Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On leaving after all

Since I last reported there has been several developments. More nuclear stuff. More earthquakes. More panic. More everything. But most importantly for my situation, the option of leaving.

The offer was perhaps always implied, but certainly never highlighted. And because of this, perhaps, I didn't feel the need to leave either. But then all our house mates started leaving. Foreigners in general are scarse in an area of Tokyo usually packed with them. The shops are raided, leaving nothing but barren shelves everywhere. People are starting to look scared.

It gets to you after a while. The mood, the panic. The stress, the tiredness. And all of a sudden I find myself unable to function properly, and my presense in the city and at the embassy feels more like a liability than a resource.

Speaking of resources. They are scarse. I feel that you should be pretty darned sure as a foreigner right now that the resources you produce are larger than those you consume. I started out feeling that leaving sounded selfish, but by now I feel selfish for considering not leaving.

Still, it was very much an emotional decision. I had to figure out what I wanted - and needed - before consulting my family at home. I knew they would want me to come home. Consulting others at the embassy also felt difficult, because they are in the same situation, and their personal experience is similar but not equal to mine. Some are coping better than others.

In the end I decided that it was better for me, my family, Japan, and possibly the embassy if I left. Thus I am now struggling to stay awake so that I won't miss my flight in the morning. I do feel like the rat deserting a sinking ship, but it makes me feel better to think that the ship might be able to stay afloat longer if it doesn't have to carry my weight.

I have no idea if I am leaving for good or temporarily. Right now I allow myself to look forward to sleeping in my own bed again, and once I am properly rested I will make another difficult decision together with my employer: to return or not return.



Japan - forever in my heart.

28 comments:

Summer Ross said...

Ultimately you must do whats best for you. Atleast you will be safe. I hope you reach your destination. So glad you are safe and well, for the most part.

Carole Anne Carr said...

This is so very sad. Take care. Carole.

Ann said...

What a difficult decision. I am sure your family will be delighted and relieved to have you home. Safe journey.

LTM said...

thank goodness. I know it's hard, but as my dad once told me when I was determined to ride out a hurricane here--don't stay when you have somewhere to go~ xoxo <3

Jessica Bell said...

Oh my gosh, I am SO sorry. But I'm so glad you are safe! I think it's the best decision. Nothing is forever, right? Just think of it that way. You can return. When everything is back on track. It's not selfish, it survival instinct. Just go with it and try not to feel guilty. Easier said than done, I know. But do know that we are all thinking of you! xx

Laura said...

Your decision is incredibly brave. Any decision in your situation is incredibly brave. Safe trip home and my prayers to you. Lx

Jeffrey Beesler said...

I agree. And you can use the experience to fuel your future writings. What's going on over in Japan is astonishing. But Japan rebuilt once after WWII and will undoubtedly rebuild once again.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

You have my full admiration, I am not a coward but in the same position I would have wanted to leave, You have family and friends who have understandably been worried about you so going home to me is the only option,
May I wish you a safe journey home
and take plenty of rest after your ordeal. God Bless You,
Yvonne,

Yvonne,

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'm so glad you're all right--but what a terrifying experience. I know your family is ready to give you a hug. :)

Kelly said...

I believe you are making the right choice based on how you stated things here. You can always go back when the situation improves.

Thank you for the "inside story" you've shared with us in all this.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry you had to make such a decision. Go home, see family, and figure it out from that point.

Pat Tillett said...

Above all, you have to take care of yourself. I'm so sorry all this is happening.

Jan Morrison said...

oh dearbones. Your decision makes perfect sense to me - it is braver to make a decision than to not act out of fear of making the wrong one. I'm sorry this is happening and thank you for being so brilliant with your posts.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, Mari, such a hard choice. I think it makes sense though, that anyone with the resources to leave who isn't producing something directly helpful to the crisis may indeed be helping both herself AND Japan to not stay. I hope you have safe travels and I hope you DO get to go back, but certainly understand if it takes a while... perhaps even years. *hugs to you*

Tundiel said...

Don't feel bad about leaving, Mari. I think you've been incredibly brave and calm throughout all of this - far more than I could ever hope to be. Go home and relax with your family, you deserve it. *hugs*

Danette said...

I don't know all the details of what your job is but it sounds like you have weighted the pros and cons and are making the right decision. IT is not helpful for anyone to just have more people there exposing themselves to danger. One wishes that all the people in harm's way could simply be airlifted out can carried off to safety. Sadly we can't do that for them, can we? Take care!

Liz P said...

I think you made the right choice. I hope you have a safe journey home.

nonamedufus said...

I think you did the right thing. There are just some times when you need to put your needs - and safety - first. Keep us posted.

sue said...

You've weighed it all up so carefully. It's not an easy decision to make. Well done. I expect you'll have some very mixed and turbulent emotions over the coming months.
My daughter was involved with the Brisbane floods - not anything near on the scale of the disaster you've experienced, but it takes time to recover and absorb what has happened and is happening...be kind to yourself, rest, take it easy. Sending thoughts your way, for your family, colleagues and those remaining. (and shedding a few tears as well)

K A B L O O E Y said...

Safe passage...

Michelle Gregory said...

prayers for travel as you return home. - Michelle

toemail said...

Good luck with everything!

Ella said...

I think you are wise and your family will ground you in compassion n' concern. You will have just felt torn and tugged more if you stayed.
I hope n' pray for Japan, it is a time of great loss~
Be safe and go home to your roots~
xXx

Cold As Heaven said...

Yes, you should leave and get away from the potential radioactive radiation. You're to young to take any chances. Let the people who are past the reproductive age stay in Tokyo. They have less to loose.

During the previous nuclear nightmare, Chernobyl in the late 1980s, I was an under-grad physics student. The professor who taught our atomic and nuclear physics class volunteered to go to Chernobyl on behalf of the IAEA. He was 65 yo at that time and used the same arguments as above.

Cold As Heaven

Deb and Barbara said...

Just reading all your posts with baited breath. I am glad you're leaving for all these reasons. I feel for you and all your compatriots.Terrible times. Travel safe!!!
xoxo B

Talli Roland said...

I'm glad that you're safe - and it sounds like you're making the right decision. Stay safe.

Jules said...

There is always tomorrow and I say this with a heavy heart for both Japan and you. Travel safe.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

rama said...

This is my 1st visit to your blog. All, I can say is that, it nice to know the real facts from a person who had gone through all the ordeals right there. I am also happy to hear you are safe.
I can understand how sometimes our mind can take us on a guilt trip, and make us feel we have escaped while there are so many whose situation seems bleaker and bleaker.
As they say time alone can heal, and our combined prayers would surely let this country of the rising sun, rise again.

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