[Random] Thoughts,  Japan[ese],  Mental [Un]health

willpower, sweat, and tears

since returning to the US from Japan back in March, i haven’t been on social media, YouTube, or this blog as much as i’d have liked. the international move itself aside, i’ve had my hands full juggling emotional / compassion fatigue as the result of a 6-month work contract at a local animal shelter / animal control agency in addition to navigating the effects of reverse culture shock with sealed lips, least i send this blog/my channel down the treacherous path of no return that is my Apathy for America as a country—not to mention having to re-assess what it is that i want to do with my life now that i’m situated in a country that doesn’t exactly lend itself to my previous career of TEFL (not TESL).

sounds like a recipe that calls for blood willpower, sweat, & tears, don’t you think?

now that my most recent tenure in animal welfare is behind me and i’ve had a little time & space to once again engage with my seemingly innate cynicism with regards to humanity and The Human Condition, maybe—just maybe—i can start to re-engage with the self-introspection that has made this blog and my YouTube channel what they’ve been thus far. i mean, it really is hard to give much of a damn about your own socially constructed identities and related feels, let alone anyone else’s or your own mental health, when you’re frontline and center with the best & worst of humanity at the intersection of animal cruelty, so. yeah.

probably not the best first job to have had back in the States, but trying as it was, i don’t regret having done it for a moment.

nine months in and i can finally say that reverse culture shock is much more easily surmountable now—at least in the day-to-day life scheme of things. which isn’t to say that there’s necessarily less of it or that the ‘shock’ of it has necessarily lessened, but rather that i’ve (more or less) come to terms with the fact that there will always be a decades-worth of incongruity for me with regards to American life / culture / experiences / expectations. i acknowledge and accept that there will always be things that are going to bother the fuck out of me, make me feel somekindofway, or that i’ll just generally miss about Japan—hell, even about Australia—as a repatriate to this country; things that others will probably never understand.

and that’s okay.

learning to acknowledge and validate my own feelings, even if quietly to myself, because (again) no one else would get it—or at the very least, not without energy & effort on my part that i may not always feel is worth expending.

and on that note, i’ll go ahead and mention that there have been two topics in particular that i’ve (thus far unsuccessfully) been trying to will myself to blog about. i’ll try to will myself harder, i guess, but hey! at least i’m here typing this now and you’re here reading it.

どうも。 much appreciated.

in leaving Japan, i also left behind the only “real” job market that i’ve ever navigated since graduating with a Bachelor’s what feels like a lifetime ago. in Japan, my 8 years of experience as an EFL teacher meant something. i’d climbed the ladder stepping stool and had finally managed to bang my head senselessly against the glass ceiling enough times *mumbles obscenities under their breath* to land a half-decent job making a decent salary with benefits in a metropolitan area that i loved…

and while i do not regret my decision to leave all that behind, the realities that i’ve faced navigating the US job market where my international experience means seemingly little-to-nothing in the eyes of most American employers—and salary / benefits? plus the cost of living in NW Washington / the Seattle area even compared to Tokyo/Yokohama??

just added fuel to the metaphorically cold, blue flames that are my feels about life in general, let alone for myself personally, in this country that i’m expected to love #BecauseAmerica.

i do miss Japan.
i do miss Yokohama.
i do miss the lifestyle that i’d built for myself there.

and as tempting as it is to wallow in the novocaine that is my Apathy about the state of America and my relationship with it, i know that i’ll eventually recover enough from such feels to build the lifestyle that i want here too. it’s going to take a lot more blood willpower, sweat, and tears to get there this time around, but hey! i’ve (still) got plenty of all five four of those things! hopefully!

changing fields and rebranding myself professionally at the age of 34 is no small feat, my friend, and i’ll be even older by the time i’m done (if i ever am done)—BUT HEY! i’ll 頑張って and persevere on, ignoring all the mental (and physical and societal) hurdles that continuously tell me that i’m too old for this shit, because even old-but-not-really cats can learn new tricks, right?


“to be continued”

note: this post is a reposting of a post that was originally posted 01.30.2020. accidentally deleted the original post while fiddling with the blog’s database… opps.

YouTuber and Blogger, Vesper is an American expat currently living in Japan.

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