Sorry, Nomaday, but I’ve been busy!
After a week-long adventure to the heartland, I’ve returned to Pittsburgh for final preparations: isolating all the things I’m taking to Japan and determining what particular bags they go into. I’ve got a carry-on, a laptop bag, and two suitcases, as well as a suit… it’s just a matter of knowing what I’ll need and when and where. I managed to sell my bed to a Voltron-shirt-clad young lady who paid for it with cash, which was great, and I even got the honor of helping her lug it over to the other part of my neighborhood and up two flights of stairs (exhausting). But it’s gone, as are so many other things: packed in boxes to be stored, tossed into the garbage can, peddled to charitable organizations, left for my graciously accepting roommate who will soon find his collections of kitchen instruments, plastic Guitar Hero peripherals, and clothes hangers suddenly swell (not to mention my entire office set-up including desk, monitor, printer, and computer).
There’s just no room and no reason, which is both a bit scary and liberating–at my most minimal, will I still be able to find the happiness and the stability that I routinely pursue? I have already begun to miss the comfort of my formerly inviting bedroom, warmly lit and curtained, a post-work TV rolling Seinfeld while a meal cooks, a Yuengling, my video games. Eventually I imagine I’ll make up the place I live in much the manner that I did it here, a place to feel safe and relax, even amidst the pursuit of ever-changing experiences and adventures.
I can’t help but continue to wonder, as I always have, what exactly it will be like not only to enter a new country, and Japan in particular, but to make it my home and carry out my life in it. How will I feel as part of a 0.000836% minority? What new circle of people will I meet and what will my friends be like? It’s kind of the same feeling as when I came to Pittsburgh: ready for something relatively defined, but anticipating everything I cannot possibly expect. The toed line between discomfort and heightened awareness, letting things go and embracing new situations, the fuzzy logic of a 21st century rice cooker: approximately something like this, depending on the always variable circumstances.