January 17, 2005


I realize that in my last entry I was dying to leave. The thing with me is that I live for this exact moment and in that exact moment I had just returned from a great vacation and was facing going back a job I am less than excited about. We had about 5 days to relax before going back and in an effort to save money and be lazy, we left the apartment twice. It was wonderful but it gave me a lot of time to build up the dread of returning to work and to reminisce about how nice it was to speak English with people who understand it and eat food that didn't make me sick.

Now we've had time to sink back into life and I have had some time to think. Our new schedule is wonderful. We wake up at 9pm and work all night and go to bed at 10am. It is truly wonderful. I have decided not to continue teaching privately so that I can relax a bit more and enjoy the remaining time here. And now that we know our way around more and are able to travel more the idea of finishing out the contract doesn't sound so bad.

But perhaps I am in another mood. Right now things are amazing. And I thought about the meaning of home. It is no secret that I despise CT and would do anything short of losing a limb to avoid moving back there. Home is obviously not where you grow up. My parents don't even live in the same house. Of course, it will always be my home in the sense that my family is there but home is a much broader feeling more than anything else.

My home is wherever Jed is. I realize this sounds sappy but I've lived all over and always had an empty feeling. Wishing I had someone to tell about the stupidity of my day who would 'get it' but always returning to my own little cave to talk to myself. Now I have a buddy to share everything with. This journey in Japan has been ours. Our first real home together. It has come to define us, if only for the time being. I want to stop and appreciate that for what it is and end the silly quest I have of trying to plan a future that is impossible to predict. Things will fall into place.

When the time comes to move and build another home for ourselves I hope we can be near friends. We've been lucky in our lives to maintain intimate friendships from childhood that only get better each second. Anni and Chris are here now for two weeks and having the four of us crammed into our small apartment is, while cramped, wonderful. They are family. They are comfortable and Japan, albeit unfamiliar and at times unwelcoming, is just our backdrop. They'll go to Hawaii and then back to NYC but having them here has given me a new perspective.

It is time for my negativity to take a backseat to actually enjoy what I have around me. I hope it lasts forever, but if it doesn't I want to know I got the most out of it.

Posted by karen at 04:07 PM | Comments (1)

January 04, 2005

Christmas Inspires A Search

I thought that like some other people I work with, I would go home and realize why I left in the first place. In terms of Connecticut, that is precisely what happened, but in terms of America, I was only reminded of what life is like without the extra work.

I was able to lift myself out of the digestive depression Japan has rendered upon me for the last six months and enjoy delicious meals as well as actually feel full and satisfied. This was huge.

My visit home is analagous to a long waitressing shift. The shift is Japan, long and horrible. Going home is the 5 minute break you could take to relax. If you sit down you'll never be able to get back up and finish the shift, but if you charge through, you won't know what you're missing. I don't regret the decision to go home but it does make the return to Japan that much more hideous.

Our dreams are small. We want to own furniture. We would like to not sleep on moldy mattresses on the floor. Jed would like to stand up straight and not lose chunks of his head to the short door frames. We would like to be able to read and speak. We would like to be able to eat.

I've begun the job hunt and sent my resume out to numerous places within our first 24 hours back. I've sunk into quite a slump being back but will try my hardest to make the best of it. We've decided that though we have preferences we'll take what is offered to us and work from there. If anyone knows of a company that would love to hire one of us (in the US), please tell us.

For now that is all. Happier times are on their way, in the form of Anni and Fairbanks who will spend a lovely two weeks in Japan. That will defnitely lift my spirits as will my birthday shortly after they leave. Enjoy life in the USA. Despite the crummy politics and other problems we face, it is much better than people tend to give it credit for. Especially for women.

Goodby for now. This has been an update from Miss Grumpypants.

Posted by karen at 10:16 AM | Comments (2)