A month of absence without a word. Sorry about that.
The day after I wrote the last post, I jumped on a plane back to America.
It was a pretty terrible flight. The food, probably made in Chiba prefecture where Narita Airport is located, was about the only thing tolerable. No, it was good. I just want to be clear. Good airline food. What wasn’t good were the TV screens embedded into the backs of the chairs and their movie selection. In total, they had maybe 8 movies. Okay, that’s not terrible. No, it was the outdated technology, where you had to wait for the next “screening” of the movie, and then, even if you did, some of the screenings might not even work. I waited 10 minutes for Avengers 2 and it didn’t play, having an error. Then I watched Woman in Gold, which was wonderful until about an hour in when the movie started glitching out and became unwatchable.
All told, it’s amazing they even have screens in the plane at all. Cool world we live in. I did manage to watch one good movie, but I spent most of it playing Yokai Watch and reading Kamisari Naa Naa Nichijou and the first light novel of Sword Art Online. 13 hours well spent.
Then I get to Chicago where I spent the next 6 hours of my layover reading while occasionally running around to get streetpasses for my 3DS when I was having trouble staying awake. Got some guy from Sweden, so that’s nice.
Another few hours flight back to Boston, sitting next to two large mammals (I mean, huge. I was getting pushed out into the isle. The stewardess got a little mad when she hit me until she saw the fact I couldn’t even sit in my seat.), and I finally got home to Logan.
I sat outside, tired, trying to find my family without a cellphone. Thinking about all these problems I had on my flights, I realized it was all so amazing I could even be here so easily. Sure, I’d been traveling for most of a day. But it was only a day. And, yeah, I couldn’t call my family, whom I hoped were coming to pick me up. But I had a family that was coming for me, and I lived in a world where not having a cellphone was a crazy thing. I was lucky. Happy, too, when my brother walked up to me and showed me where the car was.
The next week, I spent mostly hanging out, meeting up with people, and eating all kinds of hard-to-find-in-Japan American food.
Beer, too. Glorious beer.
In other news, on Tuesday the 28th I met up with two friends I’m working with to make a strategy RPG for phones and/or the PC. The amount we accomplished on that day was wonderful, and the game is really shaping up. In terms of everything I’ve worked on, this one feels closest to an actual potential business-maker. Let’s see how the road goes.
The real reason I went back to the states in the first place was because my family was taking a vacation to Costa Rica.
I’m not a huge fan of travel, and I’m often very content just remaining where I am in life, but after every trip I take, I happen to be happy with almost all of them in retrospect. Costa Rica was no different. Like most every place I go, I left with a feeling that I could live there.
Also, Spanish is awesome. Gotta study that more.
It was a good family vacation. Nice and relaxing. The place we stayed had a nice gym and we went jogging each morning. Not to mention they had a nice library where I finally read some of Tim Ferris’s The 4 Hour Workweek.
Only bad part of the trip was the fact that I brought all my souvenirs for Japanese people on the 4 flights between Boston and Costa Rica and back. So those Salt & Vinegar chips that a friend requested…they might be confused for Costa Rican beach sand.
Going back to Japan meant sitting on a plane for another 13 hours. But this time, nobody was sitting next to me, the movie selection and technology were up-to-date and wonderful, and the plane had these awesome windows where instead of a window cover, you tinted the windows until they were a deep blue. It was really cool. Thank you Japan Airlines and your super-nice plane.
Back in Japan, and with a week off of work, I was convinced I could accomplish something. Write a blog post. Work on a game (which I’d promised my brother I’d have something playable by the 10th of September). Find purpose on this tiny speck in the middle of nothingness.
Instead…yeah. I mean, I managed to beat my jetlag (時差ぼけ for those learning Japanese), and on Saturday I learned to dance the Bon-odori. That was about it. Nothing related to any of my long-term projects.
Then, a curious thing happened. When I returned to work on Monday, I managed to build a couple new areas, work on the battle system, plan out some of the background systems, and generally start putting together the opening of a game. Not only that, I was able to start writing again too. All it took was sitting in a room of people working on something, and distance from my Wii U.
If I’ve learned something from these weeks off work, and especially my last week in Japan, it’s that I work better when I’m surrounded by those who are also working. If I ever become independent, and work on things by my lonesome, I’ll need to find someplace where everyone else is working too. Whether that means working in a library or breaking into an office complex to sit next to someone on the phone with security, a dedicated place with other dedicated people is important.
In the end, if you’re planning on working solo, consider what it’s really like being your own boss. For those that look forward to the day when you can focus entirely on your own pursuits without the spectre of work hanging over, consider if that’s actually what you want.
It’s not perfect or easy, anyways. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.