Some rants

Once again, I should be going to bed, but I’m going to write a little bit first. First of all, I am mad because I bought a Pocari Sweat Sunday evening (a brand of sports drink and my favorite because it’s the only one that isn’t grapefruit flavored – it’s meant to help you rehydrate after exercising and/or sweating a lot, and because it’s so hot, I buy one anytime I’ve been out and sweating all day), opened it, had a few sips, open the fridge Monday morning, pull it out, AND SOMEHOW IT’S ALMOST GONE. ???????????? This is Japan, you don’t just DRINK other people’s stuff! It was the only one in the fridge, how could you have mistaken it for your own!? And even if you were secretly sneaking a swig, wouldn’t you know better than to drink almost the entire bottle so obviously?! There are only 6 of us in this house, 3 people denied doing it, 2 at large… I’m really annoyed still. Grrrr.

Also, this morning on the train (Marunouchi Line, one stop for me but always jam-packed during rush hour) we were all packed into the car and this old lady decided that wouldn’t stop her from opening and reading her book, which meant her elbows were akimbo and one was digging into my stomach. What if I was pregnant??? I ask you. Rude!

Mostly, I just want to rant a little about annoying coworker habits. On the whole, my coworkers are great. The Japanese staff are now familiar with my Japanese ability and almost always speak it with me (or a mishmash, which I also enjoy), I have made some good friends among the other foreigners, and generally I really enjoy it there. But. There are some people, who are also American, who have a habit of inserting random Japanese words into their conversations, even with the other foreign staff. Okay, it’s just this one guy. Unfortunately his voice is kind of loud so I can hear him even if he is across the office. When he’s talking to a Japanese person, his 口癖 (word habit) is “Sou, sou, sou” [Yes, yes, yes/Yeah, yeah, yeah]. So he says that. Every. Minute. Or “Daijoubu” [大丈夫, okay]. First of all, he doesn’t need to say those things in Japanese. It’s the only Japanese he says the whole conversation practically, and I’m pretty sure the other person could understand the English. So I can only guess that the reason he says it is to sort of prove “Hey, I know some Japanese.” I think this guy’s lived here a while, probably has a Japanese wife/girlfriend, but he still hasn’t shaken that “I must prove myself and my Japanese knowledge!!!” attitude soooo many foreigners here (largely male) have. Which always bothers me no matter where it’s coming from. That alone would be bad enough, but he’s not really using the words correctly. This is Japan and this is a workplace – we use polite speech. “Sou, sou, sou” and “Daijoubu” are stripped of all polite nuance, they are highly casual. “Sou, sou, sou” especially is more for casual conversation. “Daijoubu” should be followed by something when using to mean “I’m fine” or “This is fine”, which is what he’s trying to say – it should be “Daijoubu desu” (polite) or “Daijoubu da (yo)” (casual). Usually the only time you hear just “Daijoubu” is when it’s a (casual) question – “Daijoubu?” [Are you okay?]. So yeah. Not only is the random insertion of Japanese words into his otherwise English speech just clearly a pathetic self-esteem boost, he’s not even doing it correctly or speaking politely enough for the workplace setting. So why even bother.

And not only that, but he does this with the native English speakers too. No. Just no. We all speak English. Use English. Don’t give me this bullshit about how “Oh, I’ve lived in Japan so long, I only hear Japanese at home, I forgot all my English!” No you didn’t. You are humble-bragging. It takes a lot of courage to get by here without shoving your Japanese “ability” (because his accent is horrible anyway) in people’s faces every 5 seconds to make sure we all know, but just try to live in a world where every other person you meet doesn’t have to know that you know a few words of Japanese but can’t even use them appropriately depending on the situation. Seriously, just try.

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Tokyo forever

well, basically… I’m staying here for a long time. Until I get sick of it or I lose my job and can’t find another one. I’m even going to move my cat here! well, assuming I can afford to do so and I am able to pry her out of my family’s hands – they don’t think it’s a good idea at all considering how stressed out car rides make her, but I think it will be worth it.

