Back To Japan!
I’ve never made it a secret to anyone that I’m moving to Japan. It was always on the radar. Of course there’s the leap of faith move and just GO. I’m way too meticulous to do something like that, so I’ve been planning for the better part of two years now.
And now, I can almost taste it. I’m closer than I ever have been.
There are always bound to be complications and things that could stop me from going. First and foremost is my mother. You guys know she is retired and for the life of me I can’t remove the thought of something happening to her and I’m LITERALLY half a world away. My stomach turns at the thought. But even she knows how much I want this.
Next are my friends, but they’re mostly cool with me going because they want somewhere to crash in Tokyo. Fair enough. But it took a long time to build these friendships and with my pervasive social anxiety (better now, but still), I’m a little fearful my first few months will be a little lonely. It’s impractical to do the back and forth with people 13 hours away (although Twitter helps!). They’re my friends of course, but such is the nature of distance.
I would thereafter include a love interest, but the guy I’m seeing knows the deal with me leaving, so it’s not going to be a shock.
Then there’s the general trepidation of job changes. Right now, that is the biggest question mark on the Japan move. How am I going to make a living? I currently make good money and any normal person in this job market would look at me cross-eyed for changing. I think and re-think my position on the matter regularly and come to the conclusion that I’ve gone as far I can go. The smart thing for me to do would be lessen my liabilities as much as possible in expectation of this income drop. I understand that I’m not going to make nearly as much. Thats fine. I care more about being happy and experiencing the world than being rich.
The idea is to be smart about this. I’m going to take a CELTA English teaching course in a couple months to get certified. That will at least give me a one-up on others without the training and open the possibility for better job opportunities. Also, I’m doing intensive Japanese study as well, working to finally pass the N2 level of the JLPT. It will be a little crazy for a while, but I must do this if any employer is to take my Japanese seriously and to show I’m confident in its use. Truly, I only feel confident about reading, but speaking is my nemesis. I’m so afraid of saying the wrong thing; I just don’t want to be THAT guy, the stupid gaijin that has no clue. I know I can pass it – I know it! – but I’ve got to buckle down and get more vocabulary into me. That is my weakest point. When I ask Japanese people how they learned their vocabulary, they can’t really explain how. When I think about how I learned my vocab in school for English, its the same. But I remember lots of cram study and lots of reading. I mean, LOTS. What I didn’t understand, I looked up in the dictionary and tried to use it so I could remember. That’s all. Maybe it is that simple…
Anyway, as you can see, there are a lot of things to consider. I’m heading to Tokyo in March for a special event, and it will be a good opportunity to see how much progress I’ve made. I’m excited, scared, and somewhat expectant that I’ll do better than I ever have. It’s a big hole in the world right now, but I am hopeful, now more than ever.
There never is and never will be a “good time to go”. I’m hoping this is the next chapter in my life. It’s time to move forward, for better or for worse.