Tag Archives: movies

Leaving When Possible

Time has passed so quickly even though I don’t do much. It’s been a year since I’ve written here and even longer since I’ve written about what’s happening in my life.

I’m definitely leaving Japan. I’m just not sure how or when. I have a vague idea of what I want to do now. I want to make things with people. Specifically I want to work on movies or plays. I want to know others who enjoy creating and aren’t afraid to try things. I just need to figure out what my first step should be.

Last I wrote about my life, I had just started a new round of Japanese lessons. I did that for three months, took the JLPT N2 for the third time, and failed by one measly point. Around the same time, I stopped teaching English and started working in the kitchen of a yakiniku restaurant, which was one of the most stressful and demanding jobs I’ve ever had but also fairly rewarding. Every time I went into work, I had to use Japanese. Only Japanese. And I did it and kicked ass, toward the end of it at least. I did it for a year before quitting last month because I wasn’t making as much money as I needed to. I’ve gone back to teaching English, and as much as I don’t like it, I’m feeling better about it now because I’m sure it’s temporary.

I’m leaving Japan.

Also since I last wrote, my husband and I visited my hometown of Los Angeles for a week last August. It had been the first time in over two years that I’d been out of Japan. The whole week I was overwhelmed with how easy it was to live in a first language. I’d forgotten how easy it was. Or maybe I didn’t know it before because I always took it for granted. Even when I spent a year in Nagoya as an international student, I was still able to rely on my first language. My classes were in English, my classmates spoke English, my advisers spoke English. It wasn’t until I moved to Tochigi three years ago that I really felt how frustrating and completely isolating it is to live in a second language.

I realized that my goals and dreams are hard enough of my native language. So why would I waste effort and energy trying to do them in a second language? Especially in a country that doesn’t want me, that I have no reason to be in.

I thought about what has led me here, how I could be so unhappy in the choices I made. I thought about what teenage me had wanted for her future. I thought about the praise my high school teachers and writing instructors gave me. What would they think if they knew I was sat here, unhappy and doing nothing with the talent and ambition they had seen?

I’ve decided this has just been one long detour. It’s time to start carving out a way back to the path I wanted to take originally.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Japan, Personal

Writing Advice: E.B. White

LA Screenwriter

There is no satisfactory explanation of style, no infallible guide to good writing, no assurance that a person who thinks clearly will be able to write clearly, no key that unlocks the door, no inflexible rules by which the young writer may steer his course. He will often find himself steering by stars that are disturbingly in motion.

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

Young Voices

I’ve been stressing about being an early success since I was a teenager. Maybe even before then. I wanted to be good, and I wanted it as soon as possible. The thought of not having my success until I was middle-aged was depressing and discouraging, and seeing people my age who were already talented only made it worse.

Then I saw the director of Beasts of the Southern Wild interviewed on TV. This director is 26, and his film is nominated for four Oscars this year. Again, the envy and discouragement took hold of me… but then I saw something new. Watching him do this interview, the way he sat, the way he talked — he was just too young. I couldn’t take him seriously, no matter how important what he was saying was. And I realized that’s how the world would see me if I were to have any kind of success at this age.

I still have a lot of time — and a long way to go. I’ve heard this advice countless times, but I finally understand it now. I should just keep my head down, work, and improve. I’ll get there one day. It doesn’t need to happen now, and perhaps it’s better if it doesn’t.

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal, Writing