4. What makes you genuinely happy?
Gonna be honest here and say that this question was my favorite. Thinking about the things that make me happy has made me so happy. I mean, who doesn’t love to think about their favorite things in life? The author suggests considering childhood dreams and funny enough, I was just chatting with some girlfriends about my childhood passions. The things that have always made me happiest were handmade crafts, studying Japan and Japanese, and close relationships. Of course, as an adult and now a Christ-follower, God and my relationship with Him definitely make this list!
When I was a little girl, I actually made money off my handmade crafts. And as a very active 4-H participant, I was given plenty of opportunities to make crafts for community service and for awards. Even as I grew older, I loved to sew, crochet, paint, draw, and even make hair extensions. I also continued to sell any craft I could. Honestly, if I got down to the root of it, I think I loved crafts for two reasons. It was a means of self-expression, but also, it was one way that I could feel like I was building a relationship with someone. Specifically my grandma and, in some cases, my mom. I learned a large portion of my crafting skills from my grandma. I loved crocheting with her and I loved when she would show me how to sew. I loved to show her my creations and get her approval. My mom would take me to all sorts of crafting events and 4-H events and I always loved that we did it together, or that I felt like she was supporting me. Crafts always made me feel in-touch with my deepest emotions and it was a way of releasing them. As I entered my teen years, my crafts surely expressed a decline in my mental health. I even had a teacher threaten several times to send me to see the school guidance counselor because of my rather morbid projects.
These days, I don’t really have time for crafts anymore- though I still love them. The projects that I have completed are displayed around my room. The ideal job for me would allow me to express things creatively, be it handcrafts or even digital art. The ideal life for me would be one where I am able to spend lots of time working on craft projects every week. Maybe like 1 day a week, I’d work on projects. I’d be living a sad life if I couldn’t do anything artsy.
Studying Japan and Japanese🎌🇯🇵
To this day, I can not tell you why Japan feels like home to me. I can not tell you why I feel like I’ve been called to go to that country. All that I can tell you is that I’ve been this way since I was a small child. Before I knew about all the exciting things about Japan that I know now; I knew about the culture and some of Japan’s history from a book I read. I had no idea about anime, electronics, kawaii, or any of that until much, much later into my studies. Learning about Japan has always given me a sense of fulfillment and peace and studying Japanese does the same. Teaching Japanese or what I’ve learned about Japan increases these feelings by more than 100%. I would love to have a job where I am able to regularly connect with the rich culture and history of Japan, while using the language simultaneously. I’ve even thought a lot about how I want to communicate with my future children in both Japanese and English.
When I was a child, there was almost nothing and no one I valued more than my “best friends”. For whatever reason, I’ve always been someone who values very close-knit bonds with just a couple of people. Spending ample time with them, enjoying life with them, even going through tough times. I value companionship so much and it is one of the things in life that truly makes me happy. However, as time has gone by, many of the people I know and once had a closer (emotional) bond to have moved on with life. We’ve grown up and we’ve moved on. Many of them have decided that it’s better to pour their love and energy into their relationships with their blood relatives (or romantic partners), which I can understand fully. I used to wish that I could do the same, actually. At one point I tried to, but I don’t have that type of family. One that was built on a solid foundation. Instead, we are mostly scattered, distant, and in many ways- broken. It’s no longer something that makes me sad though. Instead, I look forward to starting a family of my own some day. I also no longer really allow myself to get as close to people as I used to. I would even say that I don’t have a bond, like I used to when I was a child/teen, with anyone- except with one of my siblings. Sometimes it makes me sad, but I know that God wouldn’t put this desire in me if he didn’t intend to fulfill it someday.
My Relationship with My Lord
May of 2014 was when I decided to publicly declare my decision to follow Christ, but it was the months leading up to it that my love for Christ was rooted. I love answering this question for people who ask me why I decided to convert (from atheism/agnosticism) to Christianity. Growing up, I was taught in school that I came from nothing, mixed with coincidence. A random bang, Darwinism, the evolution of a bacteria cell, etc… It was easy to lose hope with all of my faith being in those concepts of science. The idea that humans were all humanity had was terrifying because of the nature that I’d always witnessed of people. Especially my own. At 20 years old, I was lost. Beyond lost. I needed to feel as if there were a deeper meaning of life, a purpose for my life, and that my faith for humanity could be restored. I was pretty skeptical about becoming a Christian, actually. Between my past and the person who I was at the time, especially with all of my body modifications, I was concerned that I’d be judged- since that’s what Christians are infamous for doing.
Instead, what I found was a personal one-on-one connection with the One who created all life and a supernatural book, that could be interpreted in a multitude of ways, which could give me guidance and support through this crazy life. I learned the joys of just being good to this planet and the people on it, I learned to love myself, and I learned that I am not the result of some random, coincidental explosion. I was created intentionally, as was all life, and I play an important role on this earth. I found myself and a love for myself through Christianity. And when I have nothing else to believe in, I put all of my energy and faith into Christ, and I find myself able to get through anything. Some people disagree, some just can’t relate, and some people are even angered by the idea of someone believing in something they can’t see (unless it’s ghosts or astronomy lol). Luckily, when I became a Christian, I decided to stop living my life for other people and set my sights on something more precious. Something eternal.