It’s Life! (and that thing called a goal)

If you have known me for any amount of time you know that I’m learning Japanese, and you probably also know that I want to go to Japan. You probably also know that I want to go to GenkiJACS, a language school in the heart of Fukuoka.

You may also know my many attempts to obtain the means with which I’ll be able to go. (Here’s a hint: most of them include “artbook” in the title.) But I think every attempt thus far, including to some extent the most recent one (although it’s been much more successful than all its predecessors combined, mind you), has been frustrated in some way. Either I got in my own way, fumbling over myself, or I allowed myself to become too distracted by other things and wrestled with finding and maintaining a balance between art and Japanese learning (oh, and life outside of that, lol).

Each time I learned from the mistakes and the overall experience, and I picked myself up to try again.

Upon realizing new things, and opening my mind to new possibilities, more opportunities opened up. The more I turned over to God, the more things fell into place; the more became clear to me.

I’ve been wanting to go. Obviously I wasn’t supposed to go just yet.

The time I first decided that I wanted to go–no, that I wanted to make going a reality–was in May of 2010. Since then, while I’ve not gone, here’s what has happened:

more public Wi-fi has been put in place in Fukuoka
info about portable wireless routers was posted
a manga shop (Mandarake) moved into the first floor of the building GenkiJACS is in
LLC (low-cost carrier) airlines opened up
a bit of info about language-exchange partners was posted (something I had wondered about)
more detail on how class levels work was posted (also something I had wondered about)
and, most recently, –GenkiJACS is now offering travel health insurance for those staying less than three months

I check back on the GenkiJACS website and blog every now and then to see what has been updated, especially pages like the FAQ. More info and reviews have been posted since just last year, and it always amazes me to see how these things have fallen into place while I’ve been waiting for the opportune time to go–which is exactly when God wants me to.

Now, these things would have probably happened whether I went or not, but the point is that if I had gone right away in 2010, I would have missed all of these things, whereas I wouldn’t if I were to go now (or later). I wasn’t supposed to go then, because it just kept not working out, and maybe I’m still not supposed to go just yet, but I have definitely learned a lot in all of it. Through all my struggling, successes, and failures… Through going to China unexpectedly (we flew right over Fukuoka too!)… Each experience has taught me many lessons.

I’m sure I’ll learn even more. That’s life.

With all of this said, I have come up with a few new goals (or maybe they’re all just one big goal, but I digress). The particular ones I am listing are monetary-related, but I do have many that aren’t.

  • The first one is for our church. We’re launching a program called the 20/20 Vision, and of course it requires funding. They’re asking for a commitment over three years (so they’re not asking for it all at once) and what is collected will both fund the Vision and pay off the building debt so the money that had been going to paying off debt will be freed up to fund the Vision.
  • The second one is for Japan. I say “Japan”, but I mean what is necessary to pay tuition at GenkiJACS, transportation, housing, food, cell phone usage, and some extra, over a period of three to four weeks. It doesn’t include the price of flights or insurance, but with this figure I will be paying probably an even split with my parents.
  • The third one is for an iMac, which I am getting in August over tax free weekend (best time to get things like this!), as well as the Parallels software (which will allow me to run Windows on my Mac simultaneously so I can use SAI) and software upgrades for my MacBook Pro–and hopefully a new battery for the MacBook Pro as well. There are a few reasons why I’m doing this, which I can detail in another post.
  • The fourth monetary goal is for printing. This is my printing budget, out of which I pay the printer to print my posters, artbook, and other things.

Today I have opened commissions. The four things listed are where money from commissions will go. I haven’t yet decided at what percentage I’ll divide it up, though printing will probably be one of the first priorities.

I’m going to keep an open mind.

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