How to go home

I feel like I am going insane right now abouts.  I was talking with a new acquaintance today, and I came to saying that I think I am afraid of going back home to the US, after I’ve gone through so much development and transformation as I have this past year (with  all the depression and life experiences and all here).

I really think that I am afraid of being myself as I know myself to be now.  Or rather, … well… I’m afraid of being myself and being rejected, unwanted.  However, I think I already deal with that in the first place, and I have for a good chunk of my life.  So, that’s nothing new, then.  Therefore, I can keep that same concern as always, and just be myself anyway.  This way, I am fulfilled in who and how I am, and the people who do love me get to love me for who I truly am.
Sounds good to me.  Let’s do this, banana.
Post-a-day 2017

I’m Here!!

Well, I made it to Korea.  A lot happened today to make one question whether 1) I really Am in Korea and 2) I am not just plain crazy.

I have found myself extremely stressed and preoccupied lately, and, as a result, today, for the first one in my life, – and do recall that I have been on likely hundreds of airplanes – I forgot my passport.  Not just that, but I didn’t even consider it until I walked through the train barrier at the airport.  I had a weird feeling about my flight, and it turns out that I didn’t take them after all.  I had to rebook with a different airline, and for half as much more.  However, the booking company did me a solid in refunding the whole airfare to me.  It took forever to figure out, because the airline cancelled my flight for me before the flight happened, so that I would be allowed to get a refund.  But that then removed the ticket information for the booking company to see that Inhad purchased anything at all.  Four hours later, I was back at the airport with my passport and a swimsuit added to my baggage, and crying after I heard the news of my full refund.  As I ate my victory bunch of bananas, the security checkpoint officer was somewhat in a state of awe as he watched me avidly.  It isn’t every day that someone eats the bunch on her own, and definitely not in Japan.

The point is that I am here.  And, truly, I love it.  The vibe of the streets in this part of town is great.  The public transit is wonderfully clean.  They sell all sorts of things next to the underground train stations, from sandals to electronics to freshly made, delicious pastry breads.  (I finally got a pair of headphones that might fit my ears!). The crosswalks and streets are all funked up with little potholes and the likes.  The buildings are colored with rainbow lights.  There’s significantly more English than in Japan.
Okay, it’s 3am.  I’ll sleep know.

All-in-all, this place feels great.  Period.
Post-a-day 2017

Our Stories

“Share your story here…”. Share your story here.  Share your story here?  What is my story?

Tonight, my story is that I am like Rapunzel, locked on my own in a tower, merely dreaming of what life could be if only I weren’t stuck in this tower.  I want to cuddle up and cry with my despair and loneliness.  The earth just shook long and low beneath me, deepening my unease for a handful of seconds.  I don’t want to turn off the light – there seems to be a certain power in its being illuminated (and I do not mean the electricity), a power to keep me safe and okay and able to handle things.

Tonight, my story is that I am lonely and alone, and, though I am so close to being in a place I could and do call home, I feel as though I am in the point A to point B race where you constantly only go half the distance, thereby making progress toward the desired destination, but never actually arriving there.

Also, that just reminded me of how much I love Patrick Swayze.  I wish I could have been in the film “Dirty Dancing”.

Anyway… I want to cry tonight, and to let it all go, leaving me to wake up refreshed and excited and capable in the morning.
Post-a-day 2017

A match made in France?

In my first year of college, I went on a traveling Janterm, where we spent two weeks studying French in Cannes, and doing tours to the nearby towns and famous spots, and one week in Paris, exploring as we wished.  During the first two weeks, while a group of us were on a city bus, I noticed a French kid about our age.  He was sitting in a seat, on the left side of the bus, somewhat near the front, listening to music with headphones on.  I was curious what music he had playing.  I also thought he was cute.  Therefore, I wanted to talk to him.  The easiest thing for me to say to him was to ask him to what music he was listening.  I fought constantly with the insides of my brain and the fluttering of my stomach, and at last, I believe, he got off the bus.  Or else, we got off the bus.  I really don’t remember. However, I remember making eye contact with him at least once, if not a few times while we were all riding  the bus.

