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I watched her cry herself to sleep.

After all the arguments, the thinking, the self-analysis, the logic, at the end of the night, all that remains is pure, deep, emotional pain. And no words can ever take that away. No logic could ever deduce it, no argument could ever defeat it.

Strip away all the circumstances, and the simple fact remains.

I fucked a girl who wasn't my girlfriend.

And I did it again and again and again.

And it scares me, that I might never be able to make up for it, that the damage is permanent.

What to do from now...

One thing that I learned is, what's best for your friends may not necessarily be what's best for you.

Christine and Kapono both work for this restaurant called Nanzan Girogiro, this high-class Japanese restaurant near Ala-Moana. Kapono talks about it to me all the time. Christine was the one who originally offered me the position, saying that they're in dire need of Japanese speakers.  Both my friends work there. I thought it would be fun to work there, so I asked Christine to ask Matsumoto-san(the head-chef over there) if there was an opening for me.  I got the call a day later from her, saying that they want me to come in tomorrow.

And then it hit me.

I have no idea what I'm doing with my life.

I'm a college graduate, and I should be trying my hardest to find a real full-time position somewhere. Yet here I am again, doing part-time in a restaurant.  I'm different from Christine, who is still at KCC and is working to be some sort of physical therapist or anesthesiologist or something like that. Kapono, while he is a college graduate like myself, has a position set, and is only biding time until he goes to Japan.
For the both of them, this position fits them perfectly.

Me, on the other hand, I have nothing going for me at the moment. I don't even have a direction as to where I should go.  I don't actively think about it.

What do I want to do with my life?

I'm not entirely sure.

That's probably how I got into this predicament.

I could go to graduate school, I could look for a job here, I could look for a job in Japan. I'm not particularly drawn towards any of those options, nor do I have any motivations as to what I would like to do. This is the problem. I can't decide between each, and each time I tell myself "Okay, I'm definitely going to go down this option.", or "You know, I'm definitely not going to immediately pursue this option", my mind changes a couple of days from then.

Maybe writing about each option in particular would better help me to map out my options.

Graduate School

I would like to attend grad school eventually, but I don't know what I would want to major in. Business, law, something entirely different, no idea whatsoever. I have considered doing the JMBA program at UH, or even the law school program at UH. Also, applying for the monbukagakusho scholarship for graduate studies, and spend a couple of more years studying in Japan.

Pros: Higher level of education, more time to figure out how to get there

Cons: no job experience, don't know what exactly I would want to study

Job in Hawaii

That would be the most simplest and direct option. Just do...anything, until I figure out something to do. Sign up with a temp agency and do temp work, for all I care. Maybe apply for one of the Japanese companies over here, like JTB.

Pros: Ease of doing, immediacy, lots of potential to do things relevant to my degree.

Cons: I'd feel like I was giving up, by choosing to stay here for a while. I have this lingering desire in the back of my head to go out somewhere and do something, before coming back and settling in Hawaii. In my mind, I return to Hawaii and raise a family, after having worked abroad someplace else. I also want to become independent as soon as possible.

Job in Japan

I would go to Japan, teach english, apply for JET, or go to the career forum things and get a job at some sort of company...yeah. Just to live in Japan.

Pros: There would be that sense of adventure being fulfilled by me returning to Japan, and I would be doing something relevant to my career, and closer to my calling.

Cons: Loneliness like that year I spent in Doshisha, and I'm not entirely sure that I want to enter a company and be locked down for the next ten years. Perhaps doing something temporary would be more suited to my needs. Just work in Japan temporarily, and then come back to Hawaii and move on. No idea.

And among the other things...

-Find a job in the UK
-Find a job in the Untied States

...no idea what I'm doing here.


It should have been so simple. It should have been a joyous occasion. I certainly was excited.

Going to France to see Elodie. Originally, I was just going to go up to France to see her, and then I got the idea of stopping by in NYC to see KeAupuni and Jenai and Susan. So I decided to do two weeks in France, one week in NY on my way back.

I booked the ticket, and told Elodie, thinking that she would be excited.

That was where things went wrong.

