One Year

I left Japan and returned to America a year ago yesterday.  I knew the day was coming – it’s so rare that you actually know exactly what you were doing exactly a year ago – and I was waiting to feel something…I’m not sure what exactly, but I thought there might be something.  There’s been nothing notable.  Nothing other this funk that I just can’t seem to shake.  I miss Tanegashima.  Horribly.  I still think it was the right decision to leave JET, but looking back, I think I could have done some things differently afterward.  I happened across the Japanese channel and found myself nostalgic and disappointed.  Nostalgic for Tanegashima and disappointed because my Japanese isn’t what it used to be.

I’m in a very different place than I thought I’d be.  At one point in my life I thought that at almost-25 I would have a well-paying job.  A year ago, I thought I’d be in school.  What happened in actuality is somewhere in between:  I have a job.  I am a doula and childbirth educator.  They are jobs I didn’t even know existed until a little over a year ago and so far I’m not making the money I envisioned I would be.  I’m learning as I go – reading tons of books, feeling good when I’m actually able to recall information I read in those books and pass it along to parents, being reminded of how much more I have to learn when I don’t know the answer to their questions (which is still most of the time).  Sometimes I’m disappointed in myself (okay, a lot of the time), but then other times I pat myself on the back for having done so much in only a year (I do this more often now) – I run my own business, I know more than your average parent/person about pregnancy, labor and birth, I can make educated guesses when I don’t know something, I actually have clients AND a website.  I have high hopes for the next year – I have visions of myself a year from now looking back and thinking, “I f-ing made it.”  Made connections, made my business, made rent on a regular basis.

And in the unlikely event that I don’t make it, E has suggested that we sell all our stuff and move to Indonesia.

In the meantime I will continue to indulge in my latest obsessions:  postpartum and learning to crochet via YouTube.

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