Japan is kicking my ass and I need to get programmed to fight the funk like a samurai warrior.  I’ve been listening to all my youtube coaching gurus so that I can get my mind in the right state to conquer like I did once before.  I had an interview today and the director asked me “How do you like Japan?” “It’s difficult.” I said. I’m not going to lie and be a pretend to be content IMG_5527Japanese.  I’m not Japanese. Fuck the bullshit. I’ll never be Japanese. They’ve told me this over and over again in so many ways. You have to actually check a box that says “non-Japanese” when you want to participate in things.  They recruit you with the words “non Japanese” and I know what they mean when they ask.  I’m half Japanese, but I’m not real Japanese.  They say it’s about your passport, but there are white people with Japanese passports and they’re not real Japanese either.  They say it’s about your bloodline, but my mom is Japanese and that’s not good enough either.   It’s about how you look and how you act.  And mostly its about who is looking.  Always about who is looking and what they think.   What a wicked curse that all my life I wanted to be more Japanese. All my life, I dreamed of living in Japan and now I live in Japan and…it feels like I enlisted in the military and went back to high school and graduate school all over again emotionally.  Everything that I thought I was is being torn down and stripped away and I am being tested yet again. Just like the military, you are conditioned to believe YOU. AIN’T. SHIT.  No one is special here.  There is no goddess. You are part of the whole.  The whole is #1, if you choose to believe it.   I’m interviewing this week because the job that I had which paid the base of my rent laid me off.  This job that put me through hell and took me through the same agony as when I was a first year teacher in South Central crying over lesson plans closed its program on the campuses that I worked at.  But I am grateful actually. I learned a new system of teaching kids in Japan and its worth more than my Master’s Degree. I went from hopeless and frustrated about how to implement this system with no training to being able to plan 4 classes on my commute on the train with my smart phone while standing up.  The change from hopeless to mastery happened much faster than my first year of teaching. I did it without adequate mentorship and I did it without medical marijuana everyday like I did first year teaching. Japan is so much like high school for me as well. I didn’t thrive in high school, I graduated as soon as I could.  I knew by year 3 that it wasn’t working for me, so I worked to figure out the requirements to get out earlier than my senior year. Japan, like high school is a rigid social system that doesn’t hold space for not fitting in the mold. Even if you don’t fit the mold, you have to fit the mold of people who don’t fit the mold.  They sit together in the cafeteria or smoke pot together in the parking lot. Japan, like high school doesn’t know what to do with someone like me, so it ignores me.  I walk through the Shibuya crowds unnoticed.  I talk to no one for hours unless I am teaching them, I go out to clubs and the only time I have a laugh with a friendly person is when I am texting someone from the U.S on Facebook.  If a stranger talks to me, it is to ask me if I am waiting for the bathroom. This was a lot like high school for me. I was a loner. I went home after I played volleyball, I sang in front of the school, i did well academically, I wore cute clothes but I didn’t have many real friends.  Never had a high school boyfriend. Guys made out with me for fun but they never dated me. I have never been to a high school reunion because I don’t care about any of those people and vice versa. I”m not even remotely curious about people from this period of my life. It feels like this one episode I saw of The Twilight Zone where the outcast was ignored because he had some V on his forehead.  What I have grown to believe were universal human needs are not the same in Japan. Apparently they do not need to communicate like I do, they don’t need to touch, they don’t need weed or small talk with strangers. I’m happy when I am teaching English because that’s when it is okay to be me a little bit. I have a humorous presentation in English. People chat and laugh with me, it feels..”normal” for  a few hours. But after that (bell rings) the V goes back on my forehead and I am back into the masses. The drudge of the black suited workers that line up on the escalator, wait for the bus, silent on the train with masks over their face, never looking at each other. Never even showing empathy with their eyes that we are smashed against each other and that my asthmatic lungs are getting crushed just to get to work.  Its humbling me for sure, but I fear that it is killing my soul. I fear that it is taking everything that was once sacred and beautiful out of me and turning it into their darkness. I have a great smile. It is bright and energetic and I love using it. But, in Tokyo I don’t get to smile so much. And if I do, it’s is ignored or instructed to be put away.

“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”  Jim Carrey.

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