This post is my contribution to the J-Bloggers' Carnival "New Beginnings hosted at http://sopheliajapan.blogspot.
Other contributors to this carnival are:
Zacky Chan of Gaijin Explorer (A blog about practicing Japanese archery, exploring Japanese wilderness, traveling around spots of interest, and other creative meanderings based in the southern Japanese island of Kyushu) withhttp://gaijinexplorer.
John Asano Of Japan Australia joins us with http://japan-australia.
Ishikawa JET Blog, the official blog for the Ishikawa JET community (writing about living and working in Ishikawa and Japan in general) offer http://ishikawajet.wordpress.
Sophelia from Sophelia's Adventures in Japan contributes http://sopheliajapan.blogspot.
April marks the start of the new fiscal year in Japan, as well as the new school year. The graduation ceremony in March and the Entrance ceremony ushers out your former students and brings in a new class and a new course load. It's also a time for a number of goodbye and welcome parties. For me, the beginning of April has marked the countdown of the last 4 months I will spend on the JET Program working at my school. I'm ready to move on to bigger and better things, yet I feel reluctant to leave my life here. This year has been the best I've experienced in Japan. I've been able to deepen my relationships with people here, and I've felt more focused than ever in terms of finding myself, my mission in life (sounds grandiose, but I believe I've been searching for this for quite some time), and my artistic voice.
|Graduation ceremony: out with the old|
|Not the best selfie |
(on the way to my last JET welcome party)
I spent the first year really struggling, not only because I was knee-deep in culture shock, but also because I barely understood the language and I had also lugged over a bunch of hangups from my life in NYC and Florida that I had not yet dealt with. These things always take time to unpack and figure out, in order for one to make major positive changes in life. While I still deal with some of these things to a lesser extent, I feel that I've overcome so many of the hurdles that I kept coming up against in my 20s and early 30s. I've lost a few friends who had been very close to me in my teens and 20s, but I've also gained and deepened newer friendships as well. Letting go though can be incredibly hard to do.
|My current Japanese reading level|
|K-san's goodbye concert|
|TASK 沖縄 members|
As I round out the end of my early 30s and head towards mid 30s, I am ready for a change though. I'm ready to dive headfirst into a career and life that will match my passions and allow me to grow, to find a new home that I will feel comfortable in, in a city that will also match my needs. I can't see myself returning to NYC, to be honest. Though I love it, and will probably visit it again, I feel that I need to live somewhere that is a bit more relaxed with a better quality of life. In the coming months, I guess I will figure out where this next part of my life will be. Until then, I suppose the best way to move forward is to be as much as I can in the present, day by day...