Craig note- My new guest blog is up for The Real Japan! You can read it here.
I talk about how to get better English teaching work, especially if you aren`t in any hurry to leave Japan.
I was not always, always, always so certain staying Japan was a good idea.
We will throw in some BONUS food pictures, too!
What A Difference A Year Can Make In Japan
I have recently been reflecting on my time here in Japan. Specifically, the differences between the first year and the second year. I have to say my first year here was far, far, far more enjoyable than the past year has been.
(GGG Tip: Life is a marathon as an expat not a sprint. But, things can change quickly.)
Amazingly, a year ago it was a slam dunk to want to stay a third year.
But, honestly, I am glad I don`t have to answer the question about a 4th year here.
(At the time, my job had contract limit of two years.)
Because it would be a BIG, HUGE, and LOUD, “Thanks. But, no thanks.”
Funny, I never quite understood what my friend was thinking in turning down a fourth year here when he had the chance to re-up. And, I never really understood what it was like to have a co-worker who was not up to par.
(I learned why people leave Japan.)
Too, the thought of living in a community of foreigners who; truthfully, I don`t really care for very, very, very much.
(They and that got old.)
New English Teachers At School Did Not Help My Outlook On Life
I decided to simply not bring up the subject of the teacher and her issues anymore. I am just going to do the lesson she wants and let it fall flat.
(The new Japanese English teacher was terrible. She had little use for me in the classroom.)
I have 14 more months to go here. I cannot keep getting worked up about her lack of skill in the classroom. It is a bit disappointing. Now, five days a week I sort of dread teaching with her.
(And, I did. But, I got the chance to stay a third year.)
So, it was the right choice to stay a 3rd year. But, perhaps, not quite the paradise the first year was for me. Maybe the first year was not so great either, but in the new-ness of the moment I did not know the difference.
I don`t know.
I am happy the third year can serve as a tie breaker for me in my opinion of the experience as a whole.
(It did. And, I am still here.)
Daily Life Can Bring You Down Quick, Fast, And In A Hurry
It feels like there are some daily stresses I definitely did not notice before. None of the things happening are a big of a deal.
It is a little stupid to complain about teaching English. But, when your whole life is a calm, picture perfect sea, one tends to notice the slightest ripple in the water.
(And, I did.)
There will be two new foreigners in August coming to this town. Maybe, that will help.
(It didn`t help.)
It feels a little weird to go out making pals or something for social time. I don`t mind meeting people. But, turning it into a point where we can do things together is not something I am very good at.
(I did try early on. I gave up on making expat friends.)
Making Non-Expat Social Friends
It has definitely helped to just go out to a Japanese bar, and meet a few random Japanese people. It`s nice because we can talk without getting to personal. And, I can still get a little social interaction.
I am a big, big, big believer in the fact that not every person needs to know (or wants to know) your whole frigging life story, your problems, your complaints, or whatever.
It is why this (my old) blog is so useful. I can just get it out there and the rest of my day then is okay. I will be fine two seconds after I go back to my desk.
(And, I always was.)
The Value Of Venting
People often don`t realize that about blogs either. Life gets a bit warped at the end of a keyboard. So, despite a moment like this; as I always tell my folks:
“I just keep pluggin` along.”
I will re-group and fight just as hard as always.
(And, I did.)
Bonus Food Picture Blog Posts
Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin
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“People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.”- Stephen Hawking