Thursday, January 3, 2013


The title right there^ is read "ee ka getsu". It means one month. So that's how much I had left as of yesterday. This trip has been amazing, and the people that mean the most to me know they do, because I won't stop telling them.

"So lately, I've been wonderin
Who will be there to take my place
When I'm gone, you'll need love
To light the shadows on your face
If a great wave should fall
It would fall upon us all
And between the sand and stone
Could you make it on your own

If I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low
I'll go wherever you will go

And maybe, I'll find out
The way to make it back someday
To watch you, to guide you
Through the darkest of your days
If a great wave should fall
It would fall upon us all
Well I hope there's someone out there
Who can bring me back to you

Runaway with my heart
Runaway with my hope
Runaway with my love

I know now, just quite how
My life and love might still go on
In your heart and your mind
I'll stay with you for all of time

If I could turn back time
I'll go wherever you will go
If I could make you mine
I'll go wherever you will go"

"You left me with goodbye and open arms
A cut so deep I don't deserve
Well you were always invincible in my eyes
And the only thing against us now is time

Could it be any harder to say goodbye
live without you,
Could it be any harder to watch you go, to face what's true
If I only had one more day
I lie down and blind myself with laughter
Well A quick fix of hope is what I'm needin'
And how I wish that I could turn back the hours
But I know I just don't have the power yea

Well I'd jump at the chance
We'd drink and we'd dance
And I'd listen close to your every word,
As if it's your last, but I know it's your last,
Cause today, oh, you're gone.

Could it be any harder
Could it be any harder 
Oh yea yea could it be any harder to live my life without you?
Could it be any harder? I'm all alone, I'm all alone.

Like sand on my feet
The smell of sweet perfume
You stick to me forever baby
I wish you didn't go,
I wish you didn't go,
I wish you didn't go away
To touch you again,
With life in your hands.
It couldn't be any harder."

"Things are changing
It seems strange and
I need to figure this out
You've got your life
I got mine
But you're all I cared about
Yesterday we were laughing
Today I'm left here asking
Where has all the time gone now
I'm left alone somehow
Growing up and getting older
I don't want to believe it's over

Don't say goodbye
Cause I don't wanna hear those words tonight
Cause maybe it's not the end for you and I
And although we knew
This time would come for me and you
Don't say anything tonight
If you're gonna say goodbye

Do you remember
In December
How we swore we'd never change
Even though you're leaving
That our feelings
Would always stay the same
I wish we could be laughing
Instead I'm standing here asking
Do we have to end this now
Can we make it last somehow
We both know what we've gotta say, not today
Cause I don't wanna leave this way

And if it's over
It hurts but I'm giving you my word
I hope that you're always
Happy like we were
Happy like we were

Yesterday we were laughing
Today I'm left here asking
And although we knew this time would come for me and you
Don't say anything tonight
If you're gonna say goodbye"

"It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word
And then that word grew louder and louder
'Til it was a battle cry
I'll come back when you call me
No need to say goodbye

Just because everything's changing
Doesn't mean it's never been this way before
All you can do is try to know who your friends are
As you head off to the war
Pick a star on the dark horizon and follow the light
You'll come back when it's over
No need to say goodbye
You'll come back when it's over
No need to say goodbye

Now we're back to the beginning
It's just a feeling and no one knows yet
But just because they can't feel it too
Doesn't mean that you have to forget
Let your memories grow stronger and stronger
'Til they're before your eyes
You'll come back when they call you
No need to say goodbye
You'll come back when they call you
No need to say goodbye"

this music list was:
The calling- wherever you will go
the calling- could it be harder
Skillet- Don't say goodbye
Regina Spektor- The call

This is how I feel. Right now. Not about a person particularly but, actually, yes to a person. To me. To the Miah I've seen in Japan. To the full-potential Miah. Because that's what I've found here. Yes I've had my down times, but even people that don't know me well can see that I'm happy here. They tell my mom that they see me smile here than they have ever before. I don't want to lose who I am, but 10,000 miles can do some damage. I don't wanna say goodbye to Japanese culture and life, the friends I've made here, or the person I've become. Because I like her. As screwed up and crazy as I am sometimes, I'm finally proud of the person I am, with my talents and screw-ups. Everything. Because I know I can keep growing. It's just scary to move on. To move ahead.

