Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tatami and Tanlines

I'm sitting in my clean and packed up apartment waiting for the utilities people to come by and after a final lunch with my teachers, I'm off to Naha for the night. Then tomorrow morning I start my long trip home. I'm leaving Okinawa in a state of denial. Denial that my travels are done for the timebeing, denial that everyone at home was moving along in life as well (doesn't time freeze when you leave?!), denial that I will never set foot in my Zen apartment again, denial that I just spent a year in Japan (that's still really weird!)...

But I'm also leaving fulfilling my blog address: I have tanlines (thanks to Bridgit and Aquarius) and I've lounged around in my tatami room for hours on end. Okinawa had its ups and downs, that's for sure. I can't say it was a perfect year. But at the same time, I'm proud of myself for overcoming my initial unhappiness with the situation and sticking with it. I am incredibly thankful that I'm leaving the island with a positive view and happy memories rather than the bitterness I had at the beginning. I wish I could bottle up the smells (some of them), the sounds, the food, the sunshine (or about 50% of it), and everything that made up my experience in Okinawa. I'm trying to soak things in, but know that in a few years, the visions won't be clear and that I will forget events and places. And that makes me incredibly sad. Unlike England, I'm pretty sure I will never set foot in Japan again unless I suddenly become independently wealthy. I can say "I hope to see you soon!" to students and Okinawan friends, but know that I will never see them again.

So, before I make myself incredibly depressed, I'm going to watch Sesame Street, enjoy an Okinawan donut, and maybe do a final dance around my apartment with broom in hand.

3 comments:

Bridgit said...

you're not even gone but i miss you already!

Carly said...

Don't feel like we've all moved on. I still haven't left a college campus (and still considering this avoiding the real world). Everyone left me behind, too.

Laura said...

Phew. I haven't moved on either. I thought you all had deeply exciting lives...Who wants to take the GRE? GMAT? MCAT?

By the time you read this, you'll be home. WELCOME HOME RACHEL!