Journal Entry: September 3, 2013

Finally getting onto my feet.

Finally getting onto my feet.

2013年9月3日の日記

The Final Entry

Background

Time’s clearly passed. 2 weeks exactly. I went to some town events. I started work. And, for the first time, it felt like things were starting to make sense.

JAPAN JOURNAL

2:40 pm – I’m at work right now. Is writing this an okay thing to do at work? I’m not 100% sure. But I’m pretty sure it’s fine.

I’ve gotten back to the point of journal familiarity. That is, these journals usually start out as a medium for me to express my inner thoughts when I have no one else to talk to. But now I have people to talk to. The journal now becomes something I do out of nostalgia. Yes, I’ve only been in Japan a single month now, but working in it does carry some nostalgic flavors.

Whether or not I wanted to admit it before, this journal did start as something out of necessity. Back when it began, I did need to write my thoughts down. But nowadays, it’s better. Through LINE, WeChat, Facebook, actual calls on the phone, and real face-to-face meetings, I have a good support network now. Japan does have some difficulties, but they are not insurmountable. Rather, they become a start to good conversation.

To go in depth about my Japanese life right now, it would take a great deal of time. I have the time, but I’d rather devote it to living and enjoying everything around me. To write it down and discuss it would be to take away time from actually living. I rather like living too, thank you very much.

Work is fun now, and I like to stay well past the end of the day. Whether it’s talking to teachers or watching students play sports, there’s enough to keep me occupied. Work is more-or-less a community, and even if being a part of it requires a few more hours, it doesn’t feel like work.

I’m lucky. At the end of the day, that’s true.

One basic tenet of JET is, “Everyone’s experience is different.” Some lucky bastards like me get English teachers that want to work well with the JET. Other people get teachers that have no clue how to utilize an entire human being. Those JETs become tape recorders more or less. I’ve had to do that, but I never felt bad in that position. I knew there was more to it. For many others, that’s all there is.

When it comes to life, I’m not completely happy, of course. From a technical standpoint, I still require two things: Internet and a car. I have internet on my phone, but I would like to video chat on my computer and maybe play games again. And once I have a car, life opens up. In a small town like Shichikashuku, a car is as necessary as air.

I long for the ability to put all my words and thoughts on paper, but I honestly don’t need it. It becomes a real skill for those who find a use for it. Unfortunately, in my case, it seems to be necessary once in a blue moon.

Let me sum up the main important points at the moment:

Crushes: [top secret, though I’ve probably told everyone I know]
Work: Great, though prefer [one school] over [another]
Japanese: Needs a lot of work, but every day I know more.
Social life: Would like a car. People at work great. SMAJET formed. Can’t wait to Skype.

Until next time, whenever that is…

3:20 pm – Apparently that time is now. Just something quick though.

I need to work on  my long-term planning. If I have an activity tomorrow, sure, that’s easy. But an activity next week, well, that becomes a problem. Thinking back to Jiahua, my favorite part was that creating lessons was a rarity. It was mostly just repeating the common stuff. Maybe making small changes. I long to be told what to do. I’m one of the many sheeple that find all kinds of control bothersome. I would adapt well to being under a dictator.

Thoughts

And that’s it! The final journal entry from the sheep. Indeed, like I mention, there are times when I need a journal to write my thoughts and times when I don’t. When I first started writing, I needed it. Getting into the groove though, it fell out of necessity.

Why did I start this blog? Unlike the journal, it wasn’t out of loneliness and disconnect from the world. Instead, I started the blog to reach a wider audience. There were things I thought should be out in the public. As I’ve reached thousands of people (and 43 countries, so far), I’m happy to be moderately successful so far. Hopefully, as I write more about Japanese language learning and whatnot, I’ll continue to broaden my audience.

I hope these journal entries have been somewhat interesting. Personally, it’s nice to go down memory lane, looking at what it was like when I first arrived. And maybe for you too, reading this, you can remember when you started on some strange new journey or prepare yourself for one.

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