For ten months I have been really far from home and anything familiar and I am finding happiness in the same things as I always have.
I came to Japan and put my television in the closet. I spent a decent amount of money on food and cooking utensils. I went running, at least once a day. I aspired to devote intellectual free time to learning a second language.
It was a matter of weeks before my television was at the foot of my bed so I could lay there and watch shows like Monk. My diet now includes miso udon, which is the biggest culinary risk I have taken in the kitchen. I was fooling myself when I would walk into the supermarket and buy anything other than bananas, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, and fixings for french fries.
That running thing lasted awhile and I want to say that I have not completely given up on it. But, I have found a ballet class on both Wednesdays and Fridays. Nowadays, when my ballet teacher slides down on the floor into a split I produce a deep groan and I stay about two feet off the ground. At this point in my life I am fully aware that my prime leotard wearing days are slipping out of sight, but that is never going to stop me. I will become a crazy old lady who tells people that my hobby is "dancing" and I will wear dance attire, that will be inappropriate for my age, to dance classes that leave me sore and confused.
And this studying a second language thing is something that I am still finding steam for. But, when it comes to after work intellectual free time my heart only has room for one true love.
I have rediscovered any creative writings I have and I am currently procrastinating on a, far reaching, application. But when I sit down and put a pen to paper to revise the English language I am at my happiest. When I really put my mind to Japanese I cry. Even if I am not sad. I still manage to cry.
Ten months and thousands of miles around the world I have not changed. So french fries and word documents it is ... and that is fine.