March 2, 2011

So this basically never gets updated now. I’ve used this excuse before but I’m perfectly willing to roll it out again – I simply don’t do anything worth writing about. A sentence like that indicates I’ve become a total social zero, content to hole up in my apartment eating grilled cheeses and watching TV shows I can’t understand. Though that’s true, it’s mostly because life in Japan has become…familiar? I’m sure some 20-something character would recoil at the idea of routine life, but I sorta have embraced it. Despite what I wrote for my entrance essay, the main reason I came to Japan was because I craved a new start after college left me emotionally flayed. That newness…that “adventure” to borrow a term oh so many Japan-based bloggers adopt to describe teaching disinterested kids…eventually turned into comfort. Comfort I’m really enjoying and could coast on for awhile.

Naturally, I told my supervisor I wouldn’t be signing up for another year about a month ago. My plan from the get-go was two years and then back to America. Though I fiddled around with the idea of a third year…and at one point regretted doing a second, but that just turned out to be summer-camp blues…I decided I would be doing that just for employment security. I’m already two years behind in my career (THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS) and putting it off any longer just hurts me more. A month ago I felt very confident in my decision, and I retained that feeling all month.

Clearly I would not be writing this if things remained steady. The past two days saw me go from “ho hum feeling fine” to “dear god what have I done?” A friend said I was dealing with leaver’s remorse but that’s not entirely on point – I’m quite ready to leave my job. It’s not bad per se – and given co-worker horror stories shared by others, I work with truly wonderful people – but it’s become kinda a loop. School year starts off great with super geeked-out students, each passing day wittles them down until they aren’t even pretending to try anymore. I don’t blame them – if I had to do all the stuff they have to do, I’d zone out of some American dweebs’ presentation on Groundhog’s Day too. Yet I am a little burnt out of this cycle, and wouldn’t mind something new.

The terror creeps in when I think about everything outside of work. The causer of this dread is legitimately stupid to the point I’m hesitant to share but…it was summer music festivals. Japan has two huge ones, and the initial lineups came out on the first. Looking over them I got excited, but then thought:

“Oh man these both happen around the time my contract ends.”

“I wonder if I could stay with anyone?”

“Geez these are coming up soon.”

“…I only have five months left here.”

Cue panic. Though still a pretty decent length of time, “five months” sounds way shorter than “half a year.” I tell a lot of people one of my goals for the year is to travel more – this is a big lie. I actually want to spend as much time in the place I know so well now as I can, with my friends and people who I’m very close to. I’m scared about finding a job and starting again in America but hey it’s not completely hopeless to find work and I have plenty of great friends in America to make life easier. I’m scared of what I’m leaving behind.

There exists a chance I stumble across work here and stick around. I put this at about two percent unless I wish to keep teaching. On the flip side, something could happen here that makes me want to get the hell out of this place. Who knows. Yet Ill probably end up back in America, doing something I’m not in love with but content with, and hopefully landing in a city with lots of old friends.

And if that happens so be it, that’s how I planned this whole thing from the start. But I’m sure I’ll regret it – even if I tell myself i would have regretted staying. That’s life, I guess.

Any misspellings or grammatical errors above – I blame the iPhone, which I wrote this on.