Oct 29, 2018

Worrying and Wondering

    A few weeks ago, I had my first anxiety attack ever, and since then I have been really sensitive to stress. Somehow I never realized how many things in this country really stress me out, including:

* being stared at obnoxiously by slack-jawed yokels and their children
* not being able to fully understand every nuance of everything thrown at me

* knowing that I do not and cannot legally own my own home

* not being able to explain my position to people as well as I would like

* not having the time/patience/maturity/focus to study harder and learn the language

* not fully understanding my daughter's music teacher's rapid explanations
* not finding clothes that fit me nor that I like the shape of
    It is enough some days to make me wonder if I should head home like so many of my friends who have come and gone over the years, all returning to their home countries before doing silly things like starting a family.    
    And then I remember, in my home country, I would get to worry about:

* whether or not my daughter is fully insured
* how we could pay for any medical situation that comes up

* if the lack of doctor's visits will contribute poorly to my daughter's long-term health
* if my husband is late because he's been attacked/murdered by rednecks
* if there's been a shooting at my daughter's school/my husband's job/ the convenience store my husband stopped in to buy gas and a coke on the way home

    And then I realize that these minor inconveniences are worth it, hands down. Here, we are safe. Japan has tons of flaws, sure, but this is the safest environment for my kid and for my family right now.

    So here I am.



A working mom/writer/teacher, Jessica explores her surroundings in Miyagi-ken and Tohoku, enjoying the fun, quirky, and family friendly options the area has to offer.


  • genkidesu

    on Oct 29

    Hugs! I have these kind of conversations with myself all the time. A constant list of the frustrations about life here, but the realization that right now it's what's best and safest for our family. Last week I nearly had a meltdown because I was sick of not having an actual oven. An oven!! Sometimes that's all it takes for me to just want to cry! The idea of living back in the States scares the pants off me because honestly...I don't want to have to worry about my kids at school/a mall/a church/a concert/a movie theater etc. And the healthcare situation and cost makes me anxious too. I guess all that to say - you're not alone and I totally get where you're coming from.

  • JTsuzuki

    on Oct 29

    @genkidesu Thank you for this! It is so easy to feel stranded and alone with all these things swimming around in your head out here. It is so good to know I am not alone. And I totally agree! This is just safer and smarter, even if it drives us nuts.

  • helloalissa

    on Oct 29

    If it helps, know you're not alone. I'm pretty sure everyone I know who isn't from here is at least a little crazy after a few years. But that was a good point - so is everyone back home. We live in a stressed out sort of modern society, unfortunately.

  • JTsuzuki

    on Nov 1

    @helloalissa I've got to agree with you there. That does seem to be the way of it.

  • TonetoEdo

    on Nov 3

    My home country is relatively safe, and has national health insurance. So there is no big difference for me. I still count my blessings that I have transitioned from one relatively safe country to another that has social welfare (I mean in the sense of health insurance, employment benefits, etc). When I get iraira about the cost of things here - transportation, communications, food - I have to keep perspective. I earn more here because I could find a niche with my qualifications. There are days when I get fed up with the hairy eyeball and casual racism. Don't get me started about the sexism. The key is to remember the good Japanese people around - kind strangers, friends who have international experience so they know what it's like to be other, coworkers who are working hard to bridge cultures, people who take you on your own merit.

  • JTsuzuki

    on Nov 5

    @TonetoEdo Interesting perspective. It is good to see people with more options choosing life out here too. There is something wonderful in some of the people here and there are good reasons for being here , but it isn't always easy to see. I can't remember the last time I encountered someone willing to bridge cultures. I know they exist though. Thanks for the reminder.