Today marks four years since I moved to Japan.
The first three of those years I spent as a JET Program ALT in Kitakyushu, assisting in English classes at local schools. It was for the most part an enjoyable and comfortable job, and living in a moderately-sized city afforded me a lot of freedom. Sometime during my time living in Kitakyushu, I came to know Taku.
Life in Kitakyushu began to feel stale, so one year ago, I moved to Fukuoka City to get a fresh start. I attended a Japanese language school full-time for a while, but as time went on, it became clear that that path wasn’t for me. I’ve recently returned to work in order to live more comfortably again.
Of all my years here, this Japanniversary feels the most melancholy. Taku is away for work all summer. All of my close friends in the area have moved back to their respective countries. And I’m on a tight budget, meaning I can’t really go anywhere too far from home. I usually take a moment to think “What have I accomplished in the past year?” around this time, but this time around, I feel like that this time around, I couldn’t accomplish as many things as I hoped I could. Perhaps I’m being too hard on myself. I did pass the JLPT N2, which is one concrete goal that was years in the making. And I also strengthened my relationship with Taku and other important people around me. But I still can’t help but feel like the past year fell short of the grand expectations I had regarding life in the city.
On a positive note, I think that things should begin to stabilize over the next few months, and that I will finally be able to start looking forward to future again! I’m planning a lot of big things over the next year, and I feel energized and hopeful for what my fifth year in Japan will bring.
And as always, thanks for your continued readership of this blog!