ONE KIND WORD MEANT MORE TO ME

Less than a week left now, and almost everything is in place. I know I will be living in Chigasaki, a city of about 220 000 people on the coast south of Yokohama. I know I will be training for the first two weeks in Shinjuku, and heading into the busiest train station in the world each of those days. I have a work visa and Certificate of Eligibility respectively stickered and stapled into my passport, ready to get me into the country without any problems (hopefully).

What I didn’t anticipate is that the last couple of weeks would be so difficult. In a good way, mind. Somewhere in amongst the haze of ongoing dinners, lunches, parties and drinking sessions I suddenly got a sense of what I’m doing, what I’m leaving behind. Warning: the following may not make sense, and reads more like a drunken leaning-on-the-shoulder , ‘I fuckin’ love you, man’ speech.

There’s my life here, with all its material comforts, which I’m cutting off to restart somewhere else. It’s another clear break in my life, like going to boarding school, or moving to Christchurch: a point of definition at which one section of my life ends and another begins. As such, it is very easy to wrap my head around. This will stop, and that will start. Simple. Short paragraph.

The same cannot be said of the many relationships I have built up with people. There’s everyone in my immediate family (who I am lucky enough to have all seen in recent weeks), then there are colleagues at my job of more than 2 years, then there are good friends – some from school, some from uni, and one from hometown. With each of these people, I have a unique relationship that has grown over the years, with particular idiosyncracies and patterns of conversation that don’t exist with anyone else. As a result, I struggle to even begin comprehending all the change that is happening on that front. In my brain, in their brains, in our lives.

I mean, there’s always email, and telephones, and webcam exchanges, but none of those afford the intimacy of actually talking to someone in the same room as you. I’m not trying to make myself seem more important than I am (despite the fact that I am the centre of the universe), but to me, it’s a bigger deal than anything else involved with this move. I wonder why I have these people around me – why not way shittier people, y’know? They’ve (you’ve) all taken the time to hang out with me and say goodbye and say other very nice things, and I just feel extremely fortunate… and sad to be going.

Enough of that. I need to go and watch Kubrick and Altman movies on a loop to purge all this sentimentality out of my system…

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