Welcome the dragon year!
It's 2012 now and things have been up and down for me already, so I suppose the world energy has shifted a bit. I've already considered quitting my job and opening up a gluten-free bakery and had a dream on the 1st that I should move to Tokyo and write books. What dreams, ね? 夢ですよ。。。
I do feel many changes in store though, and I hope they are good ones. I really hope the situation at my job changes for the better, but I went in today and felt that same vacuum of negative energy in my office. I keep wondering how I can change this? What can I do to make things go more positively, more enjoyably this semester? I feel like I am working way too hard for this job and not enjoying it either. I have to figure things out. I am also uncertain I want to re-contract. To be honest, I really don't but I want to stay in Japan and I do not know what other options I have besides staying here at this point. It would be so great if I could teach at a university. Well, I think it would...I guess the grass is always greener.
I went to Gokoku jinja in Onoyama Park with J. to pray for the new year and receive our おみくじ (omikuji) (fortunes). Mine was mid level, which is acceptable. Last year it was the highest, now it's in the middle 小吉 (Sho-kichi). His was lower than mine at this level 半吉 (Han-kichi). He didn't seem to care though. He said it's nothing...just a piece of paper. Still, I tied mine up. He kept his. We both also received 恵比須 (Ebisu) as our god to protect us this year. I think that's a rather positive thing. Last year I received 大吉 (Dai-kichi) as my omikuji (and no god) and my year was up and down, some really great things and some things not so great, but overall I was appreciative of the things I had received. I feel like I received a lot of gifts and opportunities, especially right at the beginning of the year last year. I am grateful. 2011 was quite a year though for Japan. No matter what, the thing I think the most about (and what most people in this country think about) is the 東北地方太平洋沖地震 and the tsunami and the Fukushima reactors. How can one not think of these things? In the face of such a disaster, we are dwarfed. We are just small creatures with very little control over our lives. I pray that Japan and the USA and other countries around the world need not have to face such devastation this year. But these things are out of our control. One hopes for the best. The best we can do is to have gratitude for each day, each moment and each hour that we are alive.
One of my co-teachers asked me if I had made resolutions this year and I told her that yes I had. She had wanted me to give her a list and I told her that it was hard to listen exactly what it was, but I could tell her that it had to do with enjoying and appreciating life more, living in the present, being more healthy in regards to my body and doing what I could to bring positivity to my life and those I am in contact with. I also want to read and write more, especially the later. And I want to devote more time to Japanese so that I can have better conversations with my close friends here.
I have been going over old writing and performance projects from before I moved to Japan. While I have done some publishing this year and redesigned the literary journal , which you can see here, I just feel like I have some unfinished business, including a novel I started in 2009 and never completed, a short play which I started expanding to full length and workshopped once before moving to Japan and an unpublished play about hurricanes and familial destruction and cultural memory. And a whole notebook of ideas and fragments from my time in NYC and even in Florida. Why have I stopped all of this? I think I needed to back away from what I considered failure/a failed career in NYC and have slowly recovered from that false thinking.
Today I received this link and I think it is incredibly helpful and apt for any writer or someone attempting to write. As well, it could apply to those who do not write either. I was thinking about how every day I allow fear and issues of inadequacy to get the better of me. I have been basically stewing in negative self-talk even while trying to appear positive and 元気. A very important resolution for me this year is to change from negativity to positivity. It's going to take work, but I have to start somewhere.
Wish me luck and I will wish you luck too. I hope this year brings you everything you need to feel content.