first language vs second language

I’ve been living in different countries for three years now. When I was in the school in the U.S., I had a friend from Japan so I had a chance to use Japanese every single day along with English. However, after I graduated the school and moved to Canada, there is no chance to use Japanese in my daily life. Now, I only use Japanese when I write for honeyhands, and talking to my friends and family in/from Japan on the phone.


A few months ago, suddenly this thoughts hit me: "Am I forgetting Japanese?" I realized that I've been thinking things in my head in English, I'm talking to myself in English, and all my dreams became in English. And I started concerning about my skill of Japanese. I feel like my first language is becoming unfamiliar to me and sometimes, this freaks me out.


Photo by @hikarilillynaka / @hikfilm

Although I know that I would be nervous to speak Japanese, forget some words, messy grammar and all that, I'm still trying to figure out why this is happening to me. I'm very happy that my English is improving every single day a little by little but I'd never wanted my Japanese to be "bad." When I went back to Japan in August 2016 for the first time after two years of living in the U.S., I was told "your Japanese is amazing!" by a guy who works at this tea store while I was shopping with my sister. My sister answered "umm.. she's actually Japanese!" while I was lost and thinking what he meant. I was shocked! I don't know what exactly he thought but I understand that he thought that I sounded like a foreigner. And the same things happened a few times afterwards.