After a longer than usual rainy season, the cicadas are finally beginning their long, droning chorus each morning. It's finally August and as I tell myself every year, I can't believe how fast it's arrived. It seems like just a few days ago I was moving into my new apartment, but really that was 10 months ago already! I've been in this place for almost a year now and that blows my mind on how fast time really does seem to go.
Summer is always a special time for me in Japan. I first arrived to Japan on August 23rd, 2008. It has been nearly 8 years since I first stepped foot into Japan. I distinctly remember my first thoughts as I left the airport and arrived at the train station in Omiya. Japan was uniquely different than what I had ever seen before, but oddly familiar. I knew next to no Japanese at the time, and I was almost deathly afraid of speaking in front of people. But I had made the decision to not only relocate to a different country, but to take on a job that forced me to speak in front of others several times a day.
I reflect back on the past 8 years and it is very surreal at how much I have changed. Of course, that is what your 20's are for. To really find yourself and see the changes that are made throughout your life. I've not only gotten over my fear of speaking (in fact, an audience of several hundred doesn't really bother me anymore), but I've also taught myself Japanese (still and always learning though!), as well as made several decisions and learned life lessons while living in a country foreign to my own. In fact I believe I have more confidence now in day to day activities because of learning to do them in a different country than my own. Doing these sorts of things in my home country now would seem trivial in comparison.
But 2016 also marks a big year of change for me career wise. Up until I graduated from university, I worked part time jobs and jobs where I knew I wouldn't be there forever. I worked in the food industry, in a hot factory, as well as an intern with customer relations, and all of that was just to pay the bills while I studied. It wasn't until I graduated and got my first job in Japan that I really hit the ground and learned to work in the "real world". After working at AEON, and then hotel management for short while, I eventually went out on a limb and decided to teach kids at an international kindergarten. Like before, I was going into this job pretty blind and not knowing what to expect. It proved to be five of the most valuable years of my life. I really found something I enjoyed and was good at doing.
And then I left it all.
I enjoyed my time teaching at the kindergarten. I really did, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss it almost daily. But I had something else in mind. See all of these jobs, including working at the kindergarten, I was just an employee. While I could make more decisions and get more freedom to teach my classes how I wanted as time went on, I was still limited. I wanted more freedom. And as the old cliche goes, with freedom comes responsibility.
I decided to go the entrepreneurial route and with a business partner I help run two English schools. One for adults, which he already had established previously, and from this year, we opened a kids school. I could still utilize what I had learned before, but have the freedom to choose how things would go.
It has not been easy, but I am enjoying it and learning all that I can. It is a definite shift in what I have been used to my entire life, but just like when I made the decision to move to Japan, to get the job teaching in front of others, and to go into teaching kids at an international school, going in blindly and learning as I go along is all part of the fun.
I'm curious to see where this will head. Will I succeed or not? I think the important thing is that I try and pursue it with the same drive and passion as I did before. I have other things I want to do as well, and this allows me certain freedoms to pursue those, where I couldn't before.
So 2016 has been an interesting new chapter so far in my life, and I'm really curious to see where I'll be going in the years to come.
One last thing, to update you all on the status of my Youtube channel and Shea in Japan in general. I will still be making videos. I know they have been few and far between this year, but my drive to make them like I used to hasn't been there. I still want to do it, but I have other ideas in mind that I will reveal very soon. So please stay tuned for more on that.
Summer Musings & Recent Changes Reviewed by Shea Roberts on 8:51 AM Rating: