Happy New Year! And welcome to my first post of 2013. The start of a new year is usually the time when people take some time to plan, think about the future, make resolutions…and what am I but another bumbling fumbling earthling trying to make sense of the vastness of the universe and the puzzle that is life?
The end of 2012 came with some big changes for me. I ended relationships, both romantic and platonic, and reconnected with old friends and family who had been somewhat neglected in favour of “finding myself” in Tokyo. Last year, I blogged that my homecoming at Christmas was kind of anticlimactic. However this time around, when it was time to go home I found myself in a bathroom stall in Pearson airport, staring at the speckled grey door in confusion with tears running down my face because I was so sad to be leaving Canada!
So although I still love my Tokyo, I’ve decided this will be my last year-and-a-bit in this city, and likely Japan. The yen is dropping, so I can’t make as much money. There’s no longer a love interest keeping me here. And truthfully I miss feeling like I belong somewhere. Though I’ve met some wonderful people here and I have a lot of fun, there’s nothing like being able to let your hair down the way you can with people who’ve known you your whole life and love you unconditionally.
While I’m having the time of my life here there’s something about expat life, at least for me, that feels like a detour. I’ve even had some expat friends compare living here to being in university again, but with more money. I feel like at some point I have to “get back to real life”…though I’m not sure why I feel that way. I’ve always wanted to work as a writer/editor, and I can theoretically do that from anywhere in the world now that we’ve got this magical new thing called in-ter-net. I guess there are other things to consider, like “settling down”. In my last post I touched on the trials foreign women face dating out here. There’s that, and I don’t really want to raise a child in Japan. On top of concerns about bullying/out-casting (this IS the country that still has a ‘no foreigners allowed’ policy at certain establishments), I don’t want to add language difficulties to the challenge of parenting.
Maybe it’s my impending birthday, looming like a hungry seagull ready to swoop down and snatch another french fry of life, that’s making me feel this way. I only have a couple of years of my twenties left, and I guess I feel once I’m thirty that’s the time to stop searching for materials from which to make a life and start actually building one.