Thursday, September 21, 2006

Searching my Soul

This is more of a personal entry rather than an informative story about the land of the rising sun. Nevertheless, if you're at a crossroads in life, I'm sure you'll understand my thinking.

Is this the way the world works? All my life I, and so many others, are told the same thing - "get good grades, go to school, go to college, get a job, meet a girl, get married..." I'm enjoying my time in Japan, but bottom-line, I know it's not my final resting place, and that's scary enough in itself. All my life has been a transition phase from one short goal to the next: when I was in high school, I was preparing for college, when I was in college, I was getting ready for a job... From one random summer job, to the next, to waiting in Austin a year after graduation, I find myself here, another transition.

We never look at the time spent outside of this path, the time we're supposed to use to develop ourselves. Even right now, I'm looking at jobs for when my time in Japan comes to an end, if my time here comes to an end. Is that it? One continuous flow from one uncertainity to the next? Where is the happiness, really? I know work isn't supposed to be fun 100% of time, but I expect it to be satisfying. Lately, I've been wondering if I can ever find a job like that, a life like that.

"I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, men. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."
Fight Club

All my work history? It hasn't been preparing me for anything. Retail, teaching, Alaska, business owner, even my diploma means nothing without the will to use it. The world is anyone's for the taking, if only we would all accept that fact. I just haven't quite gotten there yet.

I'm in Japan because I chose to be. I'm in Japan because my life has been a string of irregular and unusual jobs, and this is the latest link in the chain. I'm searching for my place in the world among all these jobs, experiences, people, and still have yet to find it. I crave adventure. I yearn for feeling, loving, living, desiring. I can't stand being suppressed, condescended, or pounded into submission. You won't see me working as a telecommunications operator. I won't be behind the counter at the DMV. I believe in things like courtesy, chivalry, honor, virtue, and courage. I would die for a stranger, and live to help another. Money, work history, and job experience be damned, I just want to know what the future holds, where I'm meant to be.

I am the twenty four year old boy. Trying to sail away from the safe harbor, and getting stopped by my own anchor. Doesn't mean I won't keep pulling, keep trying to set out into the unknown... good night.

1 comment:

Marie said...

Your words are profound.

Friendly advice:
I know uncertainty is scary, and even though Japan is a transition for you, know that your time there is fleeting. Enjoy it, cherish it, embrace it, and know that when you finally do find your "place" in this world, you will have a lifetime of unforgetable experiences to share.

You can't be forced into submission unless you let your guard down.

If you are undeniably unhappy, change have that right and that power. You may loose some money, but you'll gain liberation and insight into your own happiness.
If you know that you can be happy in Japan, stay aware of your surroundings, understanding the transition, and enjoy the country for everything it has to offer.

You will never be fully prepared for what the future holds. You can only be aware of what the present brings and what the past has taught you, and go from there. Worrying too much about the future can bring you down, so much so that you can lose sight of what's in front of you.

Personally, you have helped me the passed few days in finding direction (not finding my future). I don't know if Japan will be my final stop or not...I'm keeping my options open. I do know that I want a family, I want to be happy, I want to experience other cultures...I want to live. That's what you're doing.
The world is huge...there is plenty left for you to see and thousands of options left to uncover that you never even knew existed.
Shit, when I'm done in Japan (given that I don't fall in love with it and move there permanently), I may go to Thailand or Greece, all the while knowing that eventually I do want to settle down, find a place where I belong, and live life happily.
The future will find you, just be patient and enjoy the ride.