Hello, my lovely readers. I come to you from another country. Care to guess where?
Yup. I’m in Japan getting off the tail end of Orientation and Training for my new job, but don’t think this will be the end of what you hear from me.
For my veteran followers out there, this isn’t my first time going to Japan. It’ll be my third. However, it’s the first time I’m living on my own, working an 8 to 5 job, paying utility bills, and being more of the standard Western definition of an adult. There was not a dry eye among me or my parents at the airport, and even on the flight over the Pacific, I found myself getting emotional just thinking about this turning point in my life and how much I’m loved and how I’m going to be loved even when I’m an ocean away from my first home.
And at the same time, I feel comfort in knowing that this pain is absolutely normal. It’s a big change, and it deserves big emotions. But one of the things that astounded me was that even though I acknowledged the sadness and emotion of the moment, I didn’t feel completely at east until I let myself smile. I know I’m speaking (writing) in vague terms, and I apologize, but I just hope that I’m clear in that regard. I finally understood that emotions come in clusters and spectrums and that it’s okay to feel more than one at the same time.
Me and Myself
I just moved in to my new apartment last night, and one of the first things I had to learn how to do was get myself to climb the ladder where my loft is so that I could sleep. One of the things that helped me then (and up until now) has been talking to myself.
You laugh, but it’s true. Grabbing onto the handles of the ladder and muttering “You’re going to master this” took me out of my ruminating fear-mode and allowed me to slow things down to the point where I could develop a system for climbing up and down the ladder. Remembering to look down before stepping out of the raised-platform bathroom earns me a “Good job!” because it will reinforce my careful behavior.
Again, you laugh, but it’s true. In the same way that I’ll be praising kids for the English that I teach them, I’ll be going easy on myself and being my own best friend.
I haven’t given up on writing, but this beautiful country with its convenience stores and Shinto shrines is certainly keeping me distracted. Even then, I can’t be too hard on myself. I got here literally a few days ago, and I’m still trying to find that sense of balance. The good thing is that I’ll be able to find it pretty soon. I mean, I’m already writing this blog post. I’ll also need to take care of some bureaucratic stuff, of course.
All in all, I think this will be one of the best years I’ll ever have.