Destination Unknown: It’s All Good
I keep a gratitude journal in which every day I write at least three things for which I am grateful. Today as I wrote about my family and all the people in my life for whom I am grateful, I realized something. It gave me an aha moment, and I felt silly at the same time. It became clear to me that I have everything I have been claiming not to have; I have just been unaware of it, or blind to it because it was in a form that I did not imagine. Now that I am aware of this I feel really foolish for having written so much about wanting a circle of friends and community, and not having support, when that clearly is not the case. So where do I go from here?
My life as it is with a few exceptions is pretty good. I have all the creature comforts every human needs; I have a loving and supportive spouse, two beautiful children, and a support network of neighbors, friends, and colleagues that help our family with any difficulties that arise in our lives as expats. I love my job and I am paid well enough to support my family of four on a single income. My children’s health care is paid for by tax dollars, and my family has great insurance. Japan is relatively safe and if you keep your wits about you, have a good lawyer in your corner and stay alert you can avoid getting into too much trouble. The challenges I face here with the exception of the language barrier, would be the same regardless of where I lived, so I am now examining my reasons for wanting to leave Japan in the first place.
As I have discussed in previous posts, there is the fact that I want my children to know their extended family and to have close relationships with them. With Skype and occasional visits home that can still be possible while we live in Japan. If I continue to make as much as I am making now and we stay in our current living situation and we don’t face any major changes, we could afford a trip back to the States every two years, so we could still maintain our ties to family. The more I think about it and now that I am no longer blind to what I have, I no longer see a reason to leave Japan. So what now?
Whether I stay or go does not have to be set in stone. Rather than be certain that I will leave or stay, I will remain open to possibilities of staying or possibilities of leaving. I will continue working to reintegrate my shadows and explore other avenues in my life as I have been doing. I will not make a decision about staying or going, but rather I will make a decision to be open to whatever comes my way. Keeping an open mind, listening to my higher self, I will continue this journey with no destination in mind. It’s liberating to take on this stance and to let myself off the hook. I no longer feel like a flake flip flopping from one extreme to the other. It’s a new feeling; one I am hoping to get used to.