on a bike, not as fun hahah Hayley you should get a laugh out of this).

Living off-base is very different from living on-base. I feel like that sentence needs to be followed by a “duh”. For one, I realize that I should probably retract my statement a few posts ago, I am definitely not the oldest person here. In fact, I am the youngest person I have met here (except Andrew). Everyone we have met here so far is really nice. Not just the locals, but also our neighbors are pretty cool (insert Sara and Brandon, our super awesome upstairs neighbors and friends). While there isn’t much to do on base there are a few places that I really enjoy here.

I think out of all of them though, my favorite place to go on base is the sea wall. It is so peaceful and the view is spectacular. It’s the only place here (on base) that you can run/walk/jog/bike with headphones in. So when I am trying to catch my breath from the five steps I took towards exercising, I simply lose it again to the view. If I have to workout, I guess it couldn’t get any better than having a view.

While there are things to do on base, being off base is far more fun. We have left the base one time (so far) for a bus tour around the city. It was really cool. One thing that I noticed about being off base was just how clean it is. There are people everywhere and yet the sidewalks and trails are so clean! Don’t get me wrong, the base is clean too, it’s just I would expect a base to be spotless.

When we went out on our little outing, we saw (from the bus) shopping centres, car dealerships, and (in my opinion) really cute shops. We went to downtown Iwakuni, we got to eat at local pastry shops and see the bus and train station. It was probably explained two or three times, but I still have no idea how to ride the bus around here.. and I am almost positive that if I get on the bus trying to go the Kintai, I’d end up going back to base or some other place I don’t want to go.

Besides not understanding how to get around via bus, seeing downtown was very cool. Andrew and I went walking down the streets and saw Japan’s “Yellow Brick Road”. We ate Japanese donuts and even though we couldn’t read exactly what they were, they tasted like American donuts (maybe a little better). We also ate at another little shop named Anderson’s (I think), where you walk in grab a tray and tongs, then proceed to put different food items on the tray (no plates just pick it up and place it on the tray). I think this place was my favorite!

After our short adventure in downtown Iwakuni, we got back onto the bus and headed for the Kintai Bridge. It’s ¥300 (yen) to cross the bridge (which is about $3.00). Japan is just as beautiful as they say. Even though it is my first time to see the Kintai, I doubt it will grow old. After Andrew and I walked across the bridge we went into souvenir shops and got ice cream at a stand that sells over 100 different flavours. So naturally, we got chocolate with sprinkles. When we get a car, we plan to go back and hike up the mountain to the Iwakuni Castle.

We have many more adventures to come, but so far Japan has surpassed every expectation that I have had. I can’t wait to meet more people and see more places.

More stories, how-to’s, and adventures to come!

xoxo, The Lintag’s