JLPT N1 July 2015 Results!

I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yessssssssssssssssssssss. This has been my goal for a very very very long time, especially ever since my little sister passed it first in 2011 or something and I’ve been infinitely jealous ever since, but finally I’ve caught up. Mwahaha!

I thought I’d compare my scores from this time and the first time I took it (in Dec. 2013).

Dec. 2013 Results (Fail):

得点区分別得点
(Score Breakdown)
言語知識 (文字・語彙・文法)
(Knowledge of Language [Characters, Vocabulary, Grammar])
38 / 60
読解 (Reading) 12 / 60
聴解 (Listening) 31 / 60
Supplementary Information (*) 文字・語彙 (Characters/Vocabulary) B
文法 (Grammar) B
総合得点 (Total Score) 81 / 180

* B: Percentage of correct answers above 34%, less than 67%

July 2015 Results (Pass): 

得点区分別得点
(Score Breakdown)
言語知識 (文字・語彙・文法)
(Knowledge of Language [Characters, Vocabulary, Grammar])
40 / 60
読解 (Reading) 35 / 60
聴解 (Listening) 34 / 60
Supplementary Information (*) 文字・語彙 (Characters/Vocabulary) A
文法 (Grammar) A
総合得点 (Total Score) 109 / 180

* A: Percentage of correct answers above 67%

The first time I took the test, I knew I’d failed the first section (kanji/vocab/grammar/reading). (I actually passed characters/vocab/grammar with 38/60, but failed reading dismally with 12/60). Actually, I hadn’t brought a watch and they’d covered up the clocks in my room, so I wasn’t able to gauge my time well. I panicked as the questions were a lot harder and were taking a lot longer than I expected (I hadn’t studied for this test as much as I should have, even though I was seeing a weekly tutor paid for by my work at the time) and by the time the reading section rolled around I had no time left and was too panicked to make much use of the little time I did have left. I didn’t finish that section before time was called. My company at the time was paying for the test, which was the only reason I didn’t leave at the break after the first section and walk out. I was sorely tempted to. But I’m glad I stuck around for listening as it was surprisingly easy and restored a lot of my confidence (and I did pass it at 31/60, which shocked me as I thought it had been so easy I’d have gotten a near perfect score), even though I know I’d still failed overall, and I was right.

The second time, just last month, I knew I’d done just fine on the first section. I’d finished it with a couple minutes to spare and felt confident about my answers. (This despite the fact that I really had not been studying as hard as I would have liked, but I reasoned that I’d been working in an almost entirely Japanese environment for almost a year and a half, as a translator, creating one-slide PowerPoints in Japanese and giving 1-minute speeches on them once a month, and had acquired a lot of advanced vocabulary in that time, so I probably didn’t need to study that much – and I was right. I passed vocab/grammar with 40/60, a slight improvement over last time’s 38, and passed reading with 35/60, a HUGE improvement over last time’s abysmal 12 points). However, I was very worried about listening as I hadn’t studied for it at all, since it had been such a breeze the last time and I figured that my whole life in Japan is one big listening test anyway, but then it ended up feeling more difficult than I expected, and I wasn’t as confident about my answers as I would have liked. But it all worked out okay in the end! I even improved on my listening score from the first time by a few points (31 -> 34 out of 60). And I was able to get A’s in vocab and grammar this time around, when I’d gotten B’s before.

So, yay! Now I have bragging rights and my Japanese ability has been officially measured and assessed and I can level up my resume with it.

Ghosted by my Japanese boyfriend

Well… it’s officially over. For me, anyway. It was probably over for him back in June or even May, and while I began letting go in July, it took me until August 1 to tell him–just in case there was any doubt at all, which there probably wasn’t–that we were through. And this entry is going to be me attempting to get all of my emotions about this out, like a catharsis, so I can move on.

My last post was June 11. The last email I received from him was on June 9, in which he called me scary for saying I wanted to come over and see him in the morning before work and comfort him, and since then I did not hear from him at all. At first I continued to send supportive, lighthearted messages 1-2 times a week. At first, I told myself not to expect a response. But… I started to want some sort of reply, some sort of acknowledgment that what I was doing was helping him. And I was beginning to have a very, very bad feeling about all this; my faith was running out.

I also heard from his youngest brother during June (but only after I pestered him over various social media, honestly worried that Shiki might be depressed/suicidal because of his work situation. It turns out selective avoidance is a family trait!). His brother basically said that while he does not have contact with Shiki (and he also let me know that the middle brother is moving away from Tokyo – ??), June is also a busy month for that industry. His advice was to wait for the busy period to end. That gave me a bit of hope and around the end of June, I had one last burst of determination to wait it out and keep being patient to see if he would come around.

