Before studying abroad in Japan, I had many social anxiety issues that I felt entrapped within and thought that there was no possible way of overcoming them. I had always worried about Homelife in Texas, and was paranoid about everything in New York. Nightmarish was my reality. Due to this, part of me was still paranoid about what would happen abroad. However, in the depths of my heart I felt a bursting sense of joy and happiness at being able to go to Japan. I needed to escape the paranoid scene I had created around me and visit a place where I had always felt there was a special sense of peace to be found.
After landing in Japan, I felt a sense of relief and refreshment. From the moment of seeing the calm and balance of the airport area, I could tell I would be able to recover there. During that first train ride, from the airport to the center of Tokyo, seeing the brilliant scenery and hearing nothing but the wind, I started crying inside of everything I had been hoping for since I was young.
As more time passed, and studies commenced at the university, I was able to find friends who reoriented my life's compass back into its original direction and were able to help me on a path toward positivity and optimism. I actually switched to staying for one entire year instead of one semester because of how much more joyful I had become. One person in particular, a study abroad student from a program in Taiwan, became my closest friend and supporter during my time there. By simply talking about my past and experiencing day to day student life together with her, I was able to see brightness in my future and clear up all the mist which was darkening my life's map. I was able to join the main 'circle' (essentially the Japanese college concept of a club) and make friends through it.
So, in summary, by being open about my past and having trust in my own identity, I was able to find friends who helped me make a dream out of what was once a fear. Once I started dreaming, I noticed that each of the experiences I had gone through had taught me crucial lessons. The most important of those lessons is, to be one's self and always stay close to your own spirit.
I guess, in other words, one could say I was happily spirited away in Japan.