03 March 2009
I've been reminiscing lately about how Takeshi and I got to where we are now. Things are not well right now with our current situation and environment.
Certain people who know me may have different ideas about exactly why we decided to move to Japan last May. I'd like to say that it was all planned out but it wasn't. The real reason that I agreed to move to Japan with Takeshi was because he was terribly unhappy with his situation in Lancaster, PA where we had been living before moving. I was going to college there, about to finish my BFA in graphic design up in another year or so. He was, at the time, working at a restaurant where that he couldn't stand, and Pennsylvania is not the culinary center of the country by any means. I was needing to stay in Lancaster because my degree, but we were being torn apart because he desperately wanted to move elsewhere, and he stated that he also missed his family in Japan. His parents had just recently moved back to Japan, after living in Alabama for many years. I'm sure this hit home for him, and I'm sure he was starting to miss them. The grief got so bad that at one point, one night, he seemed as though he couldn't stand it anymore. So in an effort to help him out and ease his despair I finally said, "Ok well, fine, let's move to Japan. I can finish school online there." He wanted to go, I was feeling the obligation to stay, but we couldn't imagine living apart. We were officially married through paperwork, only about 1-2 weeks after moving here. We never got to have a wedding or honeymoon. Takeshi keeps telling me that we can save up for a honeymoon one day, but right now I doubt that very much. I try to not get my hopes up. We started our marriage, right off the bat, with frustration, and with rushing to get ourselves situated in this country.
Now, we've been living here for 8 months. From my perspective, I went from being in the States where I WAS somebody, who was in school, had a car, and had a goal and a purpose in life, to being a nobody, in a country where all the natives are afraid of you, where I am still struggling to learn the language, no longer with a car, not in school again yet, and without a job.
Takeshi works long hours everyday, usually from 10:00am to 10:30pm. Right now he has Thursdays off, but it's not enough. We are staying in a small K1-sized apartment in a small city with nothing to do too much, beyond the small boundaries of the mall and shopping centers. We don't see each other at all, and now have come to the point where we can't find anything to talk about when we're together, since we're apart so much. I want to have a job again, since I am usually battling huge guilt over the fact that I can't hold a decent part-time job without knowing the language a hell of a lot better than I do now. Takeshi is the only one who can earn money right now, therefore his long work hours.
Since we have moved here, I spend every day in the apartment, trying to do whatever I can - cleaning the apartment, doing chores, making meals for Takeshi when we gets home at night from work. I do not go out that much at all, unless I need to buy food, or whatever else. I haven't talked to anybody else in person for a long time. I have no friends yet here. I sit at home and surf the web, draw, listen to music, nap, space out, study Japanese, and wait for Takeshi to come home.
Perhaps if we were in a bigger city like Tokyo, Osaka, or Nagoya, then I could find other English-speaking foreigners to talk with the do things with.
We're trying, TRYING to decided whether or not to move back to the States in the future, but when the hell will that be, if it ever happens at all? We need to get him a work visa, and therefore go to Tokyo to turn in the paperwork in person.
I'm not going to say that we made the worst possible decisions early on, but most days I really regret coming here. I love Japan for many different reasons, but I do miss having a purpose in life. I hate being an alien. I feel like my life is going nowhere, while I watch other people have fun, graduate from college, have weddings, and indulge in things that I only dream of.
I keep trying to tell myself that one day we'll have stability, a house of our own and settle down - I'll have my degree finally and have an internship or a job, Takeshi won't have to be working 6 days a week anymore. That I'll have a big group of friends to get together with - that Takeshi will have friends too.
One day we could have those things. But right now, I can't see a light at the end of the tunnel.
It may seem to other people who talk to me, that I'm pretty well emotionally, but everyday is hard for me - to not be depressed, to try to think positively. Right now, the bad days are outnumbering the good. And all I can do is try to keep my mind off the real questions, problems, and the unknown in my life. I just don't have it show too much in front of Takeshi, since he has enough to worry about already.
I guess I'll just keep dreaming about it!