My name is Jeremiah, I am 35 years old. I live in a small village in the mountains of Nagano. My wife is Japanese and I have three children.
I am writing to thank you. I am going on my third year living here in Japan. I have never felt more at home than I do here in these sacred mountains. But the thing that I have struggled with is the language. I kept pushing it off, telling myself and my wife that I will get to it soon. And yet soon is now almost three years later.
I really don't know why I kept running away from it. One reason is that it just seems impossible that I could ever be fluent one day. The order of the sentences is so different than English. And the kanji seemed overwhelming. The more time that has passed, the more I have come to directly experience the necessity of communicating in Japanese. And now my children are speaking. They do understand English, but the majority of their speech is in Japanese.
I have felt isolated and disconnected from my family and my place here in Japan.
I was ready to give up. The doubt and fear was becoming too strong. When I do try to speak I often get nervous and feel stupid. And so I then get discouraged and quit. And yet like swimming, the only way to learn is to jump in, and when you jump in you don't know how to swim yet. I don't want to wake up 10 years from now having ran away from what could be possibly one of the greatest gifts in my life.
Last week I was really considering quitting. The doubt was becoming overwhelming. Then I received your book. And I feel a real sense of hope. Not the kind of hope that comes and goes, but rather a feeling that struck deep in my mind and heart.
Your authenticity, fierce belief that anyone can learn, and your great sense of humor helped opened my heart again to the possibility that this can happen for me.
I have bought, tried, and quit so many courses over the years. But your book is probably the best I have ever read in regards to learning Japanese. It is clear, concise, and filled with direct experience that was put into everyday reality. It seems I have everything I need.
My wife will speak to me all day in Japanese when I am ready. I have a woman here in the village who is offering to speak with me for 1 hour each day for free. I have the tools I need. Now it is just committing to the task and answering the invitation that life has offered me. I do not have a strong desire to learn languages in general, but I do have a deep desire and intention to fully function and serve here in Japan for the rest of my life.
Thank you for sharing your personal experiences and the gift of your teaching and book. I am very thankful. I truly appreciate the time and energy you spent in offering this book to the world.