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.