one year ago, i had just quit my job, sold everything i owned and was in the process of moving out of my apartment. after over a year of planning, i was about to move across the globe to another country. just as i was saying my goodbyes, a big wave hit japan killing thousands and causing a nuclear catastrophe. on every news program were images of death, destruction and people scrambling to escape the tiny island nation where i was headed. it seemed the gods and mother nature had conspired to send me a sign that said, “you must be out of your [expletive deleted] mind!”
the thought of being homeless and jobless was scary. the mere notion of returning to my former job (which probably wouldn’t take me back anyway) was horrifying. it was…a conundrum. so i did what any reasonable person would do when faced with perhaps the most important decision of their life. i went out the next day and got tattooed with my dad, then said “smell ya later!” the decision wasn’t without trepidation, but i felt that i had come too far to be turned away by a little radiation. besides, growing a tail and a third arm was a pleasant alternative to my last job.
with the anniversary of the tsunami, there’s a myriad of TV programs showing both the immediate aftermath and the current state of the region affected by the great wave. it makes me think of how i was feeling this time last year. last night i was at a dinner party with japanese friends and we realized it was the actual anniversary of the tsunami. i mentioned that i almost didn’t come because of what happened. my friend reached out his hand to shake mine and with a sincere look said, “thank you for coming.”
while i’m always homesick, i’m enjoying my life here and having lots of fun. quite honestly, my life is much simpler than it was a year ago. i miss my family and friends but i don’t miss a lot of the worries and stresses that i left behind. as i write this, i am preparing to move out of my apartment and leave the town i live in. i don’t yet have a job lined up and or a destination for my new home. there is a distinct possibility that i’ll be unemployed and homeless come april. am i worried about it? not really! i’ve got a 3-year visa and a japanese driver’s license. of course i won’t have a car come april but…minor details. i’ll figure something out. and besides, the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom! life ain’t bad. it might be time to get another tattoo…