So, it's two am, 15 hours before my flight back to the N. America, and I am sitting in my room, listening to Boston and reflecting on more or less everything I have done since last year. This past month has been extremely hectic, but everything is more or less settled - tomorrow I get on a plane, spend the night in Toronto, and by Friday I am back home, beginning of my summer break. This is just like last summer (pre-Korea), the summer after my freshman year, or perhaps more accurately -- the summer before my freshman year, when I came back from my first trip to Japan. The same pattern is set for me again: relax, try to find a job, hang with my friends, maybe travel a bit. A tad mundane, but for the first time that normalcy is what appeals to me most. After a year of being the obvious outcast, I am returning to home, where I can blend in or stand out almost solely on my own whim. Curly hair, body hair, facial hair speaking-english natively all are common enough to not turn heads (well, maybe those first three still will). I won't have to bend over backwards to try to speak in a language I'm uncomfortable with, or to conform to customs I only have an academic appreciation for. I will get to see all of the people I have missed, eat the foods I took for granted, be able to read street signs, have a summer vacation, perhaps see my brother on his 18th birthday. Clearly there are a lot of things to look forward to, and I certainly am doing so.
However, as the date comes closer and closer, the more crap I've had to deal with these last few days, and the more my friends here have been there and made their presence known, the more I find myself having to remember why it is I wanted to go home so badly. I definitely still do, but the general comraderie exhibited this past week, all of the tiny details about my friends that I am seeing for, in many cases, probably the last time just serve to remind me over and over again who I am leaving behind, which is the entire "what" to me. Bang, Niko, and especially Jason have been putting way more effort to hang out and make my last few days in Tokyo as wonderul as possible than any reasonable people should. Tama-chan took the few minutes she had before class to go to a bakery with me, Aleks looked visibly distraught at the thought of not seeing me before I left, Damon and I joked about him being the last representative of American masculinity (and America in general) in Sodai Ryo, Rike has been even sweeter than one would think possible of her always-friendly attitude -- I'd keep going so as not to leave anyone out, but the list is practically endless. Really I just want to give a glimpse of all the grattitude I feel towards the Sodai Ryo family, without you guys I'm not sure I would have lasted a week here.
Anyway, from this point on there is very little I personally have to do in Japan. I cancelled my health insurance today, I returned my Student ID, tomorrow I'll cancel my phone service, and I need Nakamura-san to check over my room and take my keys, and I need to get to my plane. Besides that, I just need to see some of my friends in the dorm and say good-bye, and perhaps grab lunch with Bang and Jason before I catch my plane. I'll have a 17 hour or so stop-over in Toronto, to further relax and gain my compsure, than Friday (Jeremy's 18th birthday) I go home to my family, and possibly take a short road trip to see Jeremy at his school...we'll see how I'm feeling. Really, once I'm back in NY I just need to relax, find a job, and catch-up with everyone, everywhere. As for this blog, I think I will post once or twice for Toronto/my flight home, and then I will likely end it. If I feel really inclined I might make some posts I meant to make earlier, describing cultural aspects or just events I wanted to talk about and never did, but I'm not sure I really want to do that. However, I do want to thank my readers (and the people that suggested keeping this blog, even if they didn't all follow it at all). I am really happy I kept this blog, it's been a great sort of release, especially during some of these more stressful times. I actually have liked doing this so much I might keep a more general blog (besides the stuff I contribute to Procrast-Nation). I'll post something here if I follow up on that!
Thank you so much, everyone!