Well……here I am. It’s weird to think. I’m now at the halfway period. Exactly six months ago today, July 31, 2011, I landed in Japan and started my life here. Six months from today, July 31, 2012, I’ll be arriving back in Japan after a 2.5 week vacation home to begin another year. I’m one quarter of the way finished with my time in Japan.
I remember January 31, 2011. It’s memorable to me since was my dad’s birthday, and it just so happened to be my carpool buddy’s birthday. I remember waking up and driving to Murray in the cold. I had an 8:30AM class, and gosh I really hated that class!! As I sat in the passenger seat with my head against the cool glass on our commute to Murray, the last thought on my mind was where I would be in a year and how much my life would change. I’ve been able to experience so many things here that it’s hard to imagine what my life would be like if I wasn’t in Japan. Would I still be content with my life at home? I had only been teaching college level English for two years, but I already felt slightly burned out. Being at work for seven hours a day, a long commute, the lesson plans, and the grading, grading, and more grading was already taking a toll on me. (side note- I know this sounds stupid, but sometimes I miss bringing work home. Crazy….I know!)
It really has been a great six months. It’s hard….I’m not going to lie. I cried a lot around the holidays, and there are days when I wish I was far away from this place that doesn’t have central heating and makes me take off my shoes before entering the house! Sometimes I do feel like a big fat failure in this country. I still don’t know the language, I can’t read my mail, half the time I’m a blubbering idiot at school, and I often screw up cultural aspects. So why stay a second year? After all of that, it seems like I would just want to pack up and leave. Well, if I wouldn’t have come here, I never would have seen one of the world’s largest volcanic calderas, eaten okonomiyaki, met some of the most amazing people, walked the streets of Osaka, learned how to drive on the left side of the road, and so many other things. The pros definitely outweigh the cons. I’ve done all that and more in six months, and there’s still plenty of other things that I want to do/try. One year is simply not enough. For those of you doubting my decision, where’s your sense of adventure?? I’m young, I’m dumb, and I’ve got a few years to play around with before I need to “settle down.” Why not enjoy them?
This blog was basically one long ramble. Sorry. It started off so well by me marking my six months, but then word vomit happened. I’ll write about our weekend adventures in the next blog.