Thursday, September 07, 2006

Reality Bites?

So, it's September, and I keep getting this nagging feeling that we should be getting on a plane and going back to the land of sushi and onsens.

But, of course, we're not.

I think I've been feeling this way because the past two Augusts were spent in transit to Japan. It's kind of an eerie feeling, and it's a little hard to shake off.

As I walked from the parking lot into my new workplace on Tuesday morning, it hit me like a brick. I've started a new job here. It's for real. We're staying. Since Tuesday morning, I've teared up on numerous occasions. Just about any news story or sappy email can make me cry right now. It's kind of embarrassing, really. But at least the tears mostly manage to keep from rolling down my cheeks... although I still have to monitor what music I let myself listen to!

Luckily I work with a bunch of people who, like me, love to travel for a living and understand the pain of leaving a place you've become attached to. We talk about "re-entry shock" and even the "grieving process." I know, it sounds extreme. But don't belittle it, please. It's all part of the ups and downs of the gypsy life we've chosen. But even in the sad times, I wouldn't trade it for a second.

Shari said it perfectly yesterday..."When I came back from abroad, my boyfriend told me it was like I was doing 50 in the 80 zone." It's so true! I often feel like I'm living life in slow motion...I'm observing so much, and thinking so much. Thank goodness it's just a "re-entry" thing. I was worried that at 30 I've already lost my bounce!

Work, by the way, is fantastic. I teach the Level ones. They are a mix of warm and wonderful people from South Korea, Colombia, Mexico, Switzerland, Venezuela, and China. Ironically, I have no Japanese students. That's probably a good thing. I have had to bite my tongue many a time already to keep myself from breaking into Japanese. It makes me realize how much I "cheated" when I taught at Minami chu. I have to re-learn my teacher speak! I caught myself pointing to my nose in class today when referring to myself. I even need to re-learn my body language!

Jeff continues his quest to finish our bathroom. He bought beautiful ceramic flooring today from Home Depot. And no, no teaching positions have been offered. Supply work begins in October. Till then, painting jobs call.

This is it. We're really back.


jkirlin said...

You'll always be Epps in Japan to me. :) And as long as your bra remains missing, to some odd Japanese dude, too.

Suzanne said...

You guys are amazing. I didn't really have a comment, but just wanted to let you know that I do love you guys and can only imagin the struggle and the suckiness of getting back to Canadian life. Honestly though, it is so great to have you home and I'm glad that you're here least for a while. I love you