All this happened, more or less...

My name is G and these are the true stories of my adventures.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wasting Away

Many factors, both personal and professional, influenced the timing of my return to the US. It's no secret that our economy is in a bit of a shambles, and teaching jobs are hard to come by. You can get a job pretty easily if you're willing to move out into the foothills of Tennessee or to a dark alley somewhere in New York, but why risk your health when you can move abroad and get a cushy chain-school job instead?

kyoto alley

After several months in Japan, I heard a rumor that a position was opening up at my alma mater -- a bit rough around the edges at times, but a good school, close to my family and willing to pay me well. I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I had been planning a visit home anyway because one of my brothers was getting married, so I simply put in my notice at the chain-school and changed my round-trip ticket to one-way.

Well, it wasn't really that simple.

Moving anywhere, especially alone, is always a return to square one. You wipe out every aspect of your daily life and start building something new. I knew that would be the case when I moved to Japan, but I was surprised to find that startling sensation of the Blank Slate was even worse coming home, perhaps because it was unexpected.

My friends in Japan were a tight-knit group, boisterous and spontaneous and utterly free from self-consciousness and responsibility. I reluctantly left them behind and returned home to find that nearly everyone I knew had moved away or gotten married and dropped off the social radar. My parents were in town, but my brothers and sister were out carving their own niches in the world. My British boyfriend, who had originally talked about joining me in the States once he got the paperwork sorted out, ran into a million frustrations trying to get a visa. Combine that with the toll the distance took on our relationship, and we went down like a sumo wrestler made of nato and chopsticks. To top off the loneliness and listlessness I felt, the job I had come home for dissolved into legend. Perfect.

It is a well-known fact in life: if you are happy, stay where you are. Stirring things up will only leave you wishing you hadn't.


1 comment:

kevin said...

I dont know if you'll ever get this, but please email me at, or if you have a myspace:
I'd like to talk to you about your trip to japan.
please and thank you.