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Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Broken Heart by !!ii~ُtHًeً B؛e$tُ DaٌM؛n ‘T‘h،!n9ّ~’s

In two days I’ll be ending my year long relationship with Japan. And the thought that I’ll be trading in a mostly comfortable, stable and familiar relationship for a lonely, uncertain future has got me more than a little freaked out.

Two nights ago I sat in a restaurant in Ikebukuro and cried into a bowl of ramen. I was supposed to be meeting friends at a bowling alley, but my heart felt about as heavy as a bowling ball and I didn’t think I could handle a night of pretending to be happy.

“It was your idea,” my friend Yuki reminded me. She meant the decision I made two months ago to break up with Japan.

“I know…” I dabbed at my tears with a washcloth. “And I still think it was the right decision…It’s just so hard. So permanent. And I don’t know how to go about saying goodbye. I hate goodbyes…and I really, you know, love Japan.

I went home after that to start the painful process of packing. Most of my stuff fit easily into my two suitcases but it took me until four in the morning to finish sorting through all of the photos and mementos Japan had given me over the past 12 months. I then made myself a cup of tea and stood on the balcony to watch the sunrise.

“I wish things could have worked out for us,” I whispered to the cityscape below me. Tokyo tower stood tall like a giant neon traffic cone. It’s lights shone bright like car headlights. “But we’re just too different. We’re not a good match.”

A lot of my friends don’t even know about my breakup with Japan. They don’t know that I’m leaving. I’ve told many of them that I’m going on a vacation to Singapore and Hong Kong on Sunday (which is true) but I’ve purposely neglected to mention the part about never coming back. Goodbyes are just too painful. The awkward hugs, the ‘keep in touches’ the ‘I’ll see you arounds’…they’re all lies that I can’t bare to tell anymore.

So there will be no farewell party. No long, drawn out goodbyes in the airport terminal. Come Sunday evening, I’ll be boarding the express train to the airport by myself. Just me, my suitcases and the overwhelming enormity of this decision I’ve made that I hope I won’t live to regret.

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4 thoughts on “Breaking Up is Hard to Do

  1. Don’t be a loser like me! Say your proper goodbyes, after all, why burn bridges you may, and most likely will cross some day into the future?

    (word verification: frytoldf)

  2. I did end up saying goodbye…It was really tough. But I did it. Although I didn’t get to say goodbye to everyone and I feel bad about that. A fair number of people aren’t even aware that I left…but at least I said goodbye to the people that I cared most about.

    Why are you a total loser? Even if you have a habit of burning bridges…you shouldn’t put yourself down like that! It’s a normal human reaction to want to avoid painful situations. ; )

  3. Aww. I really feel this post. Two things. One, I love I Hate Perfume. Russian Tea Caravan is a favorite water spray blend.

    Two, I left Japan “forever” once. And then a second time. It stuck with me like gum on a shoe, and here I am…

  4. Yeah…Everyone tells me that I’ll go back one of these days. But I’m not so sure…I used to live in Germany and after I left I swore that I’d return six months later. That was four years ago! I haven’t even been back for a visit. Life just sort of got in the way…

    But…who knows. I’d like to go back and study the language more. It would be a pity to spend all of that time and money learning a language and then never use it again.

    I like that analogy that Japan is like gum stuck on the buttom of your shoe. Clever.

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