The Beginning of the End: Tokyo T-minus Six Months

keep-calm-it-s-the-final-countdownあけましておめでとうございます!

Happy New Year!

2014 was a successful one for me: I made some big moves in my career, met more amazing people and improved my Japanese the most out of any year I’ve been here. 去年一所懸命歯働いたよ。(Last year I worked super hard!)

However, this year will be bitter sweet, as the countdown to lift off from Japan has been officially initiated.

It’s not because I hate it here. For the most part Tokyo has been good to me. There have been bumps along the way: random police checks, the occasional drunk asshole shouting “gaijin” at me, and hunting for an apartment in a discriminatory marketplace. But the good times far outweigh the bad. Tokyo is a vibrant, lively city that will always have a piece of my heart.

The reasons I’m leaving have more to do with life in general. As I approach my third decade on God’s favorite piece of space debris,  there’s a lot I want to accomplish both personally and professionally.  I don’t feel it will be easy to do those things in Japan.

That said, there’s a lot I need to accomplish in the half year I have left. From soaking up all the Japanese I can to saving money, this year’s gonna be full throttle.

Study-mangaThis year I’m taking on the dreaded kanji–Chinese characters used in the Japanese alphabet. At the absolute least 2000 are needed for literacy. I might be able to easily recognize 300. Still, I bought some manga from the second-hand bookstore down the street. I figure the pictures should help. They must be for kids or something because they have furigana (phonetic spellings) next to the kanji characters.

I’m also going to my first writer’s conference in New York this year. I’m planning to do a pitch session for my latest novel, which I’m currently getting critiqued. Honestly the chances of finding an agent at the con aren’t great, but I’m sure I’ll learn a lot.

So while this year will be the end of an era, it’s only so I can usher an new, brighter era full of more success, adventure and growth.

楽しみにする–I’m looking forward to it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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