To be honest, I'm terrified of my future.
Why is it that what we want to become when we're four and five seems so impossible a decade or two
later? What changes? Our desires? Of course. When I was young, I wanted to learn to play the guitar, and and drive an ice cream truck drawn by horses instead of running like a normal car. I wanted to play my own Ice cream truck music on my guitar. Now why can't I still have a dream like that? Because you know what I didn't give a single crap about? How much money I would make. I knew I would be happy. That's what was important. Now how horrible is it that at 16 I'm freaking out over the mortgage of my future home or if I can afford to send my future kids to college? I shouldn't have to worry about that. But I do.

I want to do something that will make me happy, that I can be proud of, in a place where I live up to my full potential. I just don't know how. Or where. Or what. Not yet.

And it's scary. Because I'm realizing it's just me and God. And as much as a comfort as He is, I feel alone a lot. So 2013, bring your worst, your best, whatever. I will conquer you, and I will come out stronger in the end. Challenge accepted.

Monday, December 17, 2012


I feel like you guys are probably super disappointed in these blog.
That kinda just sucks for you. Ha.
I've never claimed to be a great writer... *tries to remember if she has ever said that she was* ...well I probably haven't.

I would love to give you guys a daily update on my life, and I'll probably regret not posting as often. But I could never forget about this experience. So that I'm not worried about. I just don't want to always be on the internet here you know? That's not what studying abroad is about. I think you guys that know me would know that I would upload on youtube daily if I could. But I would REALLY regret that. I wouldn't be studying abroad. I would be on the internet in Japan. And I'm just busy all the time. So that's why this blog is randomly updated not so often.

Because I'm not really sure what to put here, I'm just gonna rant, edit, and publish. Best of luck trying to figure out my thought process in this one.

(ps The title is a super awfully translated wayto say, "you7ll be in my heart")
Ruined that early didn't I?

P.S. Doing the "one year Project" again this year. Can't wait

There's so much I want to say

I guess I'll start here..
Yesterday was amazing. Absolutely superb. I got to go to church and hang out with some of the coolest people in the world. Our English prayer meetings can be extremely ridiculous, but I feel like we all get really close during those meetings. Yesterday I shared about how I get really worried about college and money and the future. But I had been reading Psalms and felt incredibly encouraged because God was just shouting at me, "I GOT YOU!!! Follow me and it'll all be ok! You don't have to have it all figured out." He knows exactly what I need to hear. Thanks be to God.
Sanggi, Daichi, Les, Samantha, Kazune, Yuka, and I (ha, I named you all this time) all went Christmas shopping and went out to dinner. Whether determining the difference between "Ajaps" and "jush", getting scared of a piece of paper, or almost getting hit by a taxi, we always can find a way to have a good laugh.

But yesterday brought some sadness as well. Samantha  is going home on Thursday, for good. Samantha is something, man. She was one of the first people I met and I've enjoyed every second we've had to complain about dealing with our guy friends. And yesterday was probably the last time I'll see her for a good while. It was a terribly sad thing.
Not to mention Les and Kazune are also leaving to go home, but they're coming back, so I'll see them soon. Still, very sad.
But there was something I almost can't explain that happened last night.

