I did it.
I packed up my things, and I moved to Japan to live and work for (at least) a year.
Before the flight, people would ask me the same thing over and over again. “Are you ready?”
Hell, yeah! What a silly question- I thought.
The thing is, there are only so many things you can prepare for, but the reality is that things will still be hard in some shape or form.
I remember the day I flew over, rushing with my mom and sister that California morning. I didn’t have time to feel nervous…well nervous about anything other than getting all my luggage. During that flight, all I felt was anticipation for the new chapter of my life that I was soon to start.
Meeting the other two people that I would train with only helped solidify my excitement for my new life (they are awesome). Even after the intense training sessions, my adrenaline must have been continuously pumping that week in a half because I was more excited than anything to be somewhere new on my own, halfway across the world. The food, the people, the possibilities of cool places to visit and explore- all of it seemed amazing.
Then, I moved into my apartment.
This did not upset me. In fact, I was ecstatic to finally have my own place for the first time. The previous teacher who lived in my current abode and the staff I currently work with kindly provided necessities. Great!
In fact, I was ecstatic to finally have my own place for the first time. The previous teacher who lived in my current abode and the staff I currently work with kindly provided necessities. Great!
But, whoever is reading this, let me just tell you: I’m an introvert.
What does that have to to do with what I’ve said so far? Well, let me get to it.
This does not mean that I dislike talking (quite the opposite). This does not mean I hate people (why would I otherwise take a job where I’m around people ALL the time??)
However, this does mean that I’m not a huge party person. I get tired very easily when I’m constantly interacting with a lot of people. I dread the thought of having to interact with a lot of people unless there is a specific task that I could focus on while mingling among others.
My point in saying this is that there are times where I need to be alone. I love being by myself at times. But I realized between the move and the stress of starting a new job in a foreign country with no close friends or family nearby, the homesickness started to crowd in.
This is not a new concept in the expatriate world. From what I gathered from many blogs and vlogs (video blogs), this is a normal thing. People handle it in different ways, (because, you know, we are all different) but no one is fortunate enough to have skipped this stage.
I have heard more than an earful of advice from my mother since she has been in a similar situation. I have researched the internet numerous times to see how other people have dealt with it. I’ve even implemented some of the advice in my life. It’s helped.
I feel bad though. I’m not a partier and not much of a drinker. I’ve been invited to bars and I’ve gone a couple of times, but it’s not really something I’m into.
I’ve been researching to see if I can find any writing, dance, or book groups. I’m hoping to find other foreigners here for me to connect with to do things other than getting trashed after a hard day at work. I’m hoping that, if I can develop friendships like that then being alone in Japan will not feel so lonely.