7 comments on “What Does Robert Frost Have to Do with Me?

  1. This is an absolutely mesmerizing story, I love it. You are a brilliant and insightful young woman who has the world at her feet and I am in awe of your strength.
    Love you
    Tee ❤

    • Ah well you can credit Awesome Aussa over at Hacker Ninja Hooker Spy for this. I was posting a comment on the post she put up yesterday, and I realized I was writing something that should be a post. So it was.

      I don’t know about brilliant, but I won’t fight insightful. But I think each in our own way, we all are. We all have so much history behind us that others can learn from.. I am not just referring to the bad that happened but the good as well.

      Besides I made my geekiness ever more evident. I kind of liked finding out that he didn’t ruin that either.

      Love you too 🙂

  2. Wow… that’s an incredible story. I like how you described your process of becoming fascinated, obsessed and then sort of “joined with” the object of your interest. You are an incredibly interesting sort of mind, but I’m sure you already know that 😉 I’m guessing you’ve never been back to Japan since then??? Do you ever think of returning, and do you think it would still feel the same? (I know, so many questions!)

    • Oh I could have a goat hissy fit right now…. I spent twenty minutes on my tablet swiping the most awesome reply on the face of the earth, and I got ONE stinking WordPress notification and it reset the window and deleted the WHOLE thing!!! (We must ask ourselves why Amy is logged in on her notebook, tablet AND has the APP on her phone all at once. Hmmmmmmmm) So here goes my best try at recreating the best ever… LOL

      I wouldn’t say so much that I have an interesting mind, but I will run with it. I think really I was blessed as a child to know so well what mattered to me and why. I never really took to the whole acting thing, because it wasn’t my own, and I could not connect with it even if I fooled people on the outside into thinking I had. Music and language really identified probably my biggest irony that exists within my personality. I tend to be mildly introverted but the very nature of becoming so attached and relentlessly, hopelessly obsessed with culture, language, music, and people requires some sort of contact and interaction. On so many levels, music and language fit me so well in that it allowed me to be off on my own getting hopelessly lost in things yet catered to that strange need (for an introvert LOL) to be around and among people. I guess the best way to describe myself is to say that I don’t mind riding on the freeway but stay the crud out of my lane.

      I have not been back. To some extent, going to college only prolonged the inevitable for me. The school I went to was running on partnership with Teikyo Daigaku in Tokyo, so there were plenty of Japanese students on campus. Actually, so much so that about forty percent of the student body was composed of Japanese students. So between my major (International Business and Japanese Studies), the little Japanese food store on campus, my friends, and my job in the ESL department, I was able to pretend and delude myself into thinking I wasn’t truly back. I was fortunate to get the job in ESL, there were dozens of students competing for it, but I guess I was the most desperate… I mean convincing that I was worthy of the job. For those who don’t know, ESL is the English as a Second Language Dept, and I spent my time tutoring Japanese students in English, writing and grading exams, and helping the professors in the department run and teach their classes. The department’s files were so messed up because there were many Japanese students with the same names, so I spent much of the first month there purging, organizing, and coding their students’ files so they could know who was was. Some of the students were still new, so they were writing their names in Japanese, and the teachers couldn’t figure out what they said.. So I had to sort those as well. Everything was going along just fine, but it could only last for so long.

      Once my friends and the other students started going back home for the summer to Japan, I dropped like a box of rocks from a thirty story building. There was no more illusion, no more pretending or fooling myself that the truth was anything other than what had been in front of my face the entire time. I had built my own little makeshift world without having a contingency plan for when reality slapped me in the face. It got so bad, I could no longer get out of bed. I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep. I had to give up my summer job in the ESL Department as a Teacher’s Assistant, because my supervisor, the guidance counselor, and the Dean ganged up on me (but I think the Dean was looking for me go ever since “the interview incident” LOL). Maybe they thought they were helping, but they packed me up and sent me home into the fire. They made it worse. So much worse.

      For the longest time, I wouldn’t even consider thinking about going back, because I did not have the means to and the thought was miserable. It’s strange how one little decision to get on a plane can so drastically alter your life. One never expects to be so deeply impacted by a place or a people, but when I was there I had finally found the one place on earth that I felt like I fit. I made sense. I wasn’t awkward anymore. Geeky to the nth degree. Too polite and reserved. There were millions of versions of me flooding the streets, and I was home. I was home. I never felt the same after coming back. Being there was a life-changing experience for me, and I still miss being there. Dreadfully so.

      I would love to go back. Hopefully someone will agree when I am able to. LOL I think it would be an amazing thing to see how it affects someone else. Someplace entirely new and different and wonderful. Of course, he could hate it, too I suppose. But She is ingrained in me now. I remember the route I had to take to the train station, how the air on Fuji-san felt, the smell of the ramen shops on the narrow backstreets, how I was never short of amused by their reaction when I said one word in Japanese. They were all so kind to me, so giving, and they welcomed me in like family. It’s so odd how strangers can be family and family be strangers, isn’t it?

      All you have to do is look at my FB friends.. the Japanese friends I have managed to find. Still looking for more. If you ever see me posting in Japanese on there (which I try not to much, because many of them still speak very good English), I don’t ever talk about anyone behind their back and I will always tell you what something says if you see it there and ask. Sometimes just being able to do it though, makes me feel more at home in my own head.

      • Oh I hate it when comments disappear. That is the worst feeling ever and the exact reason why I almost NEVER reply on my phone. Can’t trust the thing.

        This makes your story all the more fascinating… though I hate to read of you dropping like a bag of rocks :-/ It’s interesting how a culture can be recreated anywhere in the world with all the right elements.

        I am officially rooting for you to go back at least for a visit 🙂

        • I believe that everyone drops like a bag of rocks at least once in their life, it just is different for everyone. But I felt that thud a little too hard in the heart. I can’t say that I did it intentionally, though, because I had my major picked and my courses all registered before I even thought of randomly buying tickets to Japan. It was only after my friends started leaving that I was able to realize how MUCH I missed being in Japan and how much I had changed. Even down to this day, some things I say in English are just a little bit off, I still make very Japanese gesture, and occasionally break into a bad old habit of talking about myself in third person. I did it in my first reply to you, I don’t know if you caught it.

          Even workflow… Traditionally, Japanese is written top to bottom, right to left (and I actually said “migi kara hidari e” in my head for “from right to left” and caught myself typing it that way just now before I had to change it LOL)… so books are read in reverse. What Americans consider the back is generally the front, although there are more and more being printed more in the Western pattern. I adopted that habit of reading and writing right to left and when I am doing something, I have found that I move physically from right to left, whether I’m cleaning, working on the computer, etc. Doesn’t matter. I had to work hard to break the habit of typing right to left, because you know…. well if you write English in that direction, people have a hard time understanding it. 😀

          I found that people get annoyed with me when random things happen like… Oh say someone leaves something on my desk, and I have no idea where it came from. I will go over to so-and-so holding it up in my hand, waving it around in the air asking them what it is, and they are looking at me like I have two heads. Until I realize that the words coming out of my mouth are “Nani kore?!” (Whats this?!) Or I will ask someone “Daijoubu?” instead of “You OK?” or “Chigau yo!” for “You’re wrong!” or “Wakaranai” for “I don’t get it (understand)” or say a million other dumb things. Or I have been known to be speed talking in English and then all the sudden this Japanese word shows up, and I’m like what the…. LOL Learning other languages and living abroad can really impact you in ways you don’t even consider…. and even years after you have left.

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