These next three weeks will be huge in determining my satisfaction and fulfillment with my job for my remaining time here in Japan, however, based on how things look with the new setups and the new teachers at each of my schools, I have a feeling things will continue to improve for me at work. That being said, it is therefore almost safe to say that I have entered that happy phase that always seems to accompany a rough situation.
Just as Jane Austen expresses in Pride and Prejudice, as Jane and Elizabeth are ending their stay at Netherfield, how everyone was so delighted at their departure, that their civilities returned so much so that Miss Bingley was actually pleasant toward Elizabeth, and even shook hands with her – I feel that bothersome situations allow us to experience a sense of gratitude and delight in them when, at long last, they are finally coming to a close. It is as though we are finally able to appreciate the situation, once we know that we are almost through with it. I do not mean simply that we are excited for whatever it is to be over. Not at all. I mean that, because whatever it is is about to be over, it is as though we see it for the first time through new eyes, and we see all the positives of the situation, so much so at times that we start to wish that it wouldn’t end.
In most any job I have held and found bothersome to some degree or another, all of the annoying bits seemed to be suddenly tolerable in my final chunk of time at the job. Once I knew that the end was near, that all of this would be gone and finished soon, it was somehow okay that people did things that pissed me off or totally didn’t work… I even would have thoughts of my departure not being a good idea anymore – that perhaps it was worth it after all to stay in the job. Fortunately, my senses and logic took care of me, and held me to my original intention to depart each time.
Now, I am not quite at that point, as I am aware of this situation and its regular occurrences in my life. However, I certainly notice this change of mentality for myself. Yes, I still find an absurd amount of things that I dislike about living here, but they are losing their hold on me. As I notice that I have so little time remaining, I am suddenly excited by all the things to do before time runs out, and I even have desires to look for another job, so that I could remain living here. I even found myself fascinating the other day about finding a job in a year or few, and moving back to Japan. I know that another situation like my current one would be dreadful for me, but I have thought through many of the details, and found ways that I could enjoy living and working in Japan from the start. The question that continues to rise, then, is whether I actually want to pursue such an idea. Though my brain does what it will, I think I will leave it ’til December, when I have had a good amount of time back in my own culture and language, and the initial adjustment period is over, before I make any choices regarding returning to work in Japan.
For now, I will continue in my pursuit of awesome Japanese things to do and see. I notice for myself how much I want a break, but that I am not ready altogether to leave yet. I would love to have a couple or few weeks back home in the US this month or next, and then to come back to Japan for my final few months. For I long for the comforts of home, but I am not ready to give up Japan entirely – to pack up and ship out, with no intended return. But, this is what I have, so I’ll do my best to enjoy everything here, and to appreciate this part of the world now. And, in less than four months, I’ll be finished with my job, and will be able to do those final travel bits around Japan, before saying what I expect to be a heartfelt, resistant, yet grateful goodbye to the place.
As an almost tangent: I wonder if this is part of a mental health care action from within the body, in order to allow us to appreciate our past experiences, and therefore remain feeling useful and successful in our endeavors and whatnot. Something like that, anyway. Hmm… whatever.