I promised to far too many people that I would blog about my time abroad from time to time, and here it is.
I'm going to Japan on the 30th of March!
Alright cool see you next month!
Seriously though, there's not much to say. I'm sitting cozily in Indiana, hanging out with two amazing people while sipping all-too-sweet lattes. They're heavy into the adult coloring book craze, but it's not for me. I suck as coloring--have since Kindergarten. There's just way too many lines, man! There's some great art, though, so it's enjoying to witness their (half finished) results. Me, though, I'm studying Japanese in the various ways that I do on the daily. I'm blasting through my WaniKani reviews (shoutout to Koichi-sensei, the greatest modern teacher on the net) and soaking up all the kanji my brain can. I've been jotting down notes while playing Pokemon, and while my reading has improved, there are far too many vocabulary--still, my trusty notebook gets a once-over at least once a day. I'll also hop over to NHK Web Easy, a mainstay in my bookmarks for a long time. I can't thank the furigana additions enough.
But really, I'm just worrying. I'm not worried about my health or the sad feeling of watching my girlfriend cry or that my phone will die while I'm trying to survive Japanese roads. I'm just scared about my future. I'm scared that I won't live up the expectations that I've set for myself. I'm scared that I won't be fluent by the time I'm back. (hint: I won't.) I'm scared that I never will be fluent, or that I won't be able to hold an actual conversation with real people, or that I may rely too much on English.
I'm not letting it get to me, though, at least not thoroughly. Worrying is just a part of life, right? It's what keeps us on our toes. For all the worries I, err... worry about, I'm also eager about the whole thing. I'm f*cking goes to Japan, dude! I'm living the dream so many of us have, while keeping my expectations tempered. (No, guys, it's not like an anime.) I get to smell the smells, sight the sights, breathe the breathes, eat the eats, yo. I get to experience actual Japanese conversation without those terrible Crunchyroll subtitles, and buy a huge five-dollar bowl of real ramen. I get to board a train like an everybody, plan trips to Tokyo and Akihabara, see some amazing friends again who now live there. Shit, maybe I'll make some life-long friends and we'll keep in touch for years and show everybody back home how cool I am.
Hell, maybe I'll learn a lot, too. That's the goal, anyway. Aichi University of Education will be the last time I'm taking classes as a student, and it'll be the most fruitful semester in my five years. What do I wanna do with my education, you ask? (Everybody f*cking does.) Well, I honestly just want to be comfy. I don't have to love what I do, though of course that would be cool--I just want to play games and support a family of animals and keep the place clean. Though of course if I want to be slightly more productive, I've always wanted to teach. Yeah teaching English to Japanese citizens is a no brainer and there are a lot of opportunities, but I think I would prefer to stay here, in America, with my family and find a school that needs a Japanese language teacher. I'd have to get my teaching license of course, but that's only a year or two more, and I can do that online. Lastly, I would want to work in the games industry. Localization department, of course. I find a lot of what recent studios do and have done (Neptunia, Fire Emblem, and Trails of Cold Steel for recent examples) are just fantastic. The Souls series, too--my god, I take such inspiration from their work that no matter how down I am I push myself forward. Keep your goals in sight, people say.
I'm also going to a sh*tload of Vita games and a Japanese New 3DS. You bet your ass I'm excited.
Anyway, I gotta go study some more vocabulary and kanji. I just saw a Japanese name and got really bummed that I couldn't read it. I'll see you guys next post from the Japanese side of the world.