I'm trying to jump back into the American work pool, but unfortunately, the entire pool now seems to be only the shallow end. And while I'm in the middle of being frustrated about the job market, ( I know, like seventy umpty million other people) Fate seems to think I'd appreciate the joke of reviewing my not so distant past in Japan. Like flotsam on a beach, pieces and memories of Japan have been showing up at my home every few days- pictures of my students, omiyage( that's Japanese for gifts, folks), and mementos from vacations with friends, all of it begging the question, "Why did you leave Japan, exactly?" Suitcases,boxes, duffel bags, every day a little more, all of which has to be tucked into whatever space can be found in my childhood home- talk about your emotional baggage. All of it reminding me that I left a stable job and a fairly fulfilling life in another country...to come back home to uncertainty. While I appreciate the memories, I realize that the big impact of my overseas journey still hasn't really hit me. But I have a suspicion, I'll appreciate it more, once I have achieved the "normal" life I'm now trying to resume- when it's resumed, that is. Right now, I feel like I am trying to squeeze myself myself back into a life, that while extremely familiar, is not so exciting. It's like trying on your favorite pajamas- they fit, but they're a little nappy, and soiled and don't do much for your image. And didn't I leave to get away from that? But everyone needs a starting point, and it only makes sense to come back to mine and build from there. My dream was to experience Japan, and boy, did I! From island life with too much fish, typhoons, winter cold like you can't imagine, (you with your central heating!) to tea ceremonies, dragon boat races, and the fabulous ancient beauty of Kyoto, I lived Japan. My new dream is-to live whatever comes next. What that will be, I don't know, but I'm fairly confident it will come to me. On the one hand, a girl's gotta eat. Practical matters are a concern right now. On the other hand, man does not live by bread alone. In a third hand, (don't ask where that mutant hand came from, btw) lies my future. For right now, I want to survive. But I don't want what I learned about myself to die. I learned that striving for a dream, even if you don't always achieve it, can lend a power to your life that makes even the most mundane things seem purposeful. I want to keep that in mind. Somehow, I'll manage to say goodbye to Japan and that surrealistic dream of a life without forgetting how it felt to hang over a precipice and feel alive. I'll take that feeling into the rest of my life- and hopefully, not regress into letting my job become my life, when my life should be my life. (Does that make sense?) So, it may be sayonara to Japan, but it's hello to a new life, wherever it leads me. I know I won't ever forget what I've experienced-- and because of it, I'm more than ready to keep moving on.
"When you're safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you're having an adventure you wish you were safe at home"
I say, make it all an adventure, in every way you can.