Thursday, March 17, 2011

Why I don't want to leave

I was doing good earlier today. Calm and felt like things were fine. I took a nap, the sleep deprivation finally taking over and woke up scared.

It comes in waves, this fear. and it’s hard to know what to do with it.

I desperately want to help. to be useful. to be busy. but planning for classes come April is both too much for my sleepy brain and just doesn’t have any umf. As my currently favorite coworker said: I want lift things and move stuff, you know.

I want to lift things and move stuff and as it gets cold in Tokyo my heart goes out to those in the north in the snow. There will be probably more deaths from hypothermia than from radiation.

It’s hard to get good information and that spreads fear.

I’m following news from the embassies. I’m following updates from the British Camber of Commerce, (generally inside information). I’m following from MIT. I have mostly given up on other news like BBC (horrible) or NHK. They don’t have anything helpful or meaningful. They just yell. I’m not interested in people yelling without double-checking their facts.

I remain undecided. I’m hopelessly undecided about everything in my life it seems. A friend asked why I wanted stay, especially considering how rough a year I’ve had here anyway and I wanted to share those thoughts with you too.

It’s complicated. And I’ve been in Japan a long time. It’s a relationship and breaking up is hard to do.

A lot of my indecision comes from the idea that if I leave, I’d rather just leave for good, because to be honest I’m planning to leave anyway. The plan is July/August. So to leave for 10 days now seems weird and wrong… but I don’t really know how to explain that. Here’s a try, as first written earlier today and now expanded.

1) I mean, I don't want to leave my bike ;)
It’s a stupid reason but it speaks to what a huge part of my life my bike is. I may never buy another one so nice.
2) I want to see the cherry blossoms bloom
3) I don't want to run because I'm afraid
I fear that I will lose more sleep in my life over running than staying. Being here, I know how it feels. For all of you abroad, I think here looks much much worse. It’s calm, despite the food hoarding.
4) I don't want to be that person
I don’t want to run every time I’m afraid or every time something is hard. I don’t want to be someone ruled by the desire to protect herself first and do what’s right or reasonable second
5) I want to help, not just because it is Japan, but because it's needed
I desperately want to volunteer, either within Tokyo or in the refugee camps. I’ve felt this type of desire my whole life, an aching desire to help those who need it most. so it feels stupid to run now.

6) I don't want the uninformed journalists or our culture of fear, paranoia and unnecessary precautions win over compassion and spirit
I am absolutely furious at the journalistic community. I am furious at the BBC, NHK, CNN (flat out wrong), Fox News (ridiculous as always), Huff Post… It’s hard to find good information and instead of helping they have created panic. Most of us in Tokyo are more stressed out by all you guys being stressed out than the actual situation.
On a larger scale, I don’t want our culture of fear over our sense of compassion to win. If the amount of energy being used to scare people was instead used to organize relief, I would be busy volunteering as would thousands of other Tokyo-ites. We would be gathering supplies to send north to people who need them. Instead we are glued to televisions and cellphones trying to decipher what is true.

7) and I don't want to leave japan this way. I might but I don’t want to.
It's been a long and often troubled relationship but much like with my ex's, I never want to leave with a fight. I want to leave on good terms.
It feels like when you are dating someone you really care about but know it’s time to break up and then they lose their job and are a wreck. Do you leave then?

8) I don't want to be a tourist to my life
I don’t want to be here only for the fun picture perfect moments. I don’t want to be here only for the drinking and karaoke. I don’t want my life to lack depth and meaning and the gritty stuff too.

9) Leaving now feels like betrayal to my ideals, to who I believe I am, to everything Japan has taught me, to my friends who are ‘lifers’ here and won’t consider leaving. I feel so protective of Japan…

But then again, I’m scared and I hate living/being alone in this situation.
But then again, I’ve been considering leaving Japan for a while anyway.

I remain undecided.
Maybe I should have a few drinks and just decide.
But that’s the thing, I do decide, over and over, to stay.

I’m looking at the data and deciding, little by little over and over. And that’s probably the best thing for me.

The commercial flights are not full and extra flights for Americans and Brits are also being added.

I’m continuing to consider my options but for now, I’m going to meet some friends and move away from the glowing news screen.

Let me repeat. Even if the reactors melt down completely, being in Tokyo for a few days after will not seriously threaten my long or short-term health.

Thank you for your love and support. Please please keep sending it. We all go through phases of feeling good and feeling scared. Too little good information and too little sleep will do that. I know you all are in the same boat there.

Lots of love to you all.


Breakup Advice said...

Wow I read a lot of different blogs about breakups, but this is a whole other level. With what's going on in Japan now, everything must be just magnified. And making decisions about staying or going in all sorts of different relationships must be incredibly confusing. Hope you figure things out.

Anonymous said...

My gut thinks that your gut is saying to stick around, work through your fears and anxiety and look for the positive. It's good to follow your gut. Knowing something of human nature, you may be privy to some wonderful, life-affirming experiences. It will take courage to decide to do so but I think you may be rewarded.

And staying to see the cherry blossoms this year, and taking part in the ceremonies will be special. You won't regret it.

take care.