And yeah, it’s been a long time since my last post. Let’s just say I hit absolute rock bottom in that time, was two seconds away from packing up and going home, and pretty much the only thing that saved me was going back on meds. I can’t even believe how well I am doing now compared to then – I tried and tried so hard to pull myself out of my anxiety and panic spiral, and I just couldn’t. June was a dark month for me. But now I am doing so good, having so much fun, and feeling mostly great. It’s insane. I went from on the verge of quitting life here because it was too hard, to deciding I love it too much to give up and I’m staying here indefinitely.

That meant breaking up with Kirk. Yeah… that happened. Just at the start of this month. I hadn’t intended for it to happen when it did, but about a week before then, I had gone to my old host family’s in Chiba to spend Saturday night and Sunday with them. I got to make my yukata debut in my new yukata, we ate homemade bento dinners while waiting for fireworks, watched about 30 minutes of fireworks before the skies opened up and everyone dashed for cover, had baths and ice cream back at their house, and then went to bed. I slept in the loft above the living room; the last time I stayed over was fall 2006 (study abroad) and back then their 和室 (tatami room) wasn’t jam-packed so completely full of CRAP that you couldn’t even spread out a futon. But now it is, so the loft it was. My host mom was so sweet and thoughtfully gave me all purple bedding. Their futons are really nice quality and I always love sleeping on them, even though it really is best on tatami and not wood. Anyway, it was a little warm up there and the dogs were tap-tap-tapping their claws on the wood floor below, so I had a hard time falling asleep. Suddenly I started thinking about something he had said to me earlier in the week.

As I mentioned, I have gone from being able to find no color in my life here and not being able to enjoy anything because of anxious thoughts distracting me from everything to having a complete blast, largely because of the meds. I feel normal again, and as such, I can enjoy life, and I am enjoying it a lot. So much so that my initial planned departure date of April or May 2014 started to feel… too early. And well, Kirk and I had a great time on his trip here in March, so maybe, just maybe, he’d consider trying to get an IT job and coming here…?

Nope. He said no. He likes his life in our home city, and has a lot of stuff he couldn’t take with him that he’s attached to, and just plain doesn’t want to.

So, I started thinking about that, and how my choices are: go back to Texas in the spring or stay in Tokyo. Somehow that became stay with him, or break up. And then before I knew it I was composing a mental pros and cons list about him, and to my horror, now that I had opened the floodgates so to speak, I was coming up with a LOT more cons. Before, I would never even get to this point – “No. I love him, and our connection is amazing, and we have so many inside jokes, we have our own cute little language, we have been through so much, we love each other, there’s so much good here, I can’t let it go. I won’t.” And things just wouldn’t proceed. But now… my thoughts just went haywire. And I began to realize a lot of things, and it was absolutely terrifying. I knew what had to happen, and it scared me, but I knew it was almost inevitable. We went to Disneyland the next day and every time my mind wandered it went back to him. At one point my host mom spoke adoringly of “Sarah’s cool boyfriend” to her younger sister who was there too, and I just felt so guilty.

But. While I was going through that awful anxiety in May and June, he… really couldn’t be there for me. I’d already gone through some in the fall when I first got to Japan, and then there was all that time in 2009 and 2010 when it first started, and I think he’s just burned out now. He’s run out of sympathy and my absence, which was painful for him, didn’t help him want to keep comforting me. I found out later that while it was only a week before the breakup that I let my doubts free, for him it had been going on maybe months, and the main reason he hadn’t pulled the trigger himself is that he didn’t want to hurt me.

I need to go to bed but will hopefully continue this later. A lot has happened and I have a lot I want to record. I’m trying to overhaul this blog and make it more interesting, maybe some pictures, jazz things up a bit, MAYBE even attract some readers who don’t know me! Hmmmmm!!!