Thursday, November 20, 2014

(non)sense of direction

 So aside from that "sales" post in August, I haven't made a proper post here since...July? Lawd. However, for once I have a legitimate excuse! As most of you (maybe?) know, around the end of June/July I made the decision to leave Japan and move back to the U.S.

To be perfectly honest, those last few months in Japan were really difficult and bittersweet and I will probably never, ever move internationally again (unless I become some kind of three possession nomad), but now that everything is said and done and I've had time to settle in, I do miss Japan; I miss my friends and the life I made there. But, I'm also really really happy to be home and I have no doubt that this was the right decision for me.

Oh, I should probably preface this with a disclaimer: this isn't really gonna be one of those picture-heavy (well, maybe a little) posts. No scenery, no concert shots. Just me. Because it's been an incredibly introspective month and a half since I've been back and I need to get it out somewhere. I mean who uses LJ anymore anyway? Apologies in advance, it's a long one.

Way better than IHOP

Obligatory Sephora haul

Georgia weather means autumn swimming!

Some hipster beer with a hipster 'stache

Greek food with momma and grandma

Oh, that Halloween craze

Cuban food with Bruddah♡

About that picture quality: so I ordered the new iPhone on October 5th and it took about a month and a half to get it. I basically just got it and even then I was too paranoid to use it until I got a case. So these were all taken with my mom's old 4. Not even 4S. Aaaaah. This reeks of first world problem, I'm so sorry.

Anyway. So the first week, two weeks I'd say, were really easy. I was so relieved to not be packing and unpacking, dealing with forms, paying ludicrous amounts of money in taxes to the Japanese government and worrying about how I was going to get two suitcases and two carry-ons back to Atlanta that I didn't really think much beyond that. It was like coming home for Christmas, but weird because at the same time--and for the first time in nearly 5 years--I knew I didn't have to get back on a plane again in 10 days.

Before I knew it Halloween had passed (I was Rosie the Riveter) a month passed, and all the "Oh shit" feelings started to settle in. The faux Christmas vacation was over and I knew I had to start looking for jobs, but I didn't even know where to begin much less what state or city I wanted to make my next adventure.

When I left Japan, I was about 95% sure I wanted to move to LA and keep doing what I was doing with trickrock. I'd just get paid for it this time. So I bought a plane ticket to LA, my first time out in California, to visit Carrie and Nina. Really bummed I didn't get to see all my friends out there, but to be honest LA is a post all on its own so we'll get to that next :)

After I got back I felt kind of weird because...LA was really fun and I'm really glad I did it, but I'm not sure it's for me. I honestly don't know where I want to be stateside. Even though, I'm not a native Georgian (Jersey-born and raised) I've lived on the east coast my whole life. Well, you know. Aside from that 5 year stint in Japan.

So maybe the west coast is my next adventure? Not sure. Portland seems really cool, but I'm also still drawn to New York and most of my extended family still lives in the northeast.

Honestly, I have no idea and that's really scary.

"In my dragon wagon."

Speaking of scary, how about that master artwork up there? Courtesy of 3, maybe 4 year old me.

Ooops, I just dated myself. Can you find me?

So, for the last few years that I've been coming home, my mom has always mentioned that she wanted to go through old boxes in my closet and the basement, but we never got to it. So finally, we did. And there's a whooooole lot of boxes; as far back as preschool and as recent as college.

I've found a lot of gems; some that made me laugh, some that made me cry, some that I remember and some that I don't. I've found piles of of drawings, sketchbook after sketchbook, and pages and pages of creative writing. Honestly Spiegel's (11th or 12th?) grade writing class was probably one of the best high school decisions I ever made.

And honestly, I wasn't bad; both at writing and drawing. I've never been the best, but I've always been just good. Not great, not amazing, just...good. At a lot of things, actually. I was that kid with all the hobbies and I couldn't--still can't--pick just one so I'm constantly trying to do them all.

Then I wondered, why did I ever stop doing these things? I have so many interests and sometimes I wonder if subconsciously I avoid getting back into them because I can't perfect them. Or I'm afraid I'll pick up a pencil or look at that blanking cursor and be too afraid to start up again. Because that OCD, first-born, perfectionist part of my personality doesn't want to admit that I can't be the best and I can't do it all.

But that's okay, too.

I know this is really really long, but honestly going through all these boxes and having all this free time since I've been home has given me a lot of time to think and a lot to think about.

Japan was an amazing adventure and I know I wouldn't be half the person I am today if I hadn't made the difficult decision to leave my family and friends behind for a new adventure. I learned a lot, hurt a lot, and grew a lot over there. I also had the time of my life. It's made me tougher, wiser, kinder, yet also more realistic. I wouldn't have traded those experiences for anything, but also feel a bit sad that I missed so much stateside as well.

I think anytime you decide to embark on something new, you leave things behind, give things up. When we moved to Georgia I left behind all my childhood friends and extended family, when I moved to Japan I left behind my best friends from high school and college, my mom, dad, and brother. And finally coming back stateside, I left behind a part of my independence, a life I'd built for myself over nearly 5 years, my Japan "family" and lots of very dear friends.

And it's hard, really hard, each and every time.

I'm still kind of nervous about what's next and for the first time in a really long time, I don't know where I'll be in six months. Maybe I'll be out in Portland, hanging out with ridiculous tattooed and mustached hipsters or maybe I'll be in NYC in a tiny studio apartment with some expert IKEA furniture tessellating. And probably more hipster friends. Then again, maybe I'll still end up in California or in some southern coastal town in a house with a porch.

I have no idea. And that's the simultaneously thrilling and terrifying part that keeps me going.

○ ● ○ ● ○

So, I know I say this every time (almost), but I really, really want to start blogging again. And be relatively consistent. I'm not quite sure what kind of blog I want to make this, but I know I want to keep it up. I'm thinking maybe sometimes it'll be photography focused, sometimes travel, sometimes daily life, and sometimes more personal like this. 

When I first made this blog, I think I probably made it with the intention of branding myself; of creating an image of the things I did and the life that I led just in case that music journalist career ever took off. And in a lot of ways, that was true. I did do those things and I did travel to those places, and I did meet those people.

And yet the personal touch wasn't there and that kind of bothered me. I miss having an outlet and a place to put these things down and if I've learned anything from going back through all these boxes and journals, it's that it's equally sobering and liberating to go back and be able to look back on the person you used to be, the person you are right now, and then maybe look forward to the person you want to be. 

That being said, I noticed that this blog has still been getting views even in my absence and that makes me really happy!

I'll try to keep interesting content coming and there's still a whole lot of "to write" posts I've had in a notebook since forever, but ultimately, I think you have to blog for yourself. In a way that makes you happy. I'm still trying to figure out what that is for me and I'll be busy with job searching and family stuff as the holidays are just around the corner, but my goal is to at least try to keep this up. 

There's a lot going on right now, but I know that somehow, some way things are going to work out. So thanks for sticking with me! 


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