02 September 2008

Proper Post

I've had a bad Internet connection this week, and it will continue to be spotty. But I have been typing off of the grid, so you will get the benefit of that. Today, I also met friend of the show, Kansai Todd, the first Internet friend I ever met offline. Kansai Todd is a nice guy and didn't kill me, so I think I will probably do it again.

I did not expect leaving Niigata would ever come. It has been one summer in the making, from when I arrived back from Moscow and drove home in my brother-in-law's car late that Monday night. It was condensed at that point, just an idea still. For that week from when I heard that I had won the studentship until I talked to my boss the Tuesday after I got back, everything was intensely full of hope and pride and excitement. And then it all came crashing down—the reality that it would require actually going and actually selling so many of our things and detaching again. It would require a miserable four weeks at work, fear of being fired, fear of having money taken from me, fear that it would all fall through...this depression hung over me for the summer. But I always had my eye on this day, on being on the ferry, on leaving it all behind me.

It was not quite what I expected. Yoko and I argued as we left, we got stuck at the courier office. We ran to the church to drop more of our things and rushed to make our ferry. When I was finally standing as close to the helm of the ship as we could, Naomi was in Yoko's arms, and Yoko was crying as we said goodbye to what is and was and will be our place—where we met, were married, had Naomi, kissed for the first time at the edge of the Agano River.

It was hard to say goodbye, but the difficulty was certainly eased by the sheer amount of things we had to do to get out of the apartment. So much to throw away, so much to give away, so much to pack. I'm not sure we were able to get it all done well, or done right, or accurately, but it got done...or rather, there was nothing left in the apartment when we left. That's all we were really hoping for, I guess. And that's what we got.

I have been feeling like a failure for the summer, like I had screwed up my job, screwed up my marriage, and was headed the wrong way in my life. This was, of course, not entirely true, but feelings are difficult things to overcome. So today, as we settled into the ferry and I realized I screwed another something up by not bringing my bag up from the car, I started to read some of the information from The Open University that I hadn't gotten around to reading. It had my schedule for the next year and what was coming up, and I started to get excited again. I saw that the school is also going to pay for all of my books, which really got me happy again and made me realize that I am not a total fuck-up, and even though this summer has been a disaster, the fall is looking to be okay. And I made the right choice.

And I guess I am also proud of us, of my little family, that despite it being ugly and very poorly done, we did get it all done in a relatively short amount of time. So much to still be done, but this is, hands down, the hardest thing I have done. With no family to help us move on this side or that, I am proud that we were able to pull it off. We'll see what I have to say in two months.