We all gathered around the entrance to the 地下鉄 (...subway. Yepp, definitely just forgot English). And we all looked at each other for a good ten minutes. Course it wasn't silent. There were jokes being said, and Tenjin isn't exactly quiet even if we wouldn't have been talking. But before any goodbyes were said, I could look at each of the six beautiful faces around me. And I knew this is what we were made for. That kind of companionship you don't just find anywhere. For those of you in that group that may read this, know you are the best friends I've ever made. Honestly. I looked at you guys, knowing some of you I wouldn't see for a long time, and I felt a connection. You're taking a part of my heart with you, know that. To Chicago, Texas, elsewhere in Japan, or up in the mountains.  Doesn't matter if I'm seeing you before the end of this week, or if I don't know if I'll ever see you again. You are a huge part of my story and I can never thank you enough. Something about the way I can look in your eyes and smile, I just know that you will always be in my heart. This may sound super cheesy, but it is blatantly honest. You always can call me up. I may not have been the best person or friend to you, butb I love you. I love you guys so much. And I think we all silently communicated that with our final embraces and goodbyes.

That probably didn't make any sense. Crying Miah can't type.

I'm glad we've had the time together that we've been given.
Thank you.
I love you.
Fair winds.

Thursday, November 22, 2012



*deep breath*

It's Thanksgiving back home today.

So what better to do than write here what I'm thankful for, ne?

I am thankful for so much. So here we go.

-the essentials: a roof over my head, water, food. I know there are a lot of people that don't have even these things. I can't leave that out.

-Jesus. Man, seriously, I don't know what I would do without Him. 

-My family. Whether blood related or not, I can't thank you enough. I have been adopted by many families, and it means the world to me that you treat me like your own. Everyone in my family has been so supportive of this trip, even if they didn't want it in the beginning. You guys are constantly on my mind. You are the closest to my heart and I can't wait to see you again.

-Trials. It's weird how God clears things up, ne? I am slowly seeing how God is using things, that I thought were bad, for good. For His plan. Not to mention that trials make you treasure things when you have them. Without trials I don't know if I could ever truly appreciate the good in my life.

-host families. the most generous people on earth. And I have been blessed enough to have two of them. Sae and Ryoko, or Mr and Mrs. Takahashi, Yuhei, Takuya, Keitarou, Atsushi, and Kanoko. It doesn't matter. I still feel their love radiating. It really keeps me going. Good day or bad, these people can always make me smile.

-FIC. I was super worried about finding a good church when I got here. First place I went to in Fukuoka? Fukuoka International Church. Really great place.

-friends. My friends at school are absolutely hilarious. They've ALWAYS got my back. I'm gonna miss these girls, as terrifying as they can be. =) Hikari, Eri, Akari, Abe, Kaho, and countless more. You guys are my homies man. Forever.

-Sam, Les, Pat, Lee, Kazune, Daichi. You guys are the people that I have the most vivid memories with here. Another blessing from FIC. Samantha is my inspiration. She has been in my shoes and strengthens me to push through, even if she doesn't know it. Les knows when to poke fun and when to lend a helping hand or provide a hug. Pat always gets into ridiculous conversations, and I can never help but laugh at the things he says. Be yourself and be proud of it man. Though Lee's first language isn't English, He's got as much deep incite as the rest of us, and never fails to blow my mind the way he words things. Not to mention that piano talent. Kazune, walking back from Oktober Fest. I'm gonna come live with you, mkay?  =) And last but not least, Daichi. The person I forced to become my living diary from the second I walked into church. I am happy to say we're all friends, and I can only hope this will not be the last time I see you all. You're all beautiful, and you've made this trip the amazing trip it has been so far.

-this trip. When I looked into this trip in the early parts of this year, I never thought I would really be here. Every day has brought some knew understanding, whether about myself, others, the past, the future, the present, God, people, earth, Japanese, water crystal formation, doesn't matter. This trip has been a blessing beyond my wildest dreams. I never knew I could love people and a place like I love Fukuoka. God did good, He did real good. Props.

P.S. I left home three months ago today.

The week before I left for Japan I spoke in chapel. I talked about living everyday as a "once in a lifetime" experience. Because we can never get yesterday back. I think I'm finally really applying that to my life. And not here, I've been doing that for a while. It's easy to make the most of an experience when you know you only have a little bit of time. But when I get back home. I forcing myself to memorize this feeling so that when I get home I won't waste another second. Life's too short.

