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Home Sweet Home?

Isn’t it odd that not having internet actually makes me write more than I usually do? Perhaps with the allure of all the things the world wide web has to offer, I am drawn away from things such as writing and towards far less important, but probably far more entertaining ventures, like watching silly videos on YouTube, or stalking my favorite people on Facebook.

Indeed, coming back to my small and cold apartment in Nakatsu late last night, I found that my internet was not behaving properly. In fact, it was and still continues not to behave at all. I’m not sure exactly why this is, but I intend to find out tomorrow after school. I do believe I have been paying for my service, so maybe it has something to do with my being gone for two and a half weeks and shutting off the power to my apartment? Well, there’s no sense in making guesses, I will update you all on the situation as soon as I can (by which time I will have internet and I will be able to post this blog post, and undoubtedly the one explaining why I didn’t have internet, leaving this one entirely without purpose. But let’s not worry about this rather insignificant detail.)

I am glad to be back in Japan. I thoroughly enjoyed being back home, loved seeing my family, my friends, and all the familiar things about America, but I began to miss my new life here as well. A large part of the time back in the States I found myself thinking about how to fix up my apartment, what things to buy, and what classes to teach in this upcoming semester. (The answers to these questions are: switch my bedroom and living room, a bed and a table, yet undecided.) I’ve even uncovered a somewhat existential crisis. (I think that’s the right word here, I’ve never truly understood its meaning, but it sounds right here.) Where is “home?” “Home is where the hearth is” goes the old saying. Cam’s version of this is: “Home is where all your stuff is.” which I must say I prefer, as neither of my two places of consideration have hearths. But really, where is my home? Do I consider my apartment in Japan “home?” It is indeed the place I am spending the most of my time, but disregarding that fact, I live here understanding that within five years at least, probably sooner, I will no longer be in the apartment, or even in the country. So then can I call Groton “home?” It’s where my parents live, and for the majority of my life living with my parents meant being “home.” Going back to Groton for the past five or so years, though, has mostly been for vacation. Coming back from school, coming back from Japan, etc. The past few times I’ve been back there I haven’t put away my suitcase, (partly of course because of my inherent laziness) but also because I knew I wasn’t staying forever.

I am not prone to such sentimental thoughts, and I am not horribly conflicted about not being able to answer this question, but it is something that has been bouncing around in my head for a few weeks. When talking to my friends and family, I have chosen my words carefully when referring to “home.” In the e-mail I sent I didn’t tell my parents I was “home” when I arrived back at my apartment last night. I thought about it, and it did not feel right. But then what do I call this place that I don’t feel right to call “home?” It’s an interesting dilemma, I think.

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Categories: Pre-Japan
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