The strange thing about figuring out finally what I am about and what I want to write is that now I must postpone my writing until I pass the test in December. I was going to take the July one but I knew I was not ready. This “I should be studying but I don’t want to be studying” issue has been going on with me since I moved to Japan, back in 2004. Fifteen years of feeling guilty and frustrated with my second language. Part of it is because I struggle with the decision to live in Japan in the first place. I will get it in my head that it is no good for us and get all determined to leave, announcing it to the world and looking at grad programs back in the States, considering midwifery school and opening my own cafe, all the options I do not have living here. And then life will move along and my mindset will go along with it, bringing me to a place where I am not only comfortable with my decision to be here but grateful. Studying Japanese still feels obligatory but in a good way since I know it will improve our lives.

Committing to life here is not ever going to be easy, partly because it is so temporary in nature. But committing to studying Japanese should not be based on my visa status. I have somehow managed to stay here this long; it is therefore possible that I might be allowed to stay a while longer.

I have found a way of skirting this wavering commitment to my language studies: I now have reasons for studying that are not location based. To be able to connect with people better is definitely up there on the list but I also want to be able to interview people, to do research using the original texts. And then there is the idea of becoming a translator, specifically a literary translator. There are too many reasons why I should be studying, actually, but relating it to my writing is really the only way to get my entire ego and heart on board with the scheme.

Speaking of which…