(cross-posted to my personal blog)
After an almost 5-year stint in Japan, I am finally back in my home country, Indonesia. I started writing about my Japan journey (albeit extremely!!! sparsed in frequency) in this blog, so I feel like it’s appropriate to write about the end of my Japan journey here.
I thought I’d be sad leaving Japan, knowing that it really was my dream to be able to live there, and Tokyo still is one of the best cities in the world. But, I was sadder leaving the people that I got to know and love in Tokyo, the people that made Tokyo home for me while I was there.
During the first 2 years in Japan, the one thing I had in mind was to find a way to live there for the rest of my life. I started as a student, and continue as an employee.
Unbeknownst to me, I was already hanging by a thread in late 2019. I was slowly losing a reason to stay in Japan. I wasn’t exactly happy, but I still had faith in the city. So I pushed through.
Then, 2020 happened. The world as we know it changed, it’s still happening as I write this too. The year hits hard, but personally, it was an eye-opening year for me. It felt like a year-long meditation.
During the year, I realized that I’ve been limiting myself. I wanted to leave Japan. I was living my dreams, it was all I wanted. But why did I want to leave? I felt like I was being ungrateful and I was betraying myself for wanting to leave. But slowly, I realized, it’s okay for dreams to change. It’s not like I have to stop at Tokyo. There’s a whole world out there.
Just with that decision alone, it already felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I toyed with the idea of moving to another country (South Korea, I see you 👀), but I know that I’m not mentally ready to adjust to a new place. I just want to be in a place I’m familiar with, a place where I feel secure. So, when my Mom mentioned moving back to Indonesia (“It’s not like you have to stay here forever”), I jumped at the idea.
So, here I am writing in my room in Jakarta. Finally finding the time to just sit and write. It has been a struggle to find some sort of “me time”. I just want to soak in every moment with my family and friends, I’ve been looking at my phone a little less, I want to be present. I’m grateful.
Tokyo will always be a pleasant memory to look back to. I learned so much, I experienced so much, I think I did treat Tokyo right. But that chapter’s over, and my book is far from over.
204 is a record of all of my worries, thoughts, anxieties, and everything leading up to this. Leaving Japan. Thank you for being a safe space for me to vent. It feels good sharing it with the world, no one’s truly alone.