First you’re buying clothes to look professional for a new job: Khakis, black slacks, collared shirts. Button-downs. Then, you’ll be putting on your old clothes after work one day – T-shirts with band names or ironic slogans, bright white sneakers, etc – and realize that your younger self is no more than a Halloween costume. A uniform for leisure.
I am moving to Japan because I’m determined to lead a more interesting life.
I’m still working. I have a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job, usually 9-6 with an hour or so of checking in at 8 p.m. I walk to work daily, stopping for coffee and a bagel. I’m in a three-month oasis of boredom between my college graduation and my departure for Japan.
My current job consists of determining what gets placed where on the website of a decently sized New England daily newspaper. Since it comes in before print, I’m responsible for editing and shaping the coverage based on the reactions by readers. I edit video and I get to see the kind of human depravity too extreme even for newspaper comment sections. Every day delivers new challenges for my ethics and time-management skills.
I design things, I write things, I panic and then I solve things. If it sounds impressive, don’t worry. I’m a glorified blogger (When I leave, I will be a blogger, sans glory).
In August, I move to Japan. Fukuoka-ken, on Kyushu, where I will teach English to high school students.
There’s more glory here for sure.
There. Done. I’ve finished your blog (to date).
Or, most of it at least.
I’ve been handed a similar 3-month lapse between knowing I’m going to Japan and actually arriving. As a to-be ALT, I have no delusions of grandeur. Your blog has helped solidify that.
As much as my brain tells itself this is a real thing that will really become reality – like really- , my body responds simply with the same aching feedback derived from a couple part-time jobs.
I’ve spent some time in Japan – and I have all these artifacts to prove it – but I still believe it to be fantasy. Not some perfect haven, just a world that doesn’t seem to sync with the one I’m currently experiencing.
Anyway, I’m trying to take your advice and not worry too much about it. Prepare for my travel, yes, but not to anticipate my emotions until I have the reason to feel them (paraphrased from your article about flying).
Thanks for writing – I hope to find my own path of expression when I start to really feel things about stuff.
Whew! I finally found your very first bog post! I’m determined to read every single article you wrote here. Your site has helped me tremendously in learning more about the real Japan and manage my expectations. I’m so grateful for having discovered it. (Thank you Tofugu.com for the recommendation!)
I’m sad because it is unlikely that we will get any more updates regarding living in Japan in this blog but I’m happy because I have a pretty solid picture of what it’s like to be JET from start to finish. I do hope that I can get into the program someday.
Thank you Eryk for this amazing blog. :)