It’s been a while since I’ve posted about my ~feelings~ and since this is my 35th post and I just reached 25 followers (thank you!) I think the time has come for me to gather my thoughts coherently and subject you all to another one of my wandering, repetitive reflections.
Lately I have been really struggling with the passage of time. It seems like it was just January and now suddenly we are halfway through May and I am almost done with midterms for the first term of the school year at work. I am also rounding out 10 months living in Japan and just passed the 1 year anniversary of my graduation from NAU, which is equally hard to process.
I’m not sure where time is going. Monday morning comes and I promise to study Japanese, update my blog, and write something during the week, and the next thing I know it’s Sunday night and I’ve done nothing but go to work and go to sleep.
I’ve been struggling with a lot of anxiety. I feel like I’m barely doing a mediocre job as a teacher and I’m doing rather poorly with the things outside of work like keeping my apartment clean, writing, and studying Japanese for the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) in July. It’s like everything in my life has been put on pause, but time is still moving forward without me.
Maybe this is just life at 23. Maybe I will never feel like I am doing or going to do something meaningful in my life. Maybe I won’t. Maybe this is all there is. I don’t know. I’m only 23.
Here is my action plan as of right now to try and help myself feel better:
- Get more involved with ALT things like committees and events. I generally feel better when I am a part of a community.
- This weekend I started a Facebook group for writers in the prefecture and am going to set up regular writing workshops for us to all get together and share our work. This will hopefully encourage me to focus on writing again as I have not written anything substantial in months.
- Keep focusing on my health. In the last 2 months I’ve lost around 18 lbs, but I’d like to keep up that momentum and continue making myself good food. I might even start an exercise routine, but I don’t want to set expectations I’m probably not going to meet.
- Take time each day to reflect and take stock. I’m hoping this will help with the feeling that I am losing grasp on the passage of time. If I take a moment to be mindful each day maybe I will be more aware of the days passing and how I am spending my time.
Life is hard and I’m not really sure that this post is necessary, but here it is nonetheless. My life in Japan is increasingly less glamorous, though I still feel like I’m in the right place.
As a whiny sidebar, I’m pretty jealous of all of my teacher friends back in the US getting ready for summer vacation. Teachers in Japan don’t get vacations. Even if the students are gone for a month, we’re still expected to be here every day. I’ll probably be taking two weeks off in August, but that will be using my own paid vacation time, which I also have to use for things like sick days, going to the doctor, and occasionally going to the bank (which closes at 3pm).