She quickly made complaints about the dates, saying that "I told you to come before the 3rd!" and "I have school on the last day!" "When I told you I have no classes on Friday Saturday Sunday Monday, didn't it occur to you that I had classes on the other days?"

Not the reaction I wanted from my girlfriend after telling her that I would go visit her.

Up until that point I was really excited about going. I had asked my brother, and he said that he would let me stay at his place. We would go on the weekend to go see Jenai in Boston. I could stay as long as I wanted.

But now I made my ticket on the wrong day, so I quickly cancelled.

We go over dates, and we go over how impossible it would be to leave on any other days. Not monday, because it would be less than two weeks, and not any day inbetween, because she has busy tests and whatnot. Excuse me for assuming that just because I had classes that I skipped when she came over that she could skip when I went over there.

She suggests I go on the Friday instead, when shes done with her exams. That would mean I get two days in NY, with the other two mostly full of commuting. Not worth the extra $175 that I would put on my ticket if I were to stop in NYC. That option would be a no go.

At this point, I feel really stuck. Do I cancel NYC, and tell my brother that I can't go? Do I keep my plans, with 2 weeks in france, one week in NY, and upset my girlfriend? Even though she was originally aiming for two weeks, now she makes it seem that two weeks isn't enough. What she wanted originally now isn't enough. I have to choose between her and my siblings. She says "You could go friday, but I guess you really want to see your siblings..." as if to make me choose. She asks me the dates again. I say I'm sticking to my plan, and she ignores me.

At this point, I'm thinking to myself, if I go the way things are now, I'd definitely be sad in NY that I left Elodie, especially since I'd be alone most of the day. I couldn't be satisfied with this decision.

So I change, and do three weeks in France instead. No NYC.

So why am I so frustrated now? Part of it is because I flipflopped on my decision. I was swayed by her. I was influenced and gave in to her nagging and I changed my plans that I had originally made. Part of it is because she wasn't grateful. She couldn't accept it. Instead of trying to work around it, she immediately complains, and I lose all excitement, and I start to feel totally bad. I end up cancelling NY.

I know I couldn't be satisfied fully with either decision.

Maybe I'm frustrated that my logic gave out to my feelings and emotions, which were totally overpowering. I was put under pressure, and in that moment, I let my feelings decide. And as a result my pride suffered. I feel powerless. I feel subject to outside influences. I feel weak. I wish that she would have just been glad for me, glad that I'm coming, and at least tried to compromise.
I lose interest, I lose steam. I lack motivation. I lack a dream.

These account for a large part of my disappointment with myself.

Jul. 13th, 2013

I don't really know what I'm doing here...

I realized that I don't really have a group of close, best-friends, the kind whom I hang out everyday with, with whom we try and do stuff every weekend, no, I just drift around from group to group, hanging out occasionally, but never fully belonging to a group, or having one of my own. As such, a lot of the time I resort to just jumping into other people's groups, latching on to others, leeching off of their friends. It's really a pathetic feeling, especially when they tend to see you as a leech, or even when you picture them sort of getting the feeling that you're a leech.

I also realized that I have been lacking in my studies as of late. Ever since a week before the N1, which I probably did horribly on, I haven't really been doing much in the way of studying, or getting better at Japanese. Too many distractions. Too many other things that I get preoccupied with. Some of which don't even matter.

When I look at my situation, my lack of friends, of focus, of studying, of money, I'm really starting to regret not just moving into the dorms this year. Things probably would have a been a whole lot different if I had just made that one decision. What the hell was I thinking back then? Wanting to hole myself up alone and without anybody? I honestly don't know.

Distractions. I get way too easily distracted. Fuck.

There's gotta be more to life than just...well...getting a job and making money.

Since it looks like I'm reaching the end of my clear-cut academic career, I'm sort of at a loss of what to do from this point on. Up until now my mom and my dad were adamant about me going to graduate school immediately after I graduated from college, but, now since my mom after having gotten her MBA is having difficulties getting a job because she has no management experience, she's told me that I should probably focus on a job or something like that. For a while I was set on going to graduate school to get my degree in international business or something like that, but, now I don't exactly know what direction I should head in.

