Hi! Long time no see, and what a journey the last 2 years have been. If you had been a regular reader / follower of my blog you haven't heard from me in a year and a half and you would have noticed that I had slowed right down with my posts in the 6 - 12 months before that. If you know me, you probably know most of what has happened to me over the last couple of years. For those of you who don't know me, you may be asking "What happened? Where have you been?". Well, please allow me to fill you in.
My last year in Japan, especially, was not so enjoyable. I developed some health issues and subsequently spent some time in hospital. The issues I had in Japan made me realise that if something serious did happen to me, I had no social welfare assistance in Japan. Of course I had health insurance but if I had to spend any length of time off work, I would have zero income. This was on factor.
The second factor was that I realised that, in all, I had spent nearly a quarter of my life living away from my family, my brothers, sisters and my mother. I had a nephew that I had never met and a great niece that I hope to meet soon.
So, I made the heartbreaking decision to return home, to my birth home and I make that distinction because Japan had become my home. I say heartbreaking because the night that I made the decision to finish my life in Japan, I was in tears. I left many dear friends in Japan and I left a big part of my heart in Japan. Those of you who read these pages regularly will know the passion that I had for Japan and sharing the lesser known parts of Japan, Japanese history and Japanese culture and for sharing this with people. So, yes, I have left a lot of me back in Japan. I hope people continue to come here and read about the magical country that I called.....call home.
The first couple of months back home, I felt totally lost, completely disoriented and confused. I am incredibly lucky that I had family to move back to (my older sister who gave me a roof and some time for me to start clearing my head before she, thankfully, picked me up, gave me a kick up the bum and told me to get on with my life again). I spent Christmas with most of my family (which helped).
Just today I decided that I am going to continue with this blog, just with a change in focus from Japan to the rest of my life's adventures. That is why I am here now. I am going to keep going with this blog, as it gives me something productive to do. Also I thought to myself, when I eventually do leave this world, what will I have left behind? Nothing concrete. But by keeping this going, I leave this behind, my life less normal (don't worry, I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon!!). I will go back to Japan, I am putting plans in place for my next visit as you read this. As I said, I left a big part of myself back there and left some people who are incredibly close to me there and I say to them, I will see you soon.
So, what now? I want to share a part of a poem about where I come from.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror,
The wide brown land for me!
(Written by Dorothea Mackellar. Full version can be found here.)
This is Australia and welcome to my next chapter......