~~written 2 weeks ago~~
It’s been mentioned in the last few months that I planned on leaving Japan in the summer so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that I actually have a plane ticket and it’s really going to happen. And it is, in just over 6 short weeks I will be on a plane, halfway across the Pacific to be precise.
What’s been interesting are the comments or questions they’ve asked – they got me thinking about the last 2 years here and how I feel about it all…
“Are you leaving because you hate Japan?”
No, I am not leaving because I hate Japan. I think “hate” is a really strong word to use in general, but I definitely do not hate Japan or living in Japan. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, but I’ve had a great time here.
“I thought you liked Japan”
I do like Japan. The past 2 years have been an amazing experience and I’ve learned a lot being here, exploring and getting to know the culture and people better.
“But you have friends here…”
Yes, I do have friends here and I will never forget them or how much better they have made life in Japan – but I also left friends in America and my family and my dogs… it’s unfortunate that you can’t always have your favorite people near you, but that doesn’t mean you forget them when they’re not nearby!
“You don’t like teaching anymore?”
Um, ok, maybe this question is a toss up… some days I love teaching, and some days I don’t. Some classes and students are awesome and some…well…are not so awesome. Teaching English has been so much more than I expected, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. It can be challenging, fun, rewarding, and enjoyable. It is also other things that are not so positive but those come with any job. It’s been something that I’ve always wanted to do and now I’ve done it, it just feels like it’s time to move on.
“Why don’t you just stay longer?”
Well, because that’s the sort of thinking that could keep me here indefinitely. The bottom line is that it just feels like it’s the right time to go “home” and that I can leave feeling like I’ve accomplished quite a few things. I wanted to prove to myself that I could live in another country, something I’ve always wanted even if I never imagined it would be Japan. I’ve lived outside the US before but never on my own and it was something I needed to do.
All I know is that “timing” is important – doing things in the right or wrong timing can make a big difference. When the timing of a decision is right, you feel peace and that’s how I knew it was right to come to Japan in the first place, and why I know it’s time start my next adventure outside of Japan, taking with me many wonderful memories and new friends.