First off, can I just say that I've lost 10 pounds and it feels great?! Sorry, completely unrelated to the topic at hand. But still. 10 pounds! Go. Me. Now I need my shopper friends to go jeans shopping with me...
Ok, it occurs to me that I might be sending the wrong impression about my experience in Japan. I usually don't think much of the complaints I so freely dish out on various forums. I mean, life is never perfect, right? No matter where I live, I'll always have something to complain about. With that in mind, I've been sharing my frustrations with work, Japan, friends, motherhood, health, etc., not really taking my audience into consideration. But here are the demographics of the people who listen to/read my complaints:
1. Family who want us come home.
2. Friends who also want us to come home.
3. Friends who want us to work where they work, or live where they live.
4. Friends who have worked here before, and know what life can be like.
5. Friends who live here now and are either worried that we might leave, or want to know how in the world we've lasted here this long.
So typically, friends and family read into everything I say and think, Wow she sounds miserable, they should really come home or come work with us. Why are they staying there if they're so unhappy?! Funny, but nobody asked us that when we were living in Kansas, even though we were infinitely more miserable there. Maybe I just wasn't as vocal then. Living this far away, I feel like I need to speak louder in order to communicate. If I had been open with my feelings in Kansas, you would have heard this:
I just found out my husband lost his job. Some crap about him not being "confrontational" enough. Bull sh#%. His supervisors didn't like him - maybe he was a threat, being such a nice guy. No notice, no warning, just "as of now, we are terminating your employment." Apparently the world doesn't value compassion, kindness and a soft heart, but rather a cut-throat, I'm-better-than-you attitude. I cannot believe that Hans' cheery disposition is a weakness. I won't believe it. There must be some good left in the world. . . I admit that I'm a little hurt that he wanted to keep something so important from me. He was trying to protect me, I guess. Am I that fragile - that easy to upset? Maybe I am. I wish I weren't - that I could just press forward despite affliction, and with a smile on my face. No. No smile. I don't want to create a facade. Nobody is happy all the time - though some people try to be, or at least they pretend to be. It's ok to get upset, to be sad, to cry . . . just so long as I don't let that keep me from moving. Forward.
So maybe I'm overly dramatic about my lot in life. But when haven't I been? It's how I cope. It's how I move on. I know it isn't perfect, but it's something, right? So when you hear me say "my happiness in Japan is hanging by a thread" or read my status as "Suzie is worn out from work," or hear me complain about the illogical complexities of my boss and Japanese culture, I don't need a solution. I don't need an alternative to living in Japan. I don't need a new job, a new home, a new life. I just need to be heard. That's all. The truth is, I'm happier now than I ever have been in my life ("har har Suzie, that must mean you haven't been very happy in your life!"). I'm sorry I complain. That I don't talk about the beauty around me. Writing is my outlet - my stress reliever. So naturally, I usually do it when I'm stressed, worried or upset. I'll try to improve on this. Because Japan has been such a gift and a blessing. There is no where we would rather be right now.