Sunday, November 28, 2010

fugue state

i sat down to write this first blog from the other side and the song iTunes chose started, “I'm coming apart at the seams.” that's pretty close to how i feel. what’s wrong with me? the song continues, “Doc, there's a hole where something was. Doc, there’s a hole where something was.” i feel i’ve been stripped of something, a very identity, that’s been part of me for four and a half years, every fiber still raw and painful from having it torn away.

moving back from japan is way hard, guys.

the first day was great. woke up late, hung out with mom, went out with some friends who were in town for thanksgiving, dressed up, had fun. the second day mom and i had a very small conflict which precipitated an hour-long cry as i faced the “what the hell am i doing here/will i ever be happy in america” monster. extreme, i know. but it feels extreme.
going to a country where i was conspicuously different was weird enough, but i expected it to be unfamiliar. no one else expected me to know what was going on either. over time i acclimated and forgot what i was used to before. coming back, everything is familiar but no less strange. i feel the need to preserve a distance from strangers, store clerks, waitresses. people act too familiar and i don’t understand why; i don’t know them. i really feel like an alien who has been on another planet, and while people recognize my face, it feels like there’s a very different person in there.

i thought my hometown would feel safe, not too stressful--a good place to figure out the next step. it still may be, but while i’m overwhelmed by my emotions, i feel totally under-stimulated. this place is beautiful, but it doesn’t have what i need. i need real japanese food, a cheap mobile phone with email, and fit grannies laughing raucously outside the window. i need people speaking in languages i can’t understand, clean subway trains, and conbinis with onigiri. i need unsweetened bottled green tea, karaoke, and onsens.

i do have an awesome housesitting situation, but it’s freezing cold and i don’t have a car. so what do i do? ride my mom’s bicycle until my face falls off? buy a car? that’s kind of a big deal. i don’t know what i really expected, but it’s my practical problem of the moment: how to become independent again ASAP.

it’s not all bad. i did some laundry and used the dryer. things are so soft, unwrinkled, and you know, dry. i had some mexican food and two martinis. the house is warm and so is the water in all the public bathrooms. those things take the edge off.
i’m trying not to lose sight of the things i wanted to do when i came back. i’m trying to hold on to the girl i was there, so i can be her here too and not this mess, but it’ll take a little time.


  1. chin up lady, moving always throws one for a loop. Keep writing and take this time to plan your next move unhurried by life. If you need a break, come to the Bay Area - you have friends there.

  2. It's always so hard and terrifying when you make that Giant Leap away from Safe and Comfortable and into What You Desire- I know I inevitably end up having those "Will I ever be happy here?" monster-cries, myself. Just hold firm to your reasons- they're just as valid now that you're adrift as they were when you were firmly anchored. You'll come back to yourself- just give yourself time. And compassion. (And possibly more delicious martinis.)

  3. thanks, mo. i will definitely try to visit in spring! it was sooo great to talk to you guys, and i was disappointed not be be able to hang out a little more.
    jenny, thanks for the encouragement. i think it IS hard to hang on to the reasons. they aren't as concrete as the reasons to stay, so they're easy to forget, but i will continue to seek my place.

  4. You should stop eating dirt and go straight to the hard stuff, worm casings:(


  5. you're not crazy. transitions are tough, especially international. you'll make it, you're right it will take some time. there's a place for you here.

  6. i'm sorry bean. i worried about this and figured it would be super painful tough because your heart is there so much. but part of it is here, too. just needs to get adjusted and you'll figure things out. one day at a time, littlebean.

  7. i'm hangin' in there, guys. maybe not hanging tough, but hangin'.

  8. Lauro Bean,
    We should talk. I know you've been back for a bit. I've been back for about 7 months, but what you wrote is very familiar.
    Let's get back in touch! Love ya!