I applied for this translation job in Hawaii, for this company called Transperfect. It seems like...well...the perfect company that someone like myself would want to work for. Part of me would be pretty stoked if I were to get a great position like this.

And then again, the thought of working in Hawaii for the foreseeable future kind of got me bummed out.

The idea of being grounded. Of not being able to just go off to a foreign country and do whatever the hell I want. The loss of freedom. I guess this is what growing up feels like.

I always thought that I would rather take a high-paying job over something that I would enjoy doing(if it were to have shitty pay).
However, right now I'm thinking that I would rather have a job that I can get excited about.

Looking at all of these jobs on the hawaii job listing website, and a lot of them...they're not very interesting at all. Working simply to make money, that just seems rather dull. And I really don't want to just lead a dull life, working simply to get paid.

What are my dreams and aspirations? Passions? Anything? If I had a clear idea of what those were, then maybe it would be easier to figure out what I should be doing.

Japanese. I want to get continuously better at my Japanese. Writing Compositions. Speaking Keigo. People and managable skills.

Remember that talk with Elodie? You would totally love to have a position where you could deal with people, especially Japanese and Americans.

Something where I can leverage my knowledge of Western culture and Japanese culture and combine those two somehow.

That would be a really enjoyable job for me.

Well, I'm still young, and there's still plenty of time to get to accomplishing what I would like to do in life.
Hmm just realized that i spent the last few months of my time here in japan all hermit-like with my french girl.

sometimes, I wonder how I should be spending my time here in Japan. I'm here on an amazing opportunity on a scholarship most students would only dream of having, and yet sometimes I get the sense that Im wasting my time. should I concentrate on studying, so that I can become the best I can at Japanese? should I devote my time more to meeting people and experiencing things? I feel like since this is my second time, I'm past the fascination and discovery phase, but...i dunno.

-couple months later-

She went back, we're still going out, I miss her :[




Fuck it. Im really pissed off at how horrible ive gotten at Japanese, despite studying abroad in Japan. Fuck it.
I really need to put effort into this if im going to get better at Japanese. If Im ever going to break through the glass ceiling.
For the longest time, Ive been trapped under this glass ceiling, this invisible barrier thats prevented me from getting better at this language ive been studying for exactly 9 years now. Though, Im starting to see how I can break it. I need to put in effort, to be sekkyokuteki at things.

My goal? I want my practical Japanese abilities to be developed, and to be superb by the time I get back. I have about three months to do that.
It all just feels a bit fake, really.

Its one of those things that you dont really notice is there until you think about it really hard.

I dont doubt that the people in EWS are sincere, I dont doubt that they really want to hang out with ryugakusei like myself.

When we hang out, when we laugh, make each other laugh, its real.

It just...I dunno...

It just feels so shallow.

We meet once a week, do a pre-planned out thing, then go eat together. Once a week.

At this rate, Ill have only hung out with them a total of thirteen times this whole semester.

It feels like playtime, or a doctors appointment, when you take a step back and look at it.

Even though its a club that promotes国際交流 between Japanese and exchange students, its still clearly cut up between the two. Not everybody is equal among the group. Of course, thats to be expected of these sorts of groups, one that facilitates activities and one that participates in them. But still...it feels like theres a gap between us, and them.

What do I want? I want good friends. Close friends. Friendship that transcedes the borders of nationality or language. Friends that I can confide it, and who they can confide in me. Friends with who we hang out not just on some pre-determined day of the week once a week for 3 hours, but eating together, hanging out together, drinking and doing stupid shit together. Friends who call when they:re bored, who I can call when Im bored. That sort of friendship. Not this whole once a week group activity thing. It just feels...unreal.

Its like theres this invisible barrier between me and them. whether it be that theyre japanese and Im not, or just that Im on the outside and theyre on the inside, i dunno, but its undeniably there...I can feel it.

It almost feels...like an obligatory friendship.
Im not sure if other students feel the same way, but thats definitely how I feel.

Nov. 25th, 2012

I didn't break up with you because you cheated on me.

I broke up with you because you are in love with someone else.




Ulrich Vincent Winter

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