At the edge of the horizon

At the edge of the horizon
At the edge of Japan

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ugh. Ugh. and Ugh.

Gray skies got me feeling blue

 Some days I am not certain what I am doing in Okinawa anymore.  For the first time in ages, I have felt terribly homesick for America.  I've noticed a distancing I've had internally from the Japanese culture.  For a while, I loved it here and saw only the good.  Of course I noticed things I didn't like, but the good outweighed the bad.  But I'm starting to realize that no matter what I do, no matter how hard I try to integrate or to be seen as a human being, as myself, I will always be first and foremost a 外人.  Even to the people who I am closest to here.  It's such a barrier against establishing real connections with our Japanese colleagues and friends.  It's one of the most difficult things that foreigners really face in Japan.  There aren't too many other difficulties to be honest.  Part of the problem for me is language barrier issues.  I study Japanese, but I don't study it enough.  I have a tutor and I learn how to read it but I don't really speak too well.  Ugh.  I'm feeling kind of down right now about these things.  Maybe I'm going through another wave of culture shock?  I don't know.  I just know that I'm not certain I want to stay another year in Japan (in Okinawa or anywhere else in Japan to be honest). 

You don't belong here.
 Speaking of which, I had a dream I was living in NYC again doing the job interview thing. It's been making me wonder where I should be heading after this experience.  Should I continue on the ESL instructor path, get certified in CELTA and head to another Asian country?  I didn't ever see myself doing something like this and am not certain it's what I am passionate about.  Should I return to the former path I was on originally and get my PhD and try to piece together a life as an artist and scholar?  Should I try to live my life freely as an artist and writer?  How do I do this with all of that grad school debt?  Is that path still feasible in this current globalized economy era?  I've noticed a number of my NYU colleagues are struggling to find work in their fields and wonder if it's worth 5 years of investment? Or should I continue on the path of the unknown future...wandering wandering wandering....without too much of a steady plan?  Everyone always has a new suggestion for me and it's often something like "buckle down" or "go into nursing, etc"  Something these people consider practical.  I feel like I'm exactly at the same place I was last year at this time and I feel like just smashing my head into a wall. I think it's obvious I need to keep moving.  I've been in Okinawa far too long.  Way longer than I ever thought I would be.

The indecision monster returns!
 In addition, my job has become significantly more demanding recently.  And starting in April my class load will nearly double, so I'm going to be overworked in a job that isn't meant to be an 18-20 hour class load job.  That being said, I can't really complain because when I return back to the USA, there will be no and-if-or-buts about the amount of work I will do.  There will be even more work at whatever job I take in the US...if I can get a job.

I feel a bit like this. 


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