Pink Journal

My Thoughts and Self Reflections

My Return
KomoriJun
sdot85
Well, It has been a long time since I have been on LiveJournal, and a lot has happened. For the past 6 months, I have been working as an Administrative Assistant at a local Home Health clinic. I have not been making much money, but I have been getting by on the little I make. I tried looking for another job near where I live, but they're not many jobs available. I have tried looking for a job in another state, and that seems to be impossible. Most employers  prefer to hire people who live nearby. With me living in Georgia, it would be extremely difficult to get a job in New York or California even if I was qualified for the position. So I'm stuck here in Georgia.

I returned to the States last year, but I have made a tough decision after some serious thinking. It took me a while to make this difficult decision, and I weighed the pros and cons of both sides. I have decided to return to Japan. I know, it seems rather odd that I would make that decision base on my constant complaints that I wrote in my previous entries. I actually took time to read my entries, and I have to admit that I was a whining brat who complained about insignificant things. I complained about things that shouldn't even matter! I have realized that I should not take things for granted, and I should accept things as they are. I know there are xenophobes in Japan, and I'm alright with that. I am aware that no matter how long I live in Japan and no matter how well I speak Japanese, I will always be a 'gaijin'. Yes, Japan is racist and xenophobic, but my life in Japan was much better than my life in the States. I experienced major culture shock, but I am strong enough to move past that.

I made non biased comparisons between living in America and living in Japan. I looked at pros and cons of teaching in America and teaching in Japan, and I can say living in Japan was much better for me. This is just my perspective. I don't feel safe when I think of living and teaching in America. Ever since the elementary school shooting last December in Connecticut killing elementary school children, I've been hesitant about continuing my stay in America! I've heard people shooting and killing at malls and movie theaters and I hardly go to these places so I was not too worried. However, I realized elementary schools aren't safe either. I don't want to go to work feeling unsecured instead of focusing on my instructions and my students. Now, people are trying to allow teachers to carry guns into the classroom as if that would make things better! I know there are many disadvantages when it come to teaching and living in Japan, but my safety hasn't been in question during my time as an English Teacher in Japan. In addition, I can walk home safely at night in Japan. In order to walk home at night in America, I would have to have some type of weapon on me while constantly looking over my shoulder just in case someone is following me. Sometimes, I don't want to go to the gym and would rather jog around the neighborhood before dawn. Unfortunately, I don't feel safe jogging around the neighborhood for I would have to take my knife with me. If I have to take a weapon with me just to go exercising, then that is a big problem.

Anyway, I have already made plans to return to Japan in August. I'm currently taking a TEFL Certification course online. I should complete the course in mid-June. To add to the great things that are going on in my life, I also have been losing a lot of weight, but I have 15 more pounds to lose! I'm thinking of taking up yoga soon. I would like to relieve stress and become more flexible in my movements. I have been more health conscious and I drink more water and consume more fruits. Even though I'm not big on vegetables, I struggle to include them in my diet. Its a work in progress, I guess. 

Stay or Leave? Now or Later?
Vanessa_Williams
sdot85

Ever since I left Japan, I have been working part time as a Receptionist. I don't make much money, but every bit helps. Currently, I'm studying for a Teacher Certification Exam that I must take this June. I graduated with a degree in Education, and I just need to take this test to become officially certified as a teacher. I have already taken (and failed) four times already. I didn't want to re-take this exam, since I have failed so many times. Now, I have built up enough confidence and motivation to studying for this exam and passing it. That is not even the most difficult dilemma that I have to face. 

After becoming certified as a teacher, I have two choices on where I would like to teach. My first choice is to stay in where I am and to teach in the local schools. I could teach while paying off my Student Loans. My second choice is teach overseas for a second time. This time, however, I plan to teach in England. 

Relocating in England has been in the back of my mind for a year now. I have been fed up with America and the issues that have been going on for the past 20 years. Watching the news has been exhausting. I'm ready to leave America for good. I don't know if I should find a teaching position and leave as soon as I receive my Certification or if I should wait. If I plan to wait, I could save up money and pay off my debt. That option would be a bit difficult. In addition, I'm getting older so I don't want to waste anymore time. I still plan to go back to school to obtain my Cosmetology License, so I may enroll in a school in London. 

