Sorry I haven’t been updating this blog recently. It’s not that I haven’t had the time or even the energy. I’ve written several blog posts but haven’t published any of them because I guess I’m feeling a little lost. Okay, a lot lost. And a lot confused, too.
What am I doing in Japan? And why the Hell did I come here in the first place?
Those are two questions that have been circulating my thoughts on a continuous loop the entire week. Non-stop. It’s like a chorus to a Britney Spears song; I can’t get it out of my head. And. it’s. driving. me. insane.
I’ve turned into an insomniac. I’ve woken up each morning this week in a complete panic.
It all started last Monday, when I decided to take a walk because I couldn’t sleep. I wandered to a 7-11 where I bought a Cesar salad and then sat on a bench in a neighbor’s garden, surrounded by a family of stray cats and a colony of bats. And it was one of the those rare moments where reality sets in and and you’re struck by how surreal life is sometimes. How bizarre was it that I was sitting in a tomato patch, munching on a salad at one in the morning, with bats fluttering around my head, in the middle of freaking Tokyo?
And it lead me to think about the events leading up to those moments.
In the last six years, I’ve moved nine times. I’ve lived in three different countries, not to mention on a number of different cruise ships. It’s been more than half a decade of Wanderlust to the extreme. What’s motivating this chronic need to travel? And are those reasons justified and valid?
I’ve talked to a number of other foreigners about this. And I’ve come to the conclusion that most expats come to Japan for one of three reasons:
They are either…
* In a relationship with a Japanese person
* Passionately interested in a particular aspect of Japanese culture
* Certifiably insane
That last category is sort of a popular one. The Expat population in every country, but especially Japan, tends to attract quite a few misfits and outcasts. Part of the reason Japan is an appealing escape, is because even if you are a socially inept ‘loser’ back home, here the mere fact that you are a foreigner automatically upgrades you to ‘rock star status’. Plus, nerd culture is not only openly accepted here, it’s also sort of fashionable. People who read comic books, watch anime and play video games are respected, even revered. Japan is a sort of safe-haven/paradise for foreign nerds everywhere.
And then there are the terminally lost. The tortured souls. The people who are looking to solve or escape a troubled past by living a life of foreign-land distractions. What better way to forget your problems then by losing yourself in another culture? And the guise of living abroad in order to ‘learn a new language’ or ‘experience a different culture’ are excellent excuses to hide behind.
But everyone in category three is to a greater or lesser degree, mildly crazy. After all, you have to be a little crazy to want to leave the comfort of friends and family and everything familiar, to live in another country where every day is an uphill battle. At least, not without a damn good reason for doing so.
And I don’t have a reason for being here, least of all a damn good one. I came here with the vague desire to re-learn Japanese and an urge to have an adventure. I think I’m beginning to realize now, that while these are great reasons to visit Japan, they aren’t necessary enough to justify relocating here.
So I’d have to say I probably fall into category three. I’m in no way a pariah back home, but I guess you could say that I’m on a World-wide search to find my purpose in life. I’m not sure if that makes me crazy or not. I’m not sure if my unquenchable thirst for travel is a means of self-discovery or an elaborate method of running away from myself.
I do know that I’m really confused right now. And I’m trying to learn how to be okay with that. It’s okay not know all of the answers, right?
I also know that whatever decisions I make about living in Japan, I’m definitely not leaving anytime soon. The little fact that my bank account is in negative numbers, will assure that I’m here for at least the time being. I need to save money and seriously and thoroughly contemplate my next step before I make any major decisions.
So that’s where my head is right now. So pardon, if you don’t hear from me again for a little while. I think I might take a break from blogging until I’ve sorted a few things out. Namely, myself.
Wish me luck. ; )
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