Thursday, September 29, 2005

Daijobu Desu! (It's Ok!)

Things at work have been going really well lately. I rarely say that so I wanted to just let everyone know. I got a really exciting promotion at my job and I'd like to say more about it, but I'd also like to keep the job, so we'll leave it at that. I have been traveling once again to northern (this week) and southern (next week) Japan, and all of the hard work is finally paying off. Do I hear an "Amen"? The traveling has even been ok because my billeting is fine and I'm seeing associates who are doing a great job. So it took three hellish years, but my job is going well. There's a lesson in there somewhere. Plus, the weather is Japan is just starting to turn from "I want to throw myself in front of a bus" to "If you stand really still for an hour you can feel a slight breeze." Thank GOD.

The promotion has brought presents and well-wishes from associates all over the globe. How lucky am I? Every fun e-mail and kind thought has meant so much to me. Today in the mail I received my very favorite present ever from my employees down south. A feathery tiara and scepter is now sitting on my desk next to my new name plate. Don't mess with the Queen. I'm warning you. I can't wait to hold a staff meeting so I can wear the tiara. Really, it was the most fun I've had for a long time. It's so fun to be known.

Lately Everclear has been touring around US Bases in Japan (ok, that hardly ever happens; last year we got comedian Colin Quinn [damn, he's funny], and I think that's it for celebs for the past three years) and I've been cursed to miss them in all four cities that I've graced this week. I love Everclear, and I specifically would love to see a band from Portland right now, but it wasn't meant to be.

Tonight I got a call from my favorite Japanese friends and we had a full-on fifteen minute phone conversation. Yay! All in Japanese! My Japanese is truly rudimentary at best, (" is it?" " is it?" "Children, I've missed you!") but I feel so accomplished when I can answer a question or say some appropriate phrase in reply to a brief story. If I stay in Japan it will be an important goal of mine to progress in my language ability to the point of fluency. I can't help but think that my job prospects will improve (I don't want to be a banker my *whole* life) if I can make that happen. We'll see.

So I can't really blog about it, but I wanted to say that change is coming. I don't really know what change, and I can't say that what I've seen so far is all good, but I'm going to try to be strong and try to be adventurous and hang in there. What else can I do? What else can any of us do? It will have to be enough.

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