Well, I was incredibly disappointed that I had not spoken with the boy, though not entirely surprised at myself – even today, I have to psych myself up for odd situations like that.  However, I usually succeed in making the interaction nowadays, whereas at the time, I did not.

But this tale does not end sadly.  At least, not yet.

I believe that it was that same night, or perhaps the following – but I really think it was that same night – that a group of us decided to go to a nightclub in the town.  Some of the older guys who were working at the dormitory where we were all studying offered to take us to some cool bar and club.  We all happily agreed.  Well, some of the girls and guys and I agreed, but not everyone.

So, a small band of foreigners temporary living in Cannes so they could study French headed to a nice bar for a while, and then to a dance club later on that night.  On the way, I learned that a Romanian speaker can understand other romance languages rather easily.  (Fun Fact: This was my first interaction with someone being able to understand another language that is similar to his/her own, without necessarily being able to speak that language.  Of course, I can now do that with various languages myself, but it was a fun start to the concept for me.)

The bar was fun and interesting, and we didn’t have to check our coats, but we did have to buy drinks to compensate for having not checked our coats, and we had to deal with a huge pile of coats, which we were somewhat hiding in the corner.  However, I need not say much more about the bar.  Rather, anything more.  The club is the important one, you see. 

First off, the club was huge and, really, quite an awesome dance club.  I was amazed at the environment, as well as the clientele.  People danced by themselves or with a friend or with friends, and it didn’t matter which they did.  There were no circles forming awkwardly, or anything like that.  People weren’t doing official or formal dances of any kind, though.  They were just free dancing, having a wonderful time, doing their own things to the music.  I happily joined in in this type of merriment, while being amazed that on one side of me could be a 17-year-old, and on the other side of me could be a 40-year-old – no one cared how old anyone else was.

In short, I loved the club, and I loved dancing in it.

And, while I enjoyed dancing in it, I saw a familiar head.  When he turned and saw me, we looked in each other’s eyes, and there was this sort of understanding.  We both knew that we had seen each other that day.  We both knew that we had not talked to one another.  And it felt as though we both knew that I at least had wanted to talk to him.  This time, however, it seemed quite clear that he wanted to talk to me, as well.  Shortly after seeing one another, he was dancing in front of me, with me.  We held hands as we danced with one another, and we danced without holding hands, too.  

Even though I could manage French rather well at that time, he never got to find out this fact, because he addressed me in English.  It was somewhat iffy English, but adorable, and I loved that he was trying and that he knew we had all been speaking English on the bus.  He had been listening to music, of course, but he clearly had been paying enough attention to us nonetheless.

I don’t remember how long we danced or how we started dancing with one another, but I remember that it was absolutely wonderful.  At some point later in the evening, a couple of the girls who were with me told me I needed to give him a way to contact me.  I didn’t have a phone, of course, but one of the girls had just gotten one that day, because she was staying for the whole semester.  So, we wrote my full name and her phone number on a piece of paper.  In the French conjugation of the verb to want, I couldn’t remember if the you form ended in an or a t.  So, instead of saying, “If you want,” I wrote, “If one wants,” which, in French, can also be read as, “If we want.”  (Si on veut.)

I handed him the paper and I said goodbye and rushed out with my friends.  I don’t even remember what I said to him, or if I even said anything to him as I gave him the paper.  I just know that I gave it to him.

I spent several hours throughout the following months searching a particular page on Facebook.  It was the page for the club where we had been dancing.  I was scouring the faces and names of all the people who had liked the page, looking for this guy.  I used to know his first name.  I honestly couldn’t tell you what it was now, though.  I do remember his eyes, though… those gray-blue, yet bright eyes.  But I searched long and hard for his Facebook, to no avail.

He never called.

Or, at least, if he did, it was after I had left, and my friend with the phone never told me.

I am reminded of all of this, because today, for the second time in my life, I gave a piece of paper with my name and contact info on it to a guy.  (My full name and LINE ID, to be exact.)  He has already contacted me.

