I’ve been back in the US for just over a month now.
I made the decision to leave Japan about two weeks before departing. I returned home on August 23rd. I left for personal reasons: namely, I was over-stressed and experiencing some health problems. I left my teaching job and my best friend behind.
I returned to the US 3.5 months after having arrived in Japan. I was stressed, in need of a doctor and dentist appointment, a general emotional mess, and 17 pounds lighter (not a bad thing).
Around 3 weeks after returning to Wisconsin, I was hired on the spot to a barista position at a local coffee shop. I’m glad I started working shortly after coming home as it’s helped ease my transition back into my local community and US society. Outside of work I don’t really have much of a social group outside of my family, whom I live with (my parents and brother). At work, I can see acquaintances and people from the area that I know. It’s a good thing. without it, I would never be social at all.
I am trying to reconnect with old friends, but after being in Japan, and even before then, I’ve drawn away from a lot of my old high school friends to some extent. It would be nice to make new friends or to reconnect more with old friends. For now though, I am fairly content. I’ve developed the habit of a taking a 3 miles walk on the country roads near my home at least twice a week to keep up with the walking habit I developed while in Japan. I used to walk everywhere. The weather has been spectacular this September- warmer than usual, which makes for wonderful walking.
There are times where I really miss my life in Japan. I miss my best friend, the train announcements, little phrases in Japanese, the snacks, the city bustle (sometimes). I’ve gained back 5 pounds I lost. But for now, the comforts of mom’s home cooking, inside jokes with my brother, hugs from dad, and so forth keep me going.
I don’t know what’s next, but for now, I know it’s good to be home in Wisconsin.