Today is the official first day of summer, according to science and who knows what else. It feels like it, too. The sun stays up longer, the bugs screech louder, and sweat beads on my brow faster than I care to talk about. Tuesday night, we had quite a lovely typhoon blow through. The laughable part? My company sent me a document about how to prepare for a typhoon. This is actually amazing of them to do for everyone else. That said, I am from Florida, so typhoons are nothing new. I quite enjoyed the storm.
As the rain falls and the temperatures rises, I can’t escape the feeling that life continues on, through days, through weeks, through seasons. It has become summer. Spring is an important time in Japan, as it signifies new beginnings. I can’t help but agree. But, spring has come and gone, it’s time for summer. It came bursting in without a care in the world, bringing with it plenty of humidity making the air dense and moist.
I often get asked if I get homesick. The answer is, yes. Essentially, I have these moments where I am reminded of something from home that I miss, and the reality of my distance comes crashing around me. Luckily, they are fleeting thoughts, and pass rather quickly.
After much thought and consideration, I’ve also decided that those who come to Japan around my age and on a similar program are doing one of two things: running to Japan, or running from home.
It might seem obvious, but honestly, it’s an interesting lot that come here. I find that other ALTs are of two categories. The first is super into Japanese culture and have wanted nothing more than to live here (I totally get that). They were usually Japanese or Asian Studies majors, and many have already studied here in the past.
The second, seems to be running from their home. Either they didn’t like their situation there, or they were scared to get stuck there. They wanted to get out and experience other cultures before the tide of their youth recedes. I can respect that too.
The real question is, which category do I fall into? Was I running from something or to something? Maybe summer will bring answers, too.