Friday, September 30, 2011


I didn't know how to break it to you, but I did leave Japan.

Oh, man, it was hard. I can't tell you how hard it was. That's probably why I haven't been near this blog in so long. I mean that was an awful process, leaving Tokyo. I had so much to love there. I cried all the way to LAX. By the time I got to Portland, I felt fine. It wasn't the shock I expected. It was quieter and it took me awhile to realize, like I realize now, that my heart is still aching.

What is wrong with me? That's what I was thinking in those last few weeks. Why would I come to this place and work so hard to find these people I love so much and this life where I can do anything I want? Why would I do that and then force myself to leave it? Why am I hittin' myself? Why'm I hittin' myself?

I don't know why! I was so weary and grateful and devastated during those last days. On my date of departure, I drank coffee in Koenji with someone I cared about very much. When that person left the shop, my Tokyo life was over. There were no more friends to see and I was just waiting for my flight to leave. I couldn't stand that feeling, so I wiped my nose, cleared my table, picked up my bag, and walked across the street to get on the train.

And I'd go to Oregon and be with my family and my dog and my rivers and trees and bay, and I'd have a beautiful summer and I wouldn't cry for that other life much at all.

And a few months later it would be September and I'd be in New York and feeling lost. Here's now, and it's a strange moment to be in. I love being back in America. But nothing can take away this ache in my heart for the streets I walked, the trains I rode, the drinks I drank, the friends I loved, the city where I once said "I found myself in the white-hot nucleus of my youth!" Haha. Oh, Tokyo. You'll forget me and I can't help it, but I will remember our love forever.

Well, anyway. Now I'm in New York. Stay in touch and check back with my new blog here and/or on tumblr. Let's do it.


Beth said...

Oh, and by the way, SHIBUMAKU STUDENTS! What are you doing on my lawn? Well, here you go. Maybe if I let you comment here you'll finally stop pestering me to add you on Facebook?

Seasick Sarah said...

I was watching Felicity with my boo and whatsherface said, "I think I'll stay. I've always wanted to see it snow in New York." I shook my head and thought, BETH WILL SEE IT SNOW IN NEW YORK.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your big life change! Hope you can go back to visit Japan; often airfare - especially from NYC isn't too crazy expensive. I'm excited to read about the changes in your life and what you do in NYC!

Vivian said...

Oh man, that post was so heartfelt and it made my heart ache to read it- I know the feeling of leaving a place you love so much, and all the memories and people. I cannot believe you left Tokyo- I just moved here a few weeks ago and we hoping to meet you. But NYC- seriously, it will be just as amazing as Tokyo... give it some time.... Good luck with this new adventure, and I hope you keep writing, I really hope you do.

K.nov17 said...

Tokyo don't even remember me!!!!!!!

Rose said...

Welcome! Whatever your reasons for coming to NYC, I hope you enjoy yourself here.