I’m really terrible at making first impressions.
Maybe it’s due to my general awkwardness, maybe it’s just dumb luck, but whenever I find myself meeting someone of a certain amount of importance for the first time(an employer, supervisor, politician, celebrity, the Emperor, etc.) I always end up making an ass of myself. Usually within the first two seconds.
A few months ago I made the decision to move back to America after living seven years abroad in Japan. I never planned on living in Japan forever, and with each year it became more and more difficult to move back. I know it sounds strange, but the longer I spent away from America, the more I felt like I didn’t belong there. Like I was changing into some weird, non-American shape, and by the time I tried to go back, it would be too late and I would no longer fit in.
What made it more frustrating was that no matter how I reshaped, I knew I would never fit into Japan, either. And I couldn’t see myself as an assistant language teacher forever. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of jobs for foreigners in Japan besides teaching, unless I moved to Tokyo, and as much as I enjoy visiting Tokyo, I would never want to live there. Thus, it was time to move on and away.