Hello from the other side of the world. How have you been? ひさしぶり!
I took for granted how good I had it during “Office Days” when I was on JET. All the teachers were off administering tests to the students on giant pieces of paper, and my only role for the week was to mark a few sentences from Japanese to English translation for each class. I used to get SO much writing done during those down times. (And taking sneaky selfies around the office if I were completely alone.)
I used to lament about not having enough responsibility or things to do when I wasn’t in the classroom or with my debate students after school. Some days I wished to go back to Boston and start a job where I would be terribly busy every hour of the day…(Whyyyy, Becca, whyyyyyy?)
But I guess the grass is always greener. Or the ocean is always bluer. (Because Amami Island and Boston Harbor…get it?)
I’ve been at my new job at an adult ESOL school for 8 months now. I’m finally feeling comfortable in my role, I adore my coworkers, and I love working in an environment where I am surrounded by students, learning, and other passionate educators who are dedicated to advocating for the immigrant community in Boston.
But man oh man do I miss having all the time in the world to write whenever I wanted to during the day.
Anybusybee, I just sent my blog to a fellow writer and realized that my last post was from January 20th. Yikes.
So this is my lazy attempt at a snapshot of my life. In the fall, I joined NEJETAA— The JET Alumni Association chapter for New England. Being around other JETs has been some of the best combating-reverse-culture-shock therapy I’ve had since returning from Japan in August. It’s therapeutic to be surrounded by so many others who have this shared experience with me, even though we were all in different places. Every situation is different when you’re in Japan, but every situation feels similar once you’ve returned to your home country.
At the end of January, I spent the weekend with new faces in a familiar place–our 4th annual NEJETAA ski trip to Killington. We stayed at the Summit Lodge, a cozy cabin-style inn that has tributed literally all of their decor to St. Bernards. And my parents’ best friends actually got married at Summit Lodge!
I wrote an article for our NEJETAA website about the ski trip if you’d like to read it.
And to any recent returnees out there…I highly recommend joining your local JETAA chapter if you can. Especially if you’re missing the version of your Japan self in ways that you can’t quite describe.
Like a hot air balloon, onward and upward.