It’s kind of an odd feeling. After almost 10 years of working hard to get to Japan I’m here. I don’t have to keep planning; I have arrived. But I spent such a long time trying to get here that my lifestyle developed around achieving the goal rather than living the goal. My body might be here but my brain hasn’t realized it yet and is still looking for the next step.
I suppose this isn’t new. There’s a reason I have the Japanese words for “someday” and “now” tattooed on either forearm. I have long had a tendency to live my life in the future and ignore the present. I just thought that when I finally arrived in Japan this would no longer be the case. But even though I have a good job and like where I live, I’m still restless. I find myself asking “Now what?” and the fact that I don’t have an answer just contributes to the restlessness.
I’m thinking about what to do after JET. This is all very premature, of course. If things go well I could stay in this job for five years. And, since the salary goes up almost every year, there’s little reason for me to leave before I have to. I would someday like to teach at the university level but that will require graduate school, and that will require money. Hence staying in the current job. Rationally I understand this but irrationally I find myself romantically thinking about teaching in China or even going back to Korea. Fleeting thoughts for sure but they’re there nonetheless.
I haven’t been here even a year. Perhaps soon I will feel like I’ve put down some roots in the community and at my schools and it will all feel less transient. Maybe then my thoughts will stop fleeing ahead and instead calm down and enjoy the present. Or maybe I’ll pack it all in and join the Peace Corps.