Saturday, July 2, 2011

On good and bad things about leaving Japan

It hit me yesterday. July 1st. It's July. I'm leaving in July. My stay is coming to an end.

That I have conflicted feelings is an understatement. I'm close to exploding from this schism within, tearing me in different directions. I can't make up my mind whether I'm more sad to be leaving or happy to come home. Since leaving is coming first, that is still more prominent in my mind. As of right now, there is nothing I am missing so much from home that it overshadows what I will miss from here. What I already miss. Funny how you start missing something before it's gone - like you're trying to distance yourself from a good thing because you know you can't keep enjoying it for long.

Rationally, I know that my life is in Norway. That I will be happier there, long-term. There are many things about Tokyo or even Japan that I don't like, and many things I would miss from Norway should I attempt to stay here longer. But still. As I tried to write a "good and bad" list, weighing benefits about returning home against the disadvantages of leaving, I found it got equally confusing and irrational. Things that should be "good", are also "bad", and half the time I'm not sure what category they belong in.

As you can see, Tokyo is currently winning. And if you think I'm cheating by writing "people" four times, in addition to "friends", "people I've met" and "people I've yet to meet", let me remind you that Tokyo has about 30 million people, while Oslo has 500 thousand... (And my hometown even less. It *will* be an anti-climax to return there)

Fortunately, some of the people I've met in Tokyo are also leaving - either for Oslo or in the case of my Danish, Swedish and Finnish friends, countries that are considerably closer to Norway than Japan. Hopefully this means that I can stay in touch with them. And of course - as one of those who is leaving pointed out - we live in a TGIF world. No, not "Thank God, It's Friday", but "Twitter, Google, iPhone and Facebook". It's possible to stay in touch despite distances. 

And still. I'm sentimental. Despite stayingintouchability, it will never be the same. I've had an absolutely excellent time here. There have been ups and downs, of course - some of the downs more obvious than others - but all in all I am very happy I came to Japan, and equally happy that I went back after my involuntary "vacation" in Norway this spring. Some of the best things about my stay only happened after I cam back. 

I have two weeks. It is my firm resolution to make the absolute most of them. Knowing Tokyo, I have every reason to expect it will be amazing. 


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've lived in several countries and moved many times, and it's never easy. Enjoy your final time in Japan - sounds like you learned much from the experience.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I let my heart rule my head 4 yrs ago. I was living in Spain, loving every minute. My youngest son lived and worked nearby.
I came to the UK to visit my other son and daughter and through a friend of a friend met a man.
He was such a gentleman, kind generous to a fault, I returned to Spain, and we corresponded by phone, text and emails, to cut a long story short we found a place to live in the UK, I upped and moved back, within 6 months I was being beaten about by this "Gentleman", I was going back to Spain then learnt my son here had Cancer so I found another place to live, he made a good recovery but now has shut me out of his life and depriving me of seeing his children.We all make mistakes from them I have learned from mine,Enjoy your last few weeks.

Liz P said...

Enjoy your last two weeks!

And just think, you can always vacation there again in the future, relive your old haunts and discover new places. :)

Pat Tillett said...

It sounds like you are really torn over this. I think I'd feel the same way. I know I could easily live there, but not knowing the language well enough would be a big problem (for me). The good thing is that you've got to experience Japan by living there, most folks see it only for a week or so. Have yourself a great weekend.

LL Cool Joe said...

It's a tough time for you, I hope you enjoy your last 2 weeks, but you never really know what is around the corner for you. Life changes. Maybe one day you'll return, maybe not, but there is no point in worrying too much, better to enjoy the moment, wherever that may be.

Kelly said...

Wow! I can't believe your time there is aready coming to an end! I know you'll make the most of those last two weeks and who knows... perhaps you'll go back again someday. Meanwhile, I'm sure you have many more wonderful adventures awaiting you in Norway.

Michelle Gregory said...

so hard to leave a place when your heart is there. best wishes on the transition back. and yes, thank goodness for TGIF.

Jemi Fraser said...

Enjoy and savour every last moment of your last few weeks. The memories will be forever. I love the new TGIF :)

Cold As Heaven said...

I think visiting foreign places is best when you now that some time you will go back home >:)

Cold As Heaven

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