On July 1, I sent him this:

It’s been more than three weeks since your last email you sent to me. Is everything okay? I feel worried when you don’t respond to me at all. Worried about you (and your mental/physical health), and about us. I really hope you’re doing all right. ><
I’d really like to see you or hear from you sometime soon. I think that would help both of us.
The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is this Sunday, July 5 at noon. I’m nervous… >< If you have a chance, could you wish me luck?
I know June was also a busy month. Do you think July will be less busy for you?
….No reply… And of course he didn’t wish me luck or say anything to me on JLPT test day. (I took N1 again, and it went fairly okay, by the way. Hoping I passed.)
Anyway, the lack of response was starting to feel hurtful and/or worrisome, depending on how lenient I felt. I had asked him to wish me luck on the test he had studied with me for in February (we had a few study sessions back then where he studied for some legal certification and I studied JLPT N1), and he didn’t. No matter what, it just didn’t seem like a good sign. If he really cared about me, no matter how busy he was, he would have made some attempt to reach out by now. How hard would it have been to say “Good luck” to me on July 5? But he didn’t. It was beginning to feel deliberate, not like he was too debilitated by a busy work schedule and depression to do anything but sleep, eat, and go to work (as had been my assumption up until that point).

So, by the time my company summer vacation rolled around, I was feeling pretty done with things. I had talked to several people about the situation by that point, and everyone agreed this guy was a dud (which was hard for me to accept, but by that point I really just had to). When I protested that I still needed to get my stuff back from his place, that it couldn’t be over until I did, people told me to let the stuff go or joked that he’d already thrown it out (but I knew he wouldn’t have, it’s just not in his personality). I couldn’t let it go though because that was one of my favorite pairs of PJ pants. Anyway, I used my summer vacation to spend 10 days back in the U.S. relaxing at my parents’ house. I also ended up making about $3,800 doing freelance translation for a new client, who I hope becomes a steady client. While I was home, I couldn’t help rethinking the Shiki situation and feeling bitter. So, on July 19, I sent him this:

You are a coward.

You have hurt me deeply by just ending our relationship in the worst way – not contacting me anymore. Is that any way to treat your girlfriend of 9 months? I have cried and felt so sad and lonely over the past three months, and it is your fault. I have tried to help you and be there for you and comfort you and encourage you, and in return you have insulted me and ignored me. All I know is that work is busy, but I don’t know why, and I don’t know what your schedule is like, and I don’t know when it will end.

And you won’t even take responsibility and talk to me about it. You won’t even let me get any answers.

「はなさない」や「大好きだよ」や「Don’t move back to the U.S.」と言ってくれた優しい彼氏はどこ?(Where is the sweet boyfriend who told me “I won’t let you go” and “I love you” and “Don’t move back to the U.S.”?)
なんで消えちゃったの?本当に仕事の忙しさだけが理由? (Why did you disappear? Is work busyness really the only reason?)
なんでちゃんと向き合って話してくれないの? (Why won’t you face me properly and talk to me?)
なんで逃げてるの?なんで返事をくれないの? (Why are you running away? Why won’t you give me an answer?)

I hope you know that you can’t avoid me forever. You still have things that belong to me and until I get them back I’m not going to just fade away and leave you alone, even though I know that’s what you want.

I did decide to move back to the U.S., by the way. You told me not to, that you didn’t want me to, but then you disappeared, so what am I supposed to do?

You might as well tell me something so I know what the hell is going on with you. I suspect you’re depressed because of your work situation, but that’s no excuse for just abandoning a relationship with someone you supposedly care(d) about – with someone you led to believe you truly cherished, and who waited for you to come around for so long.
I think you need to be a man and take responsibility.

You’re the one who asked me to be your girlfriend, so you need to take responsibility for ending this relationship clearly if that’s what you want.

I want to hear an answer from you. I’m sick of waiting.

Yeah, I went into beast mode, which my ex Kirk will be quite quite familiar with, though I had never taken this tone with Shiki before. Yet again… and predictably… no reply.

I decided that once I got back to Japan (on Monday July 27), I would go over to his apartment one morning without warning, wait for the time when he normally leaves for work, and ask for my pajamas back.

So, on Wednesday July 29, I did that. I sat down in the hallway outside his apartment door (I knew based on past experience that even if I knocked, he wouldn’t open) and waited for him to come out around 8 a.m. He did come out, was clearly shocked to see me, and I walked up to him and said (in English) “You have my stuff.” He looked confused, so I said in Japanese “荷物 [stuff]” and he got it. He went back inside and dug up my pajamas and gave them to me. His hair had been cut into a spiky style at some point in the THREE MONTHS we hadn’t seen each other, and I really didn’t like it. He looked much better before. He had moved my pajamas from the hall closet where I’d put them to one of the plastic boxes under his bed (why?!), so he had to rummage around to find them. There were big, thin boxes in the hallway of his place, like for a bookshelf or something. I started crying (good thing I was wearing sunglasses), and he seemed shaken up too (well, probably also surprised to see me outside his apartment).

