Sunday, 27 September 2009

The Recognition Scene

Hullo there.
Tomorrow is my first day of lectures. I have two language classes from 9AM to 12:15. It'll be nice having a bit more structure to my days, having to spend less time and money for the sake of spending time and money and I'm actually looking forward to getting back into active language learning. Of course I'm a little scared as I'm pretty rusty and I have no idea what to expect from it. But all of this is completely standard. What feels a lot more weighty, more significant, at least for now, is not that I my classes are starting but rather that my summer is ending. I have just scrolled through 16,310 words of facebook wall-posts to discover this:

"Dominic Morris Rum before my oral exam, yaaaargh :D (there was no whisky :/)
09 June at 18:57 via Mobile Web"

Meaning that my last day spent in the capacity of a student was 111 days - that is to say, 3 months, 2 weeks and 5 days, which is to say 9,590,400 seconds or 159,840 minutes or 2664 hours or 16 weeks - ago. Not to mention the fact that the that was coming in after 2 weeks of exams, preceded by a 2 week 'revision period'. I've not studied in a while.

But the point of this isn't that. In fact, I must apologize because the point is rather self-indulgent. I can offer this in repentance. The new year is a pointless marker of time. The parties are usually really disappointing as well. For me, the year as a unit of any meaning starts and ends during summer, it follows the academic year. This year has been incredibly significant. In it I have seen greater joys and harsher pains than any other time in my life. Looking back at myself at the end of last summer, I see only the shell of who I am today, a me devoid of some of the most important experiences that define what 'me' means. This summer especially has been one of the densest clusterfuck of experiences in my 19 years.

My time has been spread over 10 cities in 6 countries in 3 continents. The environmentalist in me cringes at saying that - My 10:10 pledge, Japan excluded, no more flights from now on! To paraphrase the baptists, I found Marx. I saw blur, my favorite band of all time, thrice, once in a room of 170 people. I've made friends, and made some friends closer. I... will not mention the fairer sex. Throughout an entire term at school, or period of time at work, you will be in one 'place', temporal mindset, there is one routine which, though flexible with weekends and the like, remains that one routine. I feel as though I've had 50 routines. It feels in these 3 and a bit months I have been in more 'places', more beginnings and more ends, more mindsets - some ecstatic, some depressed, and everything meandering in between - than some whole years.

So when I wonder why it still feels like I am having trouble adjusting to Japan, to my life out here, to homesickness, there is perhaps a simple answer. It is not Japan, as a cultural entity, there is no culture shock. It is the adjustment to a new year. My homesickness is also a nostalgia for the distant and near past, it is the sadness at saying goodbye, amplified by just how much there is to say goodbye to.

So again, I apologize, perhaps this would be better for a diary or something, I'm not (just ;D) writing to say what an eventful summer I've had ("For my summer holidays I went to the zoo and saw elephants and they were grey and had they long trunks and then I saw the monkeys and then I...") but I feel the need to do justice, to pay tribute to the fact that this particular change of seasons, this particular landmark means a lot to me. In the interest of facing the new year with motivation and excitement, I must say goodbye to the old.
Summer 2009, thanks a lot, it was... great? Melancholic? Hyperactive? Everything.

1 comment:

  1. Just read this.
    Nice use of "clusterfuck"!
    Hope classes and lectures have been going well.