It always takes me a while to process major developments in my life. I always seem to be about a few days behind in the emotions.

I’ll feel all proud of myself for being so calm when something drastic happens, and then a week later I’ll be walking down the street and suddenly feel like crying.

So I think I’ve finally processed the fact that I am leaving Tokyo.

The other ladies in the class officer group at the kindergarten gave me a hand-drawn card with little goodbye sentiments written on it. I was almost crying.

There’s so much in Japan that is good and that we will be giving up. Portland is so unknown. It exists as only a potential right now, so invariably it loses something in comparison.

Why can’t major decisions ever be made with no worries, no regrets, no compromises? Why are things so complicated. I can’t help doing these little “what if” scenarios in my brain. “what if we stayed in japan?” “what if I can’t live in the u.s. any more without feeling depressed?” “what if we’re making a huge mistake?”

All this is compounded by the fact that Japan is in the rainy season and every day is a dreary pressure behind the eyes. Our futons are musty and clothing never seems quite to dry.

I’ve always said that Japan does endings and beginnings better than the U.S. What with Mia’s goodbye book full of photos and good wishes from her friends and my card, I am truly feeling not up to the task of farewell.

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