So to that I say, ありがとう

Monday, November 5, 2012


I have a bit of a challenge for those of you who want to read this blog today.
Please read the lyrics and make up your own interpretation of how you think this applies to me.  It's a popular song from the movie "Hercules", which has some lovely music in my opinion. Enjoy. I will explain in the end of the post, so if you want to be a fun hater, just skip to the end and read what I have to say. 

If you'd like to listen while reading the lyrics, here's a link:

"I have often dreamed
Of a far off place
Where a hero's welcome
Would be waiting for me
Where the crowds will cheer
When they see my face
And a voice keeps saying
This is where I'm meant to be

I'll be there someday

I can go the distance
I will find my way

If I can be strong
I know every mile
Will be worth my while
When I go the distance
I'll be right where I belong

Down an unknown road
To embrace my fate
Though that road may wander
It will lead me to you
And a thousand years
Would be worth the wait
It might take a lifetime
But somehow I'll see it through

And I won't look back
I can go the distance
And I'll stay on track
No I won't accept defeat
It's an uphill slope
But I won't lose hope
Till I go the distance
And my journey is complete
But to look beyond the glory is the hardest part
For a hero's strength is measured by his heart

Like a shooting star
I will go the distance
I will search the world
I will face its harms
I don't care how far
I can go the distance
Till I find my hero's welcome
Waiting in your arms...

I will search the world
I will face its harms
Till I find my hero's welcome
Waiting in your arms

I will go most anywhere
To find where I belong"

....So, what do you think...

To be blunt, as I can most often be, "帰りたくない", the title of today's blog, means "I don't want to return home." I am less than three months from standing in Charlotte, North Carolina. This tears me apart.

I have had the best weekend in the history of Miah being in Japan. My stay here only gets better and better with each day. Literally, all my friends were asking why I was so happy today. I'm just so incredibly blessed to be here and I realized that yesterday. Yesterday, was, without a doubt, the best day I've had since August 22nd. Hanging out with the coolest people in Japan tends to do that. =)

(I have a bit of a depression problem, and I haven't had a down day in quite a while, which, in any situation, is quite simply a miracle.) I couldn't wipe the smile of my face today. I think I experienced a little of what it feels like to be in God's presence. 

When my friends jokingly tell me that I'm just not going home, it starts to make my heart ache because that is really what I want. Now, friends, family, the last thing I want you to think is that I don't miss and love you. That is the farthest thing from the truth. You don't know what I'd give for you to be here right now.

But here's where the song ties in. Currently in life I have a few career choices that I am considering. But with each day that I spend here, the more I feel like I have finally found the place that I belong. I have absolutely no problem seeing myself walking down the main streets of Fukuoka everyday when I'm ready to be off in the world on my own. I simply cannot express the sense of security that God has put in my life in the shape of friendships. Never have I known people to be more welcoming.

Do I feel as though I don't belong in WCCS? Rock Hill? America? Not at all. All of those places are wonderful in their own way. Are there aspects of Japan that I'm not fond of? Absolutely. But imagine when you were a little kid and were putting a puzzle together, (I hope kids still do that) and you had almost finished the entire thing, but the one in the middle that connected them all was missing. And you turned the box over and searched the entire living room floor inch by inch, until finally you found it somewhere all too obvious, like underneath a magazine right next to the puzzle. With that last sweet moment, and you fit that last piece into place, you feel a sense of accomplishment, and it all makes sense. 

That is exactly where I am today, friends, family, mentors, strangers. 

Does this mean I'm 100% sure that in June of 2014 I will be on a plane to Fukuoka, never to see the light of the United States again? Absolutely not. But there is something stirring inside me that says that February of 2013 will not be the last time I set foot in this beautiful city.

So for all of you nerds, you rebels, you goody two shoes, you jocks, you goth kids, you misfits, for you leaders, you followers, you people scared to grow up, you people wanting to be young again, you wanting to get out of your parent's house, you people who don't even know what to call yourself, don't give up hope on your purpose in life.

If you're willing to go the distance, one day it will be evident as to where in this puzzle you belong. Now are you just willing to go most anywhere to find where that is exactly?

