☆ i heart japan,  ☆ life

Living Tall in Japan, part 14

☆ To see all of the parts in this series, click here

There’s no water in our apartment.. neither of us know why, either, but it makes it awfully tough to take a shower or get ready for work when you can’t brush your teeth. ^^;; I also woke up really thirsty because of all of the chocolate that I ate last night.. >.>;; Weeeeeell…. I guess this is to waiting for water… *hums* Dude, I don’t want to go to work today… would anybody mind if I just left Japan and only came back to visit? ^.^;; That’s what I feel like. I feel like that pretty much every morning that I have to get up and go to work. I’d rather just vacation. ^^;;

Nyaaaa….. it would be nice not being lonely, too.. >.>;; It sucks being lonely here, and being so far from my friends.. I’m looking into a new job, though who knows how probable that will be. ^.^; It would just be nice to have a job that didn’t bore me to death. Not that it’s a bad job, it’s just boring as all hell for me. If I had a friend that I saw on a daily basis, it would probably be a lot better.. or a good friend at my branch.. *nods* That would rock! Hmmmm… wonder if I can transfer to Nicole or Eda’s branch.. *ponders*

I used dude a lot back then, didn’t I? Two weeks to the day into my new life in Japan, and 50 weeks shy of the year that I was signed up for, I was starting to become miserable. That was my livejournal entry from September 29, 2004, and it reflected my mindset. I’d been at my new job for a week, and it was already starting to become routine. Before I started the job, my roommates had warned me that it would become boring quickly, but I’d thought that that meant that the job would be easy, and I wouldn’t have to use a lot of brainpower to do it well, thereby reserving a lot of brainpower for things outside of work, like learning numbers in Japanese.

I was wrong, though. I was so wrong. The boredom actually meant that by the time that I was done spending seven hours at work, my brain was accustomed to not having to think a lot. I would wander home in a haze, and not want to do anything outside of work. I began to stay home a lot (and I was only a week in), and that brought into stark relief just how many friends I didn’t have. I got really lonely, really fast, and started wondering if I could just go home and call this a failed experiment.

There was a problem, though. Nova offered new employees a cash advance to help with your first month here until the regular paychecks started coming in. The advance would be taken slowly out of your future paychecks. I’d taken it, and so now, if I quit, I would have to pay it back, and it wasn’t like I had money just laying around.

The next day, September 30th, I followed up with this post:

Mmmm, more rambling thought. I really need to decide on how long I’m going to stay here too. Japan has it’s appeals, and I know that I’m just lonely here, but I dunno.. I don’t want to live here forever. I’ve decided that I’ll have to stick it through for 2 months and then I can decide, no matter how much I want to run before that. I’ve been wanting to leave a lot, but… No.. I was told that the average length of employment at NOVA is 8 months, because most people come for one school year and then want to go back. I’m thinking that I may possibly do that too, and save up money for the return to school in America.

As far as returning to America, I know for sure that I want to go back to school when I come back. I don’t know what I want, though.. That will be the purpose of my research. I’ve thought about being an archaeologist, and that might be fun, or possibly a paleontologist. Anything that deals with ancient species and civilizations would be interesting. I’d like something that stimulates my brain, also, and something that doesn’t really work with the public at large. So, definitely scientist-something is on my top list of things to become. There’s also the space station thing to think about, which is quietly burning in the back of my head most of the time.

*coughs* Enough about that.. I’m just getting my thoughts out and giving myself something else to think about. Speaking of that, I need to get ready for work.

It’s no surprise that I was thinking about going back to school. I love learning, and school has always been a positive place for me. I’m lucky in that respect, and I’ll always be a lifelong learner! I used to want to be an archaeologists/paleontologist, or an astronaut, or an animator, and I did really well in school (national Honors society, etc). But when it came time to choose what college to go to, I took a whole year to decide. It was a hard choice. Should I study math, or dinosaurs? Or ancient civilizations? I couldn’t be an astronaut, because there were height limits and I’d already passed them by fifth grade, though they have been lifted now, I believe! Can you believe that being tall is actually a disadvantage at times? And I’m not just talking about finding pants. In the end, I looked at what I could live without in my life. Could I live without doing science every day, or could I live without art every day? The answer was easy, then. I’d like to study science someday, but what I want around my life every day is art. What I want to do the most with my life is make art. Therefore, I went to an art college, but love of science was still strong in me.