I'm really thinking about teaching abroad a second time and this time, I think it will be a permanent stay. I've done research on life in England as an American citizen. The information that I have come across have been pretty positive. However, I'll continue to discover more information on teaching and living in England. I'm aware that things are done differently. Unlike Japan, I will be able to communicate with people when I'm there. In addition, I have heard how diverse England is. I think it will be a decision that I must think about thoroughly...



A Great Learning Experience
Vanessa_Williams
sdot85

As you know, I returned to the States after living in Japan for 14 months. There are some things about Japan that I do miss, but it feels great moving back home. I'm currently working at a local medical facility as a Receptionist. Right now, my main concern is moving into my own apartment. 

Living in Japan has been a huge learning experience. I learned things about myself as well as Japan. I now realize how ignorant I had been to the Japanese culture. Instead of coming to Japan with an open mind, I arrived with expectations. That was a mistake on my part. I never knew how conservative and quiet the Japanese are. Living in Japan, I see how different things are as far as behavior. I'm impressed how polite, quiet, and efficient the Japanese people are. What was my expectations on Japan, you ask? I expected Japan to  be more diverse than any other Asian country. I assumed that Japan was similar to America. However, I was mistaken. For instance, they're a bit conservative and reserved when it comes to fashion, entertainment, and music. I asked my Japanese colleagues why many people have the same hair color, and they told me that anyone with blonde or red hair will not be taken seriously. Someone with an odd hair color or with a look that makes them 'stand out' (piercing, tattoos, colored contact lenses, etc.) will not get job many places. There aren't many people who 'stand out', which is a big problem for me. I admire individuality and uniqueness, which Japan does not encourage nor support. I saw that most people have the same hair color, the same clothing styles, and the similar interests. There were times where I wanted to watch Japanese horror movies or go to Japanese rock concerts with my Japanese colleagues, and they have always said they weren't interested at all. They don't like scary movies and they don't like heavy rock music. Everywhere I went they would talk about J-Pop idols (AKB48, J-E idols, etc.) and karaoke. I would also ask them about Japanese rock bands or visual kei artists and they would not know. Some of them would even look at me as if I had an extra head. That may have been the reason I had trouble making friends. I see now that Japan is not big on individualism, which America is all about. That is what I wish Japan would take from America. 

 In regards to Japanese culture, I learned that things that popular in America and not really known in Japan. Before leaving for Japan, I attended an anime convention (Anime Weekend in Atlanta) and a Japanese convention (Japan Fest) believing that what I witnessed in those events would be found all over Japan. I must say I was't aware that the things that were displayed in the events I attended were and are catered to Americans. They take things that are interesting in Japanese culture and traditions, and display them in these conventions and media that cater to Westerners. Not many people in Japan read mangas and watch anime. In Japan, anime and mangas cater to children. They show anime on television that are for children. My favorite mangas and animes aren't even mentioned, and I doubt they are even known. Visual kei and J-Rock are more known here in America than it is in Japan. I'm more likely to meet someone who knows and enjoys Visual kei here in America. Cosplaying is another thing that I didn't see much of in Japan. I have gone to Tokyo (especially Harajuku) and have not seen much Cosplaying, which surprised me. 

Despite the many downsides, I've enjoyed my time in Japan. I really would like to go back to Japan to visit. I will always love the Japanese culture and will have so much respect for the Japanese. They're strength and perseverance continues to impress me. These are things that America should learn from the Japanese. 


A Beautiful Lie vs the Painful Truth...
Vanessa_Williams
sdot85

I have booked and paid for my flight to return back to the States. I'm really excited about going back home. During my time here in Japan, I've noticed two things that depress me. First, my English has deteriorated during my time here in Japan. I have noticed that I have been speaking and/or writing incorrect English and I have been misspelling simple words more often. I hope to improve on my English again when I return to the States. I also need to read more novels. I love reading, but I have not been reading as much as I used to and tat concerns me. Soon, I hope to read and write as much as I can so it becomes second nature to me.