Post-a-day 2017

School Clubs

I was thinking about school clubs earlier today, a little ruffled underneath about how Japanese schools expect students to be in one club only, and to be in that one club for all of their middle school and high school years.  This is in great contrast to the USA, where we are all about the well-rounded student.  Colleges and universities just might pass up the student who only ever participated in a single club activity, despite having amazing grades, in the USA.

However, it occurred to me, as I wondered how on Earth this benefitted these kids, only learning one skill, doing only one club, that it is absolutely preparing them for their futures.  When Japanese kids graduate college, and are interviewing with companies, they – now, this is traditionally, you see – are hiring for life.  Those kids are expected to remain loyal, and to stay within the company that first hires them after college.  So, doing the same one thing every day for years in their single club absolutely prepares them to go to the same single job at the same company for the rest of their lives.  It’s just nothing like the USA, making it so bizarre (and rather depressing) to me, someone who was in upward of 15 clubs in high school alone.
Post-a-day 2017

You’ve got mail

During the credits of the film “You’ve Got Mail”, there’s a song that comes on where a guy is singing about how he is going to sit right down and write himself a love letter, ‘and pretend it’s from you.’  I’ve been thinking about it since then, and I’m going to do just that for myself.  I don’t know who you are, exactly, but I believe you are out there somewhere, and, if we were together – meaning a pair, duo – now, you might send me this email/letter.

-—————————–

Hey, hon.

Just sending you a quick message.

First off, I love you.
Secondly, I miss you (Duh, of course I do.).  And, though we are almost literally worlds apart, I am okay, because you love me and care about me and are with me.
Thirdly, I love you.  Just so we’re clear.  😉  You have developed and changed so much these past few months, and I can hardly wait to get to know and to love all the new parts there are to you.  (I’m being somewhat sappy, I know, but I get to do that every so often, right? Right.)

(Now to the body paragraph(s).)

I hope you had a great day today.  We’re just getting started over here, and it’s a beautiful day.  How is your breathing?  Short, hot, and firey today, I presume, since it was a Monday.  Hopefully, you’ve stretched them out to long, slow, and deep by bedtime – I want you resting well while you are able to sleep, you know?  You’ve got to take care of yourself… keep your balance, now that you’re back standing again.

By the way, I think five minutes a day dedicated to your abdomen would get you the comfort you’re wanting for your beach-going.  You could do two and a half minutes just before sleeping, and another two and a half just after you wake up in the mornings.  That would give you a full five, and a significant improvement for that slightly-tubbier-than-usual belly of yours.  (We’ll be a rockin’ bods pair when you’re back here and we head beachside.)

Loving you with the sun and moon, babe,

~~~~

A philosopher for the moment

Today, I did some fun things including showing up my friend at children’s games, but I don’t feel like sharing about that right now.  I feel like being philosophical, ponderous… something like that.  And yet, here I lie with almost no thoughts, no words in mind or even on their way.  I am listening to the guitar upstairs, and what sounds like company sharing in the music for once (it is Saturday night, after all).  I am somewhat worried about the next couple months, specifically regarding how they will unfold.  I fear regrets, especially for after I have left this country, and am back living in my own.  I fear my being wonderful and amazingly successful in my endeavors once I’m back there.  I fear letting go of my endeavors in exchange for something safe.  I fear not becoming myself, not being myself once I am back there in a seemingly unchanged world as an incredibly changed person.  Someone told us to take a picture of ourselves before we begin this time in Japan.  I had forgotten to do that before leaving home, but I took a picture in the elevator on my way down to our very first meeting on my first day of orientation here.  I wonder what I will see different in my final photo as I say goodbye to this place.  I know that the two people in the photos are similar, however, they are in no way the same.  I loved and still do love who the former person was, and I do not want to become her again.  

These are things that are sitting in my being right now.  If you would have asked me before I wrote this, what I was thinking, I couldn’t have told you.  But now, as I have written this, I can see clearly that this is what was resting in my mind, in my heart, in my bones and flesh and breath… in fact, somewhat restricting my breath…, and that that is why I do not care to share the joys of today, but feel myself to be of a philosophical persuasion at present.  I could have lived with the greats right now.
Post-a-day 2017