Um.. so, anyways, it’s no surprise that I was bent on going back to school after coming back. So why, when I was so miserable, did I stay nine years in Japan? It was because I stuck it out, found what happiness I could, and then something extraordinary happened, and suddenly I wanted to stay in Japan forever.

Any idea what it was? The answer is simpler than you think! 😉

(547 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.


  • zoomingjapan

    Jamie, I noticed that whenever I try to reply to your comments, it won’t show up. This is the third time happening and I don’t know why.
    When I just comment to your blog post it’s ok, but trying to reply to your comment doesn’t work.
    You might want to look into it. 😉

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      Thanks! That’s weird, since some of your comments show up, and I guess others don’t. I will see if there’s anything that I can do, but I don’t know much about webscript. I wish that I could make my page as nice as yours!

      • zoomingjapan

        You know it took me about 6 months to get my blog the way it is now and there are still so many tiny errors that I can’t seem to fix, it’s really annoying. 🙁

        It might be a plugin that is interfering with the comment system.
        I might not be the only person with that problem, but as I do care, I though I should tell you! ^___^

        • Jamie Lynn Lano

          Thank you for telling me! 🙂

          Yeah, I have had other people having problems commenting at times, too. It makes me sad, because I want more and more comments. I used to get so many on livejournal, but this is a private site (and you can’t choose your icons even, unless you know how to use gravatars), so I feel like it makes it feel less-inclusive. When I have enough money, I will hire a webdesigner to redesign the site from scratch. Now I just need to get all of that money together! 😀

          • zoomingjapan

            That’s a great idea.
            One has to invest in their dream / blog if they want to become big. It’s just so hard when you don’t have the money doing so in the beginning, isn’t it? :/

          • Jamie Lynn Lano

            Yes, not having money makes things so much harder than they need to be. I sometimes think about how unfair it is, but it’s not something that I can change, anyways. And I have to plan for my move, and going to TCAF in May, so even if I did have money, I can’t just throw it around. Yet. One day, I will be able to be! My blog is getting more hits now that I write every day, so that is something. Not much, but it can support itself (not counting the time put into it– just the webhosting fee). That’s something at least!

          • zoomingjapan

            It’s always the same! Either you have enough time, but not the money (like you at the moment) or you have enough money, but not the time (like me right now). IT SUCKS!! ;___;

            But I’m glad to hear your blog is doing better. It DOES take time, don’t give up! 😀

          • Jamie Lynn Lano

            Yes, exactly!!! I’m glad that you get it.

            Don’t worry, though! One day, both you and I will have both money and the time to use it properly! There has to be a good future out there waiting for hard-working people like us. ^^

  • zoomingjapan

    In those early LJ entries you sound a lot like me in the past few years, so my ranting was not so much job-related, but Japan overall as you know. It’s so nice to read that somebody else had very similar ideas, worries and rantings. 🙂

    Who would have though that you’d stay in Japan for MUCH, much longer back then? 😉

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      I never would have guessed that I’d stay for so long! Or even make it through the year. 🙂 But I also thought that I would come back after one year and be totally fluent just by living in the country. That’s how I learned English after all. XD;;; I had no idea that language didn’t just happen that quickly by osmosis. (Although I did learn a lot without studying, when I started working for Konomi-sensei!)

      Yeah, I hear a lot of your concerns now, and actually, they are similar thoughts that I had my last two years in Japan. At one point about a year before I left, I came to a sudden realization that I was “done.” Just done with Japan, tired of living in an environment that wasn’t ideal, especially the visas, smoking, and cold. That’s when I started to think about where I wanted to go after, and Hawaii was my first choice. It solves all of those issues and the drawbacks are so much smaller! I am ultimately missing some aspects of Japan (anime events/merchandise), but I can remedy those with enough money, so I don’t regret my decision at all. 🙂

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