Oct 142006

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.”

  14 Responses to “The Time Has Come”

  1. 京都に着いたら連絡してね~!Justinのお父さんはいつ見てもかっこいいねww have a good flight~

  2. もうすぐ会えるぜぇ!
    See you soon buddy!

  3. うんちうんこ日本語なになに!

    Finally! Let’s enjoying weekends!

  4. I am so jealous man. You have no idea. I know that things will go great for you, and you will have a blast!

    Best of luck to you!.

  5. Gonna miss you bud! Travel safe, work hard (like I gott tell you…), play hard (uh, like I said…)
    Love, Dan

  6. Good post……Good luck

    Hope to see you sooner rather than later,


  7. If video games have taught me anything, it’s that when you’re in Japan you can easily travel halfway around the world in a few minutes on a large yellow bird.

    See you soon,

  8. You did it!
    Hope to see you soon in Japan!
    Tho I have no idea when I’m going back

  9. i know the guys playing the drums in that second to last picture! hahaha

  10. Ah you make me all gooey. I wrote a tribute to you on my xanga. It basically says, “I’m gay, Justin’s leaving how sad.”

  11. Hello from Taipei Airport!

    Thanks much for all of the kind comments – I’ll do my absolute best to get in touch with everyone once I get settled. Hopefully it’ll be quicker this time as my first month’s apartment is supposed to come with internet already set up 🙂

    P.S. Jason, that’s awesome – and I didn’t even know you still read this blog! Shit, I was planning to stop by out of nowhere and surprise you 😛

  12. I can see my house on that last map.

    You are here by now. I can feel the extreme.

  13. EXTREME!!!!

    You want to hear something sad? The entire time YHM was calling me EXTREME I never really got the joke. Then I went back to the US and saw Harold and Kumar. And the light suddenly switched on. At last.

    I’m awesome.

  14. LOL @ ppl calling you that and you not getting it until you saw the movie…Glad things have started off well for ya dude

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