Congratulations, You Are So Brave
After Kira accepted the job offer and we accepted the reality that yes we were moving to Japan we started telling people about it. Everyone wanted to congratulate us, which made sense for my wife. She had just landed a cool International job leading up a new program at a pedagogically relevant school in one of the world’s capital cities. I found it odd when I told the story by myself and people would still say, “Congratulations.” I suppose they were congratulating me on being married to someone so awesome.
The next thing people would say is, “You’re so brave.” I resisted this at first because being brave means feeling fear and then doing something anyway. I’m not afraid of moving to Japan, I’m excited. However, in the last few weeks of frantic activity and impending uncertainties I’m starting to come around. I don’t know if my resistance was just the natural tendency of Mid-Westerners to turn away a compliment, or perhaps because I didn’t think it was very brave. Maybe it’s because people will often say “brave” when they mean, “You would have to be crazy to do that.”
As in, “That guy who punched a shark was so brave. What time is the funeral again?”
I moved around a lot growing up. The idea of picking up and moving to Japan doesn’t concern me much. If anything I have my doubts about staying in one place for the last couple of decades. I know there is a fair amount of work involved, but that is true even if you just move across town.
I’m not afraid of moving to Tokyo, but I am starting to get a little…concerned about how different our life will be. Our family is giving up a bit to go and have this adventure. We are leaving behind friends, schools, employers, the only house my kids remember living in, favorite restaurants, the MN State Fair, and the English language. So, the more I think about it we are brave. Also we might be a little crazy to be doing this.
Which is all nice and philosophical, but the reality is that my wife’s Facebook status today was “It’s time to panic.” I’m sure she said this while looking around the house and seeing all the work that still needs to be done. However, it may have been prophetic because later in the day we got news that our plans the rent our house to her sister have hit a snag. We were moving out of our house this week so she could move in over the weekend, but it seems that this has been put on hold.
Also part of our reality right now is that we are all sleeping on the floor (mattresses, air mattresses, sleeping bags, etc) except for Melanie who has had her entire room pulled out into the middle of the basement. She lay in bed watching TV with us tonight and I could only think of the grandparents from Charlie and the Chocolate factory. We had sandwiches for dinner on paper towels because all the dishes have been packed away. There are boxes everywhere and I get my exercise these days by carrying furniture down into the basement.
Ah, it brings back memories of my childhood. Tomorrow we’ll have pizza for dinner using boxes for our table. Just like Mom used to make.
Kanji of the Day: 先生 せんせい sensei teacher