Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Blast from the Past (Japan)

Wow! While looking through my email today, I came across this bad boy. It's almost sureal to read this email now. It seems like a dream. Now, it's easy for me to say "Oh, I wish I was back in Japan" but while I was there it was much harder to deal with things on a daily basis. Well, I definitely look back with fond memories and hope to go back some day. Japan, I miss you!! I hope you miss me ;)

Konichiwa. Ok, ok, I better not write anymore Japanese or I might
fool some of you into thinking I have actually learned some ("might" being the operative word in that sentence :) Well, somehow I have survived and it's almost February now. Time has gone by pretty quickly. Things here are going ok....things are pretty much the same,
except that I have started teaching at elementary school too. I teach at JHS Mon-Thur and elementary school on Friday. The kids are super cute and genki (energetic). I am teaching second grade. Every Friday I teach five 2nd grade classes in a row (yes, please feel tired for me). By the 2nd class my voice is already starting to go. And some how the kids don't seem to flinch at my awful voice....brings back many memories of out of tune Christmas carols at Chuck and Betty's......Singing is definitely not our family's' strong point (hate to break it to you guys).
Mom was here for almost 2 weeks over Christmas break and it was GREAT to see her. We really had a blast. We were on the go the whole time. We visited Takayama, Hakone, Kyoto and Tokyo....a good mix of culture and shopping (I'm sure I don't need to tell you who wanted to do what). Don't tell Mom, but I did enjoy seeing some of the history of Japan. It was great to see how excited Mom was to see everything.....reminds me of the good old days, when I had just arrived in Japan (I am old and jaded now). It was SO nice to have someone to bother, nag to and generally annoy. Oh, and speak at a normal speed to and use "large" words with. I was REALLY bummed that she had to go home. Oh, Momma, you can't leave me here alone AGAIN!
Back to the grindstone.......I got to go snowboarding for a weekend. It was fun, my first time in Japan (I went to Nagano). I went with a bunch of people I didn't know....which made it a little weird, but they were all Americans, Eurpoeans, Austrailians and such.....so at least I could talk to them. It wasn't Keystone or A-basin, but it was great just to be doing something I love. Was sad to have to come back to reality :)
Well, I should probably move on to a more important piece of information......My decision for next year. As some of you may know (and most of you will know now), I had to make my decision about next year (will I stay or will I go?). I have turned in my contract, and drum roll please......I have decided to come HOME!!!!! (if I could put
neon blinking glittery lights around that I would). I know this might come as a surprise to most of you (the biggest surprise was to my boss). It was a hard decision but I think I have made the right decision. I guess, my emails have highlighted the many highs of this adventure and not really shed light on my true feelings. I am having a good time, but I am really not that happy (this does not stem from my
job). I am complacent but I know I could be much happier.There are many perks of this job (ie I'm actually saving $$), but at this point, I don't feel that it is enough to keep me here. I learned this in Belize (but may have forgotten it as soon as I came
home and saw Needless Mark-ups aka Neiman Marcus), but it has blaringly been brought to my attention here in Japan again. I can NOT buy my happiness. I am in a place where I could buy whatever I wanted (assuming I lost about 100 lbs to fit into clothes, and bound my feet to shrink them 5 sizes), but I realize that these "things" won't make me happy (don't worry I won't be turning down any Chanel or Louis
Vuitton purses. Manolos anyone?). The things that make me happy are at home, and they are people rather than things (does snowboarding count as a person?).
I think a large part of my problem is the language barrier (I know this is my own doing). I have learned a little (that font is too big, I should write little in about size .0005 font) Japanese, but it is hard to motivate myself when what I learn doesn't really help me.
There are 2 parts to this problem. The first one being that, being able to ask "What's this?" doesn't work to well when you have no clue what the respondent is saying. And part 2, knowing how to say "What's this" isn't a great way to make friends (or pick up guys).
Before Japan I have never had a problem making friends, but here I
have not made one friend on my own. The friends I do have are people who I meet though association, ie the "old guys" girlfriends. While these people are really nice, I feel like they are obligated to be my friend.....which seems to be less fufilling. There has also been some bad health in the family this year. Being here, I feel like the money will always be here, but my friends and family won't be. I can always work harder or longer, but I can not get time back that I could of or would have spent with my family. I am young and I have plenty of time to make more money. These are not my only reasons for making the decision that I did....but if you would like a more complete list please email me, I'd be happy to fill your time. So, with all that said, I'm coming home.
Yikes, well, this is getting long......Ok, so long story short, my decision has been made. And can I please say, Hallelujah I won't be stuck here another year and 6 months (.......only another 6 months)!
Alright, well I hope you will all support my decision. I hope everything is going well. Miss everyone. Oh, I put up a bunch of new pics, from Mom and my travels (Takayama w/ mom, Kyoto w/ Mom, Kyoto2, Hakone w/ mom, and Tokyo w/ mom, and snowboarding). Enjoy. Stay happy
and healthy. Keep in touch!

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