Since December 20th, I have been on vacation in Minnesota. The results have been…mixed. I guess I’m falling in that holiday funk that a lot of people experience and I’m sure I’ll get out of it but right now I feel a bit apathetic.
Hanging out with my friends has definitely been the highlight of my trip here. I’ve been seeing old co-workers, college friends and even meeting some new people. The days with them go by really fast which makes me sad because I know I won’t be seeing them for at least another year. There were two occasions that things fell through though and one of them was New Year’s. Some people bailed out on our event, we were locked out of the venue because the host overslept and we didn’t really get things started until 11 PM. Needless to say it was a little disappointing. I guess I would be less disappointed if I was still living here but it was the only day I would be seeing them, which sucked a lot. Despite only hanging out for a couple of hours, we had a decent amount of fun. It could’ve been a lot better.
Part of my funk is the whole holiday thing. The holidays are so hyped up that I feel like it’s impossible to enjoy them at the level society wants you to. My Christmas wasn’t that great because my families are separated. My brother’s family does their own thing with his wife’s mom while my mom and dad basically did nothing. I felt bad for them so I decided to hang out with them. It basically entailed me just watching TV while mom made cookies and dad fell asleep. This eventually led to them fighting with each other and us taking a taxi home. Fun times. I can only hang out with my mom and dad for so long until I really get annoyed and depressed–they’ve been fighting throughout my entire life but it still pains me everytime they start raising their voices. If I went to my brother’s thing, I would just feel left out because it feels like they do their own thing while I sit in the corner and basically just interact with my nieces. It’s very awkward. But, I guess that’s how it is during the holidays–either you’re having a blast with your family or you’re trying to kill them. Either way, it doesn’t get any easier as the years ago by.
One of the biggest things that has been bugging me is just coming back to the United States got me thinking about my future. I’m not going to be in the JET program forever (I think 2 more years tops) and when I come back, what will I be doing? I’ll be nearing my 30s and while most people are going through/completed grad school, I’ll be back in square one. Also a lot of my friends who are still in college will be graduating and be leaving the state. While I would still have some friends here, it’s only a handful compared to in the past. I’ve gotten used to being social in Japan; it’s one of the things I wanted to change in 2011 and I did successfully. I have made a ton of friends in Japan and hang out with them often…how exactly will it feel when that completely changes when I return? Thoughts like these have been looming in my mind throughout my two week stay in Minnesota. Also, I have insomnia again. Every day I wake up at 7 AM and am unable to go back to sleep, regardless when I went to bed. I really hope this goes away when I go back; I’m guessing it’s jet lag/stress-related.
So while I’d like to say vacation has been awesome, I can only say it’s been okay. I go back to Japan on the 5th and start work on the 9th. I plan to get out of this funk by then, I can’t mope forever!