Another depressing thing that I have noticed is that I'm not as pretty as I thought I was. My family always tell me how pretty I am, and somehow I knew the truth. I'm not attractive at all. Do you what to know how I know now? I have been living in Japan for over a year and not one single guy asked me out! I have gone out with coworkers and friends to restaurants and parties, and no one has given a hint or two to show that they were interested in me. My coworkers have gone out on dates or have had gotten compliments, but I have not. Not one single guy (or girl) has asked me out. So I definitely know the truth. Usually, people who aren't attractive have a talent to make up for their unfortunate appearance, whether they are extremely intelligent, they speak many languages, they're funny, they're rich, they can sing, they can dance, SOMETHING! I don't have a talent. I'm not attractive, I'm not really smart, I don't have a lot of money, I can't sing, I can't dance, I'm not funny, I'm fat, and I only speak English (even though my English needs to be improved). I don't have many friends so I'm not popular... I don't know but this realization is depressing. I used to cry about, but that won't solve a thing. Crying about this will not turn me into a Kate Moss look-a-like. I realize that I have to deal with this unfortunate fact that I'm not attractive and there's nothing about me that stands out. I am thinking of saving up for cosmetic surgery, but I doubt that will make me look better...

That's why I would like to attempt to become a Cosmetologist. I want to give other people what I wish I could have: Beauty. I want them to feel what I long to feel, but will never get a chance to feel: To feel beautiful.

I know that my time here in Japan has been painful, but a great learning experience. However, I want to go back home and see my family. I know they will tell me how pretty I am even if is not true, but I guess it's better to hear lies than to face the painful truth...


From Bad to Worse...
Vanessa_Williams
sdot85
Everything seemed to go well until this past week. I'm glad that it's over. This week I found out that I didn't get the job in Ikebukuro. I cried when I found out. But I realized that trying to find another job in Tokyo will not happen. So, I plan to go back to the States. I've started to plan for my move to New York. I've been looking for positions and am working on my cover letter ad resume. I might try to get a job as a Secretary or Receptionist.

I don't care about staying in Japan anymore. I realized that staying in Japan will not work. I'll come back to visit, but living here has been difficult for me. Maybe the timing has been wrong, and the only job I can get here is teaching English. I'm so fed up with being a teacher. That may have been part of the problem. If I decide to live in Japan again, I'll make sure to learn enough Japanese to make things easier. I also would like to attempt to enter the beauty and fashion business in Japan. I'm always interested in the Beauty Business. I plan to enroll in a Beauty School as soon as I go back so I can get into the field immediately. I think things would be a little better from now on. My new goal seems more realistic and easier to achieve.

Update...
Vanessa_Williams
sdot85


I have been pretty busy with this job, which is why I have not been updating my Journal! My job has many events throughout this whole week. Unfortunately, I have four more weeks that will be extremely busy. My contract at this school ends in March, and I'm really excited to finally leave. 

I recently discovered that I do want to stay in Japan. I have decided to try a new location and a new outlook on life in Japan as a whole. I honestly had an awful year in 2011. I want to start 2012 in a new setting. I have already started looking for teaching jobs in Tokyo, Osaka, Saitama, and Hokkaido. Ever since I renewed my Visa, I have sudden urge to find another position here in Japan. I'm currently looking for full-time positions all over Japan (preferably in major cities).

I have strong urge to live in Tokyo. I know that living in Tokyo will be expensive and will be very crowded, but the urban (city) life is more what I'm used to. I enjoy the tall buildings, the lights, the noise, the shops, the many different restaurants, the diversity. I feel much better in Tokyo, and I hope to live there really soon.

I had a job interview at an English school in Ikebukuro last week! Ikebukuro is located in Tokyo and is similar to Shinjuku. I'm still waiting for the school's decision whether there want to hire me or not.  I don't have much time before my teaching contract is up, and I still have not found another job! >_< As of now, I'm still looking for positions in Tokyo. I'm slowly running out of time and I'm getting a little stressed! I hope I can find a job before the end of February or I'm screwed! >_< 

Anyway, I know that no one will read this, but it's alright. I have been feeling more alone now. I don't have many friends here and it's hard to find a real friend to confide in. I don't really know who I can talk to about how I can make things much easier during my stay here in Japan. If I don't find another job here in Japan, I have no choice but to move back home. No matter how much I try, things just fall apart...


Merry Christmas!
Vanessa_Williams
sdot85
Christmas is almost over and I'm glad that I'm spending the holidays at home in the States. I realized that I have only 3 more months before my contract is done. I have had a great experience teaching English in Japan, but I'm so ready to come back to the States permanently. I have experienced so much during my stay in Japan. I would love to visit Japan again, but I really don't see myself living in Japan permanently. It was a hide challenge and I don't regret a single thing. However, I'm ready to move on to the next chapter in my life. I already know what my plans and are. Ever since I came back home, I have been thinking of not going back to Japan after the holidays. I know that may seem irresponsible, but I would like to move on to the next phase in my life. I really have to do think this dilemma out thoroughly. After I make a decision, I may have to talk to my family to find out their thoughts on the whole situation.Whatever decision I make, I know that I will have to live with it...

