For the past 3 years in Japan, something had been missing from my life until I realized it half a year ago. It was surely a kind of emptiness, and I surely felt it without doubt; but I couldn’t figure it out what it was or how to fulfill it. I travelled extensively, within Japan (as this blog had been used for recording initially), and grabbed every chance I had to go outside of Japan as well, all in the hope of finding the lost “thing”, but only ending in vain every time I was back to the starting point – my home here.
Then I realized it had nothing to do with travel. So I changed my way of thinking and started to learn new skills, to have my time occupied, and to try to make new friends on purpose, before knowing how little I cared. I learned much, made new friends, yet I wasn’t happy. Being nostalgic, I checked in with my old friends from Shanghai, and found out almost everybody – surely not all – had settled; they started family, had kids, and were satisfied with their status of being settled. While feeling no longer a member of them in that sense, I started to realize it is the feeling of “settledness” that has been driving me empty. I know – quite an opposite way to normal thinking.
Even this blog – it says “another year in Tokyo”, but it is only a figure of speech and “another” is potentially a repeating term without a necessary end.
Is Tokyo, Japan where I settle eventually? Is it the end of my adventure? The questions suddenly came to me, the questions that have been in the plain sight but kept eluding me. (I certainly am getting old for being bold, but you have to know that Japan has a kind of atmosphere that all is always settled, and all should always be. )
Then, half a year ago, I started to think about drifting away again. The planning stage has been ongoing for a while, and I have put much effort in it – I even sacrificed time in developing my favorite blog. And I am happy to report that a couple of days ago, I achieved the first milestone.
So here is the plan. 6 years out of school, I am planning to go back next year or the beginning of the year after the next, the latest. I prepared for GMAT test while working and the test result turned out usable – I scored a 730, a score I am comfortable with although not sky-high. I shall use it in my MBA application in Europe next year.
It is fascinating how life develops. When I decided to go to college in Beijing 12 years ago, the main reason I picked Beijing was that I have more relatives in Beijing than everywhere else so I could depend on them while I was there; and nevertheless I fled to the U.S. after graduation. When I went back to Shanghai for my first job out of graduate school, I thought it would only be temporary; it turned out to be the most dramatic years of my life and the best memories of a life time. And I had never imagined I would ever leave Shanghai and come to Japan, nor have a Japanese boyfriend. And now, I am thinking France.
And of course, with my intensive studying for GMAT ending in decent result, I am coming back to a peaceful life for now: writing blogs, taking pictures, cooking cozy food, and continuing my extensive travels; all in the hope of the next great life adventure to start soon enough. And before that, I shall enjoy a temporary settledness of my life.
Ah indeed another year in Tokyo to come!