Several things ‘inspired’ this article, and although it is a very different format to what usually appears on the site, I hope it is at the very least entertaining. I’m not entirely sure it has an actual purpose beyond something to pass the time with.
Recently, I’ve been reflecting on my own experiences of Japan and the JET Programme. I’ve had my ups and downs, just like anyone. Now, with the new year, I can already feel how different this next twelve months is going to be.
When you first get on the plane it feels exciting
and then you get here and it feels like this.
But then you can lose your footing,
or maybe you just stumble a little,
and it can feel like you’re the only one struggling,
Which can make you want to go crazy.
Your colleages could start irrationally annoying you
and some of them will rationally annoy you.
Come March 30th, you may be able to say goodbye to some of them
but then the new people may not be any better.
Work days can drag,
and week nights can be less than productive.
Weekends can help to release stress
but sometimes that just makes Mondays feel worse.
Your JET experience may be vastly different to how you imagined
and your goals may change,
but sometimes being here can help you realize what you want.
You might forget how to be normal,
and that’s ok because sometimes Japan isn’t ‘normal’.
Sometimes it’s enough to celebrate the small things
and try to congratulate yourself for the things that you do accomplish.
Not everything is going to work out perfectly
but that doesn’t mean everything won’t.
I’m not so naive to think that a few GIFs are going to
make anyone feel better if they’re having a rough time,
but I don’t think it’s such a terrible idea to remind ourselves that everyone has bad days or weeks here
and you can feel like doing this
and that’s ok.
On those days where you just can’t face being told
‘You use chopsticks really well,’
or you have other people that are getting you down
Maybe I’m completely off base, but it’s just something I’ve been thinking about lately.
As I said, I’m not sure if this has any ‘purpose’.
At the end of my reflections, though, I’ve realized that while
not every moment here is going to be amazing, if there is a real problem,
it doesn’t mean you should suffer in silence.