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As every year, I wrote holiday season’s greetings both in Japanese and in English.  My main message is the same, but the wording etc. is a little different between the Japanese version and the English version.

What was  interesting this year was the  reactions I received to my English version.  Many of my friends sent me the words of encouragement and cheer.  It was nice to receive them, as I felt their support to me. I thought it was a very nice of them to  respond to my struggle and major challenges I went through last year.

My greetings described major changes I went through in the year 2011 including my  career shift, and the challenges that came with it. I also talked about the loss of my close friends  (several that were very close to me) throughout the year, which deepened my sense of loss.  I mentioned that I felt lost with doubt  about my identity and how I can contribute in the new environment.  I discussed the difficulties that Japan  has gone through such as tsunami etc. and the challenges the world is faced with.

I was quite frank and honest about how I felt and how I have struggled.  To my sense of loss and  struggle in the new environment , I received so many encouraging words including “You can make it!! “Real you will emerge to get over the difficulties and challenges”.

Any time you receive these words, you get energy to pick up yourself.  In particular, when you are down, the cheering words do help so much.  I recall the words of the song “You’ve got a friend” by Carol King.

I am very fortunate to have so many friends who extend their help.  I feel I need to meet their expectations and respond to their  confidence in my resilience.  I also think that it is very important to do something, whether it is to send a word of encouragement, write a letter or whatever.  I will reciprocate what they have done to me to others.

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