I'm starting to feel homesick...
Vanessa_Williams
sdot85
I miss the things I was able to do at home. I miss driving my car anywhere and anytime I want. I miss being able to communicate concerns to whoever is in charge of things if I have a problem or concern about various things like my internet or issues with my cell phone. Where i am now requires me to ask my supervisor to help me 'translate' my questions and concerns for me. It's really frustrating. It's like she is doing all of the talking for me. I'm the type of person who rather have things solved on my own. I don't really like depending on people and asking for help. If I want to go somewhere far from my home I can't ride my bike because the distance is too far. Now don't get me wrong, I like riding my bike since I have been losing weight. But I miss driving especially when I need to go somewhere far...idk, it may seem like I'm complaining and being a brat, but I may need to go home for the Holidays. Maybe I need a break and need to get away for a while...I hope I feel better when I get back. I still am thinking about relocating to Tokyo. If I go home and decide to stay in the U.S., I'll do just that. I will come back to Japan when I have completely mastered the Japanese language, however. I hope I feel better soon...

Another Update
Vanessa_Williams
sdot85
Well, not much has happened here yet. It's starting to get a little cooler, but I hear it will be hot for a few more weeks. >_< Anyway, to be completely honest with myself, teaching was never my interest. Yes, I graduated college with a degree in Education, but I did it to shut my parents up. I have always been intrugued with cosmetics and fashion, but my parents strongly belive that it's not a real career. They claim that hairstylists, nail designers, and makeup artists were highschool dropouts or people who don't have a decent education and nothing else.

So I have decided to take total control of my goals.When it comes to hair, nails, and cosmetics, I would like to learn how to apply elaborate designs and make a living off of that alone. When I see people wearing fancy hairstyles, nails, and makeup, I think to myself, "I really want to be able to do that or something similar to that." I don't know where and how I can learn especially living in Japan. I thought of taking online courses through a Beauty School so I can get my Cosmetology License, but that's nearly impossible. I know Cosmetology courses are more 'hands on', so it would be difficult to take the class online. I may try to get some hair, nail, and makeup design tips from Intenet sources like YouTube. I would think practicing what I learn on myself would be a good start. I think it would also help me with the techniques that hairdressers, nail designers, and makeup artists use. I don't really have asteady hand so this may be a challege. Anyway, wish me luck on my new goal! 

Oh, and I have updated the URL for my Tumblr. It's here: http://soprettypink85.tumblr.com/



Just Another Post...
Vanessa_Williams
sdot85
 Alright, so it's been a while since I posted anything, but not much has been going on lately. However, I have set a new goal for myself, and I hope I am able to reach it. My aim is to lose 30 pounds by March of next year. Can I reach my goal? Maybe. Will I reach my goal? I honestly don't know...It would be nice if I could get down to a size 8, but one could only dream, right? I bought a Wii 3 months ago, and I just bought the Wii Fit program. I plan on going out for walks and jogs during the weekend as well. I think I will buy a jump rope, too. I will do whatever I can to lose weight by next year.

I also am preparing to relocate to Tokyo when my contract is completed in April 2012. Saving as much money as I can is another goal that I'm aiming for. I have a lot of things to keep in mind before my contract ends. I know that I must stay focused. Other than that, nothing new has happened...yet...

Oh, I have to add that I have FINALLY found a K-Pop group in which I enjoy (I know, hard to believe lol)! They go by the name The Boss, and they are totally different from what I usually listen to. Here is a song that I like that's by them. It's called Love Power:



They seem to be a pretty good group. Honestly, I wish most K-Pop groups were like them, especially the ones trying to debut in Japan. These guys fit the Japanese music scene to a T. They offer a 'kawaii' approach, which is what Japan goes for and they are really talented. Not to mention, their clothes in this PV are nice and add to the "cuteness" (sorry, I can't think of a more appropriate word at this moment). But that is just my opinion. Another reason why I really like this group is the awkward moments in their PVs. For example, Love Bingo! has many moments where I go "Uh...that was lame, but they're adorable so they get a pass! LOL!" 

  


I really hope The Boss continues releasing more songs and PVs. They look like a promising group. Anyway, that's enough for now. I'll continue to discover new music and share them here! ^_^

?

Log in

No account? Create an account