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I really don't know what to put here. I feel as though the last time I uploaded was only yesterday. I hate that time goes so quickly. Every time I share a inside joke with someone, or they do something that they know will make me smile, I get a pain deep in my chest. I know the memories will always stay with me, but it's a shame that the people can't as well.

My host sister, Kano, keeps telling me that I type fast. Ha.

On the lighter side, here's your truly yesterday (Halloween) as my life long aspiration, Stitch:

So there's that nonsense.

In exactly a month from tomorrow I will be taking the N5 Japanese Language Proficiency Test. This is the easiest level, but I am completely terrified. 

Note: I started reading the Bible from Genesis on Sunday. I am taking this adventure with another one of the best youth groups in the world, though these people are back in the States.  We plan to finish, cover to cover, in three months. I have been reading the Bible everyday here, whether it's one chapter or fifteen. 

Japanese gets increasingly difficult each day. You would think it might get easier, but no. Please, if you believe in God, put me in a prayer or two. It would be greatly appreciated. 

So I moved classes. I think God is seeing exactly how stretchy I can be. I was very upset when I was told this, but there's some things you just can't change, especially as an exchange student. I'm just trying to make the best of it all.

Ah, yesterday was my 10 week mark. That means I am soon approaching the half way point. 

I mentioned last post that my church is inexplicably amazing. If I knew bigger words or a better way to describe it I would. Writing has never been my strong point.

Last Sunday was probably one of my favorite days since I've been here. I think each and every day is just getting better and better and I don't want it to end. This experience has brought me back down to earth, has shown me the good in people, the benefit of helping others, the reward for working hard, and the truth in finding out who I am and showing in no matter where I am.

My friends here never cease to amaze me. Though they are dealing with equally if not more difficult situations, they are always prepared to give me a great big hug when I need it, which tends to be weekly. 

The title is literally what you say when you return home from somewhere, but I feel like it fits: I'm home.

I love Japan. Simple as that.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


This is definitely my favorite part of this little place called Fukuoka. きょうかい (kyoukai) means church. I can't explain Fukuoka International Church in words. But I'll try now: welcoming, friendly, inviting, hilarious, life-changing, cheerful, comfortable, delightful, encouraging, entertaining, sincere, warm, wonderful, home.
I laughed harder today than I have in months. I can always look to Sundays to brighten my week.
Today, for example, was particularly impacting.
Church is not merely people trying to play upbeat music, nor  a person standing in front trying to make the Bible sound interesting. I feel as though atmosphere in church is almost as important as a message that's given or songs sung. To be completely honest, I'm not crazy about hymns. But there is a sense of community that seems to circulate in the air when people from all over come together, every week, to praise God using pure Gospel in song form. Church is often mistaken to be a building, but it is truly a connection of believers. And FIC shows that very well.
So today was a pretty average service. We heard a message from Reverend Kimura about why the church exists.
After the church service, we had our little English meeting, which almost has an AA meeting feel to it. What is called a "youth group" at FIC is particularly interesting. It basically consists of people under the age of 30. I find it lovely, because I have always wanted to be around people that are a bit older than me. And being the youngest to really be active in this "youth group", I get picked on a lot. If you aren't aware, sarcasm is barely used here in Japan. Like hardly ever. So the people at FIC that are from/ have lived in the US use it brutally with me. I would say 95% of conversation I have at church is me being made fun of or is soaked in sarcasm. And most would think that this would be disheartening. In fact it's quite the opposite. And now you're probably thinking that I'm a lil' messed up in the head if I enjoy being picked on. Well, I can't completely  argue against that. But it reminds me of home. For me, it's a sign of affection. Most of this so-called "affection" comes from my friends Les and Daichi.
So after I got picked on today in the English meeting, it was time for lunch. I sat next to my friend Pat today, who studied Philosophy and often speaks in riddles and reminds me greatly of my friend Emily Coleman in the States. I always enjoy talking to him, even when he never ceases to complain about some things I'm actually quite fond of.
So lunch somehow got us to the conversation about English phrases such as "Howdy"and "'Sup homie". Not to mention talking about children's admiration for finding good sticks, playing in boxes, and Daichi's first love, Maia the "Gold Digger".  Many laughs were shared. I also ended up juggling みかん (mandarin oranges) with Daichi and Sanggi Lee. We're so mature.
Somehow we all got roped into practicing singing hymns upstairs. We sang "It is Well With My Soul" and some song about Danny Boy. Needless to say everyone who could speak English fluently were giggling the entire time with the Danny Boy song, considering it had nothing to do with God, or really anything for that matter.
Usually, I go to a きさてん (coffee shop) with people after church, but today my host family picked me up before I had 
the chance to go. I really wanted to, but its hard to explain sometimes.

