It’s official. I have my visa and I leave on Monday. After only eight months of waiting, I’m finally going back to Japan to start my professional life as a video game programmer. Wish me luck.
You know, for the longest time I just wished that this eight-month interim would hurry up and end so I could move on and start developing my future. But now that the end is here, I’m actually more apprehensive than excited.
“I hope I adjust quickly;”
“I hope I make lots of new friends;”
“I hope I enjoy my job;”
“I hope I impress them with my work;”
“I hope my salary is enough to live comfortably;”
“I hope I have enough free time to really enjoy Japan;”
“I hope I made the right decision.”
When I start to think back, I realize that there really have been a lot of wonderful times during this stay in the US, not the least of which has been the simple opportunity to spend tremendous amounts of time with friends and family, particularly that spent bonding with my father. This has been longest we’ve spent together continuously since I was in Junior High, and there’s no doubt that one of the strangest things about re-transitioning to life in Japan will be that I’ll no longer come home every day and have him there to watch a movie with, or to ask “What time do you want to head to the gym?”
For whatever reason, I really feel like I’ve developed a stronger sense of family over these few months than I may have ever had in the past. Attribute this to all the warm hugs and friendly faces that greeted me when I first came home, to the support and encouragement towards my efforts from so many loving relatives, or to the numerous family gatherings, culminating with my cousin’s wedding just two weeks ago. Whatever the reason may be, there’s no doubt that the thought of separating from all of them has had a large hand in my current feelings of apprehension. Gee, thanks everyone! 😛
Then there are all those crazy nights out with Nick, hitting everything from Las Vegas nightclubs to Hollywood pool parties to USC frat houses. Even with no plans whatsoever we always managed to end up somewhere fun, each night resulting in countless memorable surprises and interesting stories. Japan’s nightlife is wild, but in the end it’s often little more than a compatible wingman that truly makes or breaks a great night out.
And of course, there are all of the random “little things,” each making up a small piece of the experience that has been my stay here in Los Angeles:
Riding a motorcycle for the first time (and getting a license); Eating more Mongol’s and In-N-Out than I’d like to admit; Clubbing with go-go dancers in Hollywood; Attending Jeff’s engagement party; Reuniting with my best friends in New York and Connecticut; Going to a random Thai temple with my mom and stepdad; Riding the water slides at Raging Waters like I was 10 years old; Watching Da Ali G Show with Andy and his family; Stressing for months over my lawsuit with GM (and winning); Crashing a bachelorette party in Vegas; Spending countless weekends with my relatives in San Diego; Smoking Hookah with Yashar; Attending Comicon for the first time and E3 for the last time; Climbing the Grand Canyon; “Stirring the Beef;” Getting SCUBA certified in the Channel Islands; Bonding with my little buddy Booboo; Re-connecting with David J and Ron; Hitting the lifetime high of 250lbs on the bench press (finally!!); Seeing Cirque du Soliel at the Staples Center; Ending up at a most “unusual” Hollywood movie night; Revamping my wardrobe with Felicia; Spending a week with my mom’s parents in Michigan; Attending Jason’s wedding; Dorm-Storming at CSUN; and so on and so on and so on…
With all of this, it may be no surprise that I’m having difficulty saying goodbye.
But despite my apprehension, I know that if I’m ever going to do something like this now is the time. I’m young, I’m not tied down, and I know how to live cheap. I’ve just got to remind myself that I’ve spent the last three years dreaming about what I’m about to do; if I didn’t take this opportunity I know that I always would have wondered, “What if?”
I guess I’m really just concerned because this will be such a major change in my life, and I’ll be making that change all alone. No hugs from daddy and no “just staying in bed” when I’m having a bad day. This is the real world, and it’s a bit intimidating. I just hope that the transition goes smoothly, that I like my job, and, well, I guess you already read my list of “I Hope’s” up above.
So I’ll conclude by saying once again, as I did almost two years ago…
“Wish my luck. The next time I post I’ll be half way around the world.”