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The Freedom I Took for Granted

If Japan has taught me anything, it is to be independent.

Now that I’m home and have been at home for two months now, I think about how I might have taken that freedom and independence for granted. Every day, my parents come to me with a new problem, whether it be to help them fill out their unemployment form claims or to help them take care of my sister. I’m back to thinking and caring for other people, rather than just myself. Of course, I’m not saying that I don’t like to help them, but it was nice to have the freedom of taking care of just myself. It’s stressful when you have to worry and care for other people, on top of the things you have to do for yourself.

Since I got back, I’ve received a constant reminder:

“What is my problem is your problem.”

If my sister is hungry, it’s not just her problem, but also my problem.

If my mom’s phone is broken, it’s not just her problem, but it’s also my problem.

If my dad loses his driver’s license, it is not just his problem, it’s my problem.

Whatever problem they have, I have to fix.

I suppose it’s practice for being selfless because I never once told them I didn’t want to help them or I was sick of helping them, but it does make me think about the freedom I had in Japan. Even though I miss it, I’m happy to help my family because it’s preparing me for the future.


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