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I don’t often pay attention to the stats on this blog.  Quite frankly, I write because I want to.  I have no illusions that I’ll ever be able to monetize this, and I have never sought to.  If this blog ever gains enough popularity that I can try other projects I’ve been meaning to, perhaps then I can at least recoup the cost of hosting it, but as for right now, I’m not concerned with it.  But that said, tonight I looked at the stats, and this month has been the best month in view and visits in its history.  A fact that, frankly, surprises me, because this month I did not hold back.  I spoke about things I like about Japan and Japanese culture, and I also spoke about things that greatly disturb me about Japanese culture, both past and present.  Is this the reason for the good numbers this month?  I don’t know.  I could probably dig in and find out, but I honestly fear the results.  So I’m going to leave it for now.

In the United States, tomorrow is Thanksgiving holiday.  Traditionally it is a time for people to get together with family and friends, eat lots of very good food (turkey is a traditional food, as well as cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie), and maybe watch football (American football, not that other kind.  We like physical contact.  A lot.)  It is also a time to stop and think about what we are thankful for, both in life and in the last year.  I have many things to not be thankful for, but many things to be thankful for as well.

I am thankful, for instance, that as of today (literally, today) I have finally learned possibly the root cause of many medical issues I’ve had over the past few months.  I am also thankful that I have the opportunity to spend the time and money to actually learn Japanese, instead of having to spend all my time trying to keep a roof over my head.  I am thankful for the people whom I have met while learning Japanese – perhaps we are not the best of friends, but a shared goal is often helpful, and I would not be as far as I am in Japanese without the help of sensei and my fellow nihongo no gakusei.

Is life difficult for the short term?  Yes.  I’m still trying to figure out why I’m even bothering – the best answer I can come up with is “because I can”.  But perhaps that’s a good enough answer.  Perhaps I do have much to be thankful for this year.

Tomorrow, which is Thanksgiving, I will not be spending time with family or friends.  There is a good reason for that, which I won’t share here for the moment, but it is both necessary and not a source of sadness for me, so I am fine.  But it is still a time of reflection, much as the blooming of the cherry trees and the falling of the petals (hanabiritachi) is for the Japanese people.  I have much to reflect on, much to think about, much to do, and much to be thankful for.  This year could have very easily turned out much worse, but so far, I’m threading the needle.  I couldn’t ask for much more.

And for those who have stuck with me on this journey by reading my posts, and occasionally commenting, I am thankful for you as well.  Would my life be any different without you?  Honestly, probably not.  I’d still post, just without the small dopamine hit that someone liking or replying to these posts gives me.  But I appreciate you all the same.  In a sense, you’re on this journey with me, and we’ll see where it turns out.



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