We walked to the station together (only 30 seconds) – although he realized he forgot his train pass (maybe proof of how unsettled he was to see me) and had to go back to his apartment to grab it, and though he told me to go on ahead I waited, and when he came out he rushed past me and I had to jog to catch up – and along the way I told him “I want to talk to you, when do you have time to do that?” After a long silence where I wasn’t even sure he was going to answer me at all, he finally said “Sunday….” and when I asked when on Sunday, trying to clarify that he had meant he’d have time to meet then, he paused for a long time again (at this point I had gone down to his platform with him, practically chasing after him, he was clearly in a hurry to get to work and/or possibly to not be near me anymore), and finally I said “Then could I come over at 9pm on Sunday?” and he nodded/said yes, so I said I would and then left – his train was coming in – and went to the platform on the other side to go to work.

It was a lot more unsettling to see him than I’d thought… and for us to interact with absolutely no affection, no physical contact whatsoever for the first time, it just really drove home that things have changed and are over between us, which was really hard to experience. I’d gone through that when Kirk and I were fighting – the interaction that’s tense and not normal, no physical affection – but this was obviously different, as we hadn’t seen each other in 3 months and he hadn’t contacted me in a month and a half and definitely seemed to be considering us over already – so it was more like having an awkward encounter with an ex, which I’d never gone through before.

I’m not sure why I set up a time for us to talk more, since I knew even then that it was likely to be even more painful and his answers don’t really matter anyway. I wasn’t even sure he’d keep the appointment, but I was hoping it would help make a clean break, and I HAVE been saying this whole time all I wanted was to talk to him. I just wanted to establish that we are, in fact, broken up and that’s what he wants.

But of course, he canceled the day of. Around 6pm on Sunday August 2, he replied to the angry email I had sent July 19 (quoted above) with this:

今日仕事でいない (I won’t be there because of work today)
The も at the end is senseless. Yet another poorly composed email from him that gives the impression that he’s too frazzled from work to even write properly. Who even knows the truth anymore, though? Does he really have to work past 9pm on a Sunday? If he does, clearly the insane schedule is still going on. But that’s his fault for not prioritizing his own mental and physical health, and also his relationship, and letting all of that be sacrificed just so he can do everything his job asks of him. If he’s been lying to me this whole time, and actually something else happened (like he got back together with an ex, or whatever), then I still deserved an explanation. In any case, he needed to make time for me and to either explain the situation or end things properly. And he failed to.

I wrote back with this:

Ok. I thought you’d cancel so I’m not surprised. Rescheduling would be pointless so I won’t try. If you ever want to talk, you can ask me. 

Just in case there is any doubt, we are broken up now. Thanks for the memories. Enjoy your work-filled life. 
P.S. Your haircut looks dumb. 
Normally, I wouldn’t have added that last dig at him, but I was drinking sake on a patio way out on the Chuo line with my friends and I had one of them push the send button for me.

It bothers me that he chose to cancel by replying to the last email I had sent him, proving that he IS aware of the emails and he’s reading them, he’s just choosing not to reply and to ignore me, knowing what that means. How could he end up being so terrible, I just don’t understand it…

Whatever. He has to live with the fact that he hurt me in this way, and I’ve made sure he knows it and knows what a terrible thing he did (regardless of how much his work schedule influenced it, if it in fact did). If he wanted to avoid facing the consequences of his hurtful actions and the proof that he’s hurt and upset me, he didn’t get to do that. I put it in his face anyway. I’m annoyed I spent so much time pitying him and coming up with excuses and rationales for his behavior.

This is easily the worst breakup I’ve ever had (but to be fair, the other two were pretty clean breaks and this is the only messy one I’ve ever experienced), and I hate that it’s like an open wound now, and it still pisses me off when I think about it. I’m actually still in shock. He was so sweet, and we were so happy spending time together, and he did and said so many things that made it clear he really cared about me and wanted to keep seeing me… I don’t understand how he could have done this, and how things got weird for good AFTER he put all that effort into our 6-month anniversary. I’m just blindsided. Yeah, it’s ghosting, but I just don’t understand. Why?

I’ll write more about my feelings about this whole thing, but I wanted to get the facts and an update out in case anyone was curious. Sympathy is MUCH appreciated!

There is hope for my dating future, however. I had a very nice first date on Friday, we hit it off and both find each other attractive and have a lot of common (or at least related) nerdy interests, and we should be seeing each other for more if everything keeps going well. If it doesn’t, I’ll just take a nice long break from dating while I lick my wounds.

I’m still feeling very hurt and rejected, even though I tried to reclaim some of the power in my last email to him and reject HIM. But it’s obvious that he was checked out since May/June, or maybe even earlier, no matter how big of a role the busy work schedule played. I know I did my best and I was a great girlfriend and I did more and hung in there for longer than most people reasonably would, and if that wasn’t enough for him then that’s on him for not appreciating what he had and honestly telling me if it wasn’t working for him anymore or if he wasn’t able to pay attention to a girlfriend anymore. He’s a coward and avoidant and he has to live with that and live being that way. I get to move on and know that I am capable of real love and a real, secure partnership with someone who thinks I’m amazing and deserving of all their love, and I will find it.