7.05.2005

梅雨

NOTE: The plan is that Moichido will slowly become a communal blog. The list of contributors on the right there will hopefully continue to grow.
Dan is a good friend of mine living in Japan, but very soon he'll return to Minnesota. He's kindly agreed to start posting here - PIK


The rainy season has come to Shiga Prefecture, and with it, the date of my departure quickly approaches. Spring has changed to summer, and the coming of July means the ending of my contract. The time here has seemed so long, but yet it has gone so quickly. It would be fair to say that this has been the most eventful year of my life. I came here as little more than a college kid, traveled Japan, made a life for myself in my small little town where i am not just in the minority, i AM the minority. Went to Thailand, have to say that that was a little more adventure than pik and i needed. Came back to see spring come with the cherry blossoms.

So i guess i could say i have grown. Some people might say i have matured, or developed as a person. Living on my own, having something of a committed relationship, bills, and being an adult. I have had life-changing experiences, some good, some bad. Some people might say that.

But to be honest, i don't buy it. It just sounds like a high school commencement speech, and then like a college commencement speech. If there is one thing i have learned here, it's that just because you have a professional job where you wear (occasionally) a suit doesn't mean you have to start wearing spectacles and own a cane. I look at ALT's with a couple of extra years on me, and i see no differences. We live an interesting life here, trapped in a strange existence between being a member of the Japanese society, but yet always on the outside, always a little different. There isn't necessarily any need to grow up, and i question if there ever is one.

But soon this will come to an end. It is tough to sort out whether i think that is good, or bad, or just is. How do you measure your own country, culture, and life against the life i have been working so hard at building here? So many people who have affected my life, most of whom i will probably never speak to again, versus the comforts of home, and people who i haven't spoken to for some time?

Right now is the turning point - the time when the excitement of going home soon is being weighed against the things i am leaving behind. I guess, though, it doesn't matter what i think. Just as the rainy season came, it will end, and then too, my time here will be over.

My name's Dan. I am standing in the middle. One part is over, but not quite, while another part is beginning, but not quite. I look back on a year in Japan, and i look forward to......

1 Comments:

Anonymous 匿名 reckons...

All luck to you on your return to the US.
The experience you've had can only make you a better, more rounded person, I'm sure.
You say thay it's tough to decide whether it's a good or bad thing, but I think it can only be good. You've experienced life in a different culture. Good for you.

2:17 午前 JST  

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