T-minus 105 days until liftoff!
105 is a big number, but it’s going to go down very soon. I wanted to just write another post and process some thoughts and things that have been going through my mind.
Today is a big day, technically, because it’s the deadline for the first round of documents for the JET program: the reply form, which says that you accept the job, the photocopy of your passport (so they can make sure you have citizenship) and the photocopy of the application for an FBI background check. (In order to be eligible for the program, you have to get a background check through the FBI, which can take a few months, but they want a photocopy of the request form in order to prove that you will have the background check before departure.)
So far, most of my Japan prep has been mentally processing the fact that I’m going to be leaving the country and living on my own for the first time, and it’s incredibly scary yet exhilarating at the same time. And I’m still staying in my old childhood bedroom where I’ve lived for the past thirteen years since we moved into this house, and I’ve accumulated a lot of things, so I’ve begun to sort out my room. My parents have said that they want to rent out my room once I move out, but I’m still not sure how I feel about that.
I’ve begun sorting out my stuff by going through all my old handwritten drafts of novels and the various notebooks and loose leaf papers I’ve got laying around and just typing up the relevant stuff on my computer so I can either put the notebooks into storage with the rest of my things or throw them away, and that way I won’t have to waste space in my luggage by taking them with me, and I’ll still be able to access what I wrote so that I can continue to work on those drafts.
I’ve also started selecting things that I will definitely take to Japan with me, things that I would like to take with me if I have room in my luggage, and things that I won’t take with me and will either put into storage or sell or give away. So far, the stuff that’s going to Japan with me is a meager pile: my spare glasses, my passport, the yen that I have left from the last time I went to Japan (which is worth about $25 USD), a notebook my brother gave me that I will use as a diary when I arrive, and some various other odds and ends, like an outlet converter, a Japanese Wii game that I bought on a whim last time I went to Japan, forgetting that Nintendo likes to region-lock their consoles, meaning I’d have to buy a Japanese Wii when I get over there, etc.
I haven’t even received my placement information yet, so I don’t know what grade level(s) I’ll be teaching or where in Japan I will be living, so I still have a while to get everything sorted out, which is good because I still have a lot of my room to sort out. I also have three bags in my closet full of old manga that I no longer enjoy reading, some DVDs I never intend on watching again, various books that I don’t intend to read again, textbooks left over from my undergrad days, some old video games that have lost their appeal, etc. Things that I don’t want anymore that I intend to sell. I already took three bags down to Goodwill of stuff that I don’t want anymore but couldn’t get any money off of, like old clothes and toys.
And it just feels really weird because I’ll have to leave my home and my family and my dog and my friends and everything I’ve ever known. And while I’ve always wanted to move to Japan and thought that I would be mentally prepared for it when the day finally came, now I’m expecting that I’ll definitely have some bouts of homesickness once I’m over there. And yet I know that in six or seven months, once I’ve been in Japan for a while and gotten integrated into my new community and made a life for myself over there, I’ll look back on these earlier blog posts and laugh at myself.
I’d like to finish off this blog post with an inspiring quote from one of my favorite movies.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.
From The Princess Diaries 1 and 2.
As always, thank you for reading my long and rambly post. Leave a comment below: if you were moving to a foreign country and could only take one thing with you (everything else you own would be put into storage in your home country and you couldn’t ship anything to yourself once you were there) what would you choose to bring?
May your swords stay sharp! 乙女