Basically, if you happen to go to FIC and read this, know that you are making an impact on my life, and that I care for you deeply. You are making a difference in someone's life whether you know it or not. You make me smile, thank you for accepting me. I wish I could see you all more often. You all make me not want to ever leave.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Wow. Where to begin. Its always so hard to start these things. Let's see.

First off, as of tomorrow, I have been in the great prefecture of Fukuoka for seven weeks. This absolutely blows my mind. As much as I miss the warmth of being at home in Rock Hill, SC, I don't want to leave. You may think, Miah, you still have a super long time there. But think about it this way. A third of my time has gone. While I've been a bit stressed and upset about certain things in life, my time has slipped away in the past week or so. I am slightly disappointed in myself for this, I am determined to enjoy every moment of the next 15 weeks. Whether studying my butt off or enjoying some ramen, I need to soak it up. I want to live with no regrets. Kinda' a motto of mine.

Currently Im trying to remember something and it's driving me crazy.
(Ha! I remembered. #winning)

 Ah! I got my first "care package" from my, I don't even know what to call her. She started out being a friend and work partner of my mom's. Now she is literally part of my family. She is definitely one of my favorite people on the face of the earth. So, anywho, Memory sent me a car package, which included things like deodorant, pencils, and the best thing on Earth, which is Sour Filled Twizzlers, if you didn't know. I shared (I know, it's a miracle) these with some of my friends and got about  85% of the liked it. My friend Daichi thinks he's lucky that they aren't in Japan or he would be addicted.

Speaking of Daichi, I had a lot of fun with him last week. I found out that my friend Sanggi Lee can play the piano very well. And I had a small heart attack when he started to play "River Flows in You" flawlessly. If you don't know this song, drop everything and go listen to it immediately. It is one of my favorite songs of all time. So Daichi made up some lyrics really quickly and they jammed. And yes, that's what I call jamming. And I sat silently and watched in awe. I might have even practiced some of the singing tips that he gave Sanggi Lee this week. Miah's so bad at the singing. 

My friend Chris left my church, FIC, last week. He is back in South Korea now I believe. Honestly I didn't know Chris that well. We talked occasionally at church but that was pretty much it. My church is SUPER traditional, and whenever anyone is leaving the church, everyone gathers around and sings the hymn "On Eagle's Wings." Coming from a church where the worship service looks more like a rock concert, the first time I saw this I was a bit surprised. But when we were all singing to Chris, I teared up bad. Now anyone that knows anything about me knows that it doesn't take much to make me cry (a quality I detest, by the way). But something about this experience was so pure and lovely, I couldn't help it. When my time comes for this, the church will be flooded with my tears. You have been forewarned.

This past week I went on a school trip (trip is the name of today's blog). I went to Kyoto and Nara by しんかんせん (shinkansen, bullet train). Kyoto and Nara are like the still super traditional parts of Japan. Now to be honest, there are parts of Kyoto that look similar to Fukuoka. No, people aren't living in huts, Mom. It's essentially a bunch of parks and temples and places all surrounding a less "big city" feel. I realize that my 
English in that last sentence was super poor. Deal.

I can't finish this post without mentioning this. My homie, Jeff, left for basic last week. So if you could take the time to pray for him I would greatly appreciate it.

John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."