My trip to America has come and gone, and I’ve returned to Japan.

In the weeks leading up to my departure, I had become extremely tense and anxious, at times even wondering if I had made the right decision to visit during the Easter season, roughly a year an a half since my somewhat disappointing visit back in summer of 2013. Now that everything is all said and done however, I really feel that I couldn’t have asked for a better visit.

I had decided early on to focus on my family this time around. Despite my ill-received coming out last year, spending time with my parents was just like old times, or rather, better. This was no doubt because of my own personal growth in Japan, but I also suspect that not carrying the burden of my heavy secret anymore also factored in.

I finally had a chance to talk with my mom regarding the whole coming out ordeal last year (I didn’t even try to bring anything up with my dad, since it’s really hard to reason with him). Until I had the courage to bring it up, no one had mentioned anything, and it was as if I had never said anything in the first place.

There were a few takeaways from the conversation: One is that my parents blame themselves, even though I’ve already iterated that that’s just not how things work.

The other is that my mom said that she’d be willing to meet my partner if he were to come around. Even though she’s not thrilled about my sexuality, at least she shows potential to evolve on the topic. However, she didn’t try to ask any questions about Taku (she knows that I have someone), so she’s obviously not quite there yet. I’ll give it time.

All in all, I made a lot of great memories with my family, shared a lot of laughs, and ate (was given) so much delicious food that I had to loosen my belt for the duration of my trip…

This time around, I felt my relationship with “home” change completely. While spending my last day in America with my family in New York, experiencing the diversity, character and flavor of the city, I couldn’t help but think that America’s a pretty great country. I even thought that maybe, one day, I wouldn’t mind living there again. That’s a huge turn around from my “I’m leaving and never coming back” mentality I’ve held for countless years.

After returning to my apartment in Japan, I took a walk through my neighborhood, enjoying the warmer weather and clear skies while watching the last remaining cherry blossoms flutter off the already mostly green branches. “I’m home,” I thought, which was actually the same thing I thought while lying on my bed in my room at my parent’s house. I feel so lucky to have two places that I can call home.

I’m also really happy to be back in Japan, close to Taku again.

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