A lot of little things came up between the time I bought my ticket and the day I was suppose to depart. A lot of things that would normally be considered par for the course and I believed them to be stresses that I had to work through to prove how much I wanted to return to Japan. These stresses included everything from subletting my apartment to visa application struggles to re-booking flights and they did not cease.
By the time that July rolled around, I had come to accept the struggles and found a happy place and was open and accepting to whatever was going to happen. It was also around this time that I decided that I only wanted to go to Japan for a year, save money and return to Halifax to attend pastry school. Between the time that I bought my ticket and my schedule departure date I also became very close to someone I was seeing, this made leaving difficult but I knew that we had it in us to make it through a little separation. I realized during those few months that creativity, passion, love, friendship and family are what matters most in life and I became aware of a sudden desire to settle physically. I still want to see the world but I want to have a home town.
On August 9, the night before I was scheduled to leave I attempted to check in online with no luck so I had to wait until the next morning to check in at the airport. We arrived at 6:30 and seeing the line I attempted to check in at the kiosk, no go. I stood in line behind a few professional hockey players who were being checked in and when I finally approached the counter, the counter agent, without a smile, promptly said, “you missed your flight. You have to rebook.” Confusion set in, and I thought “what do you mean, I missed my flight, it doesn’t leave for another 50 minutes?” The words didn’t actually come out of my mouth because I was exhausted and having a hard time comprehending what she was actually saying to me. Luckily my partner was there and he asked what my options were to which she responded with a customer service card with a 1-800 number on it. That counter agent was probably just doing her job but the least she could have done was to smile or offer some sort of sympathy, I wouldn’t even had cared if it was fake sympathy. I called the number she gave me and the woman on the other end of the phone was shocked that I wasn’t allowed to board my flight, she offered to rebook for me but I had to pay an additional $340 on top of the roughly $1500 that I already paid. Money was already going to be tight for the first two months I would be in Japan so I decided (after much thought, deliberation and coffee) that maybe this wasn’t meant to be as I had originally thought. To be completely honest, since I had already let go and was willing to accept any outcome, I wasn’t that disappointed about not going back to Japan.
I was returning to Japan with the delusion that I would have the same life as I did the last time I was there with the added hope that life was better than it was in Fredericton. Maybe it would have been great, but then again maybe not. There were reasons why I had left Japan in the first place and my friend Beau who left Japan around the same time that I did warned me that I would have an “oh shit!” moment when I got there see everything that is wrong with Japan.
To quote myself, “Thinking back on when I decided to leave Japan it did feel like my time was up, that I had learned all I needed to learn and that it was time to move on. When I left, I didn’t regret it and even now in the confused, unhappy state that I am in I still don’t regret leaving. I have felt nostalgia for Japan since leaving but regret is something I have never felt.”
Having my plans of living in Halifax bumped up by a year and being open and accepting of that has been surrounded in nothing but positivity, good things and synchronicity. Travel/accommodations between Fredericton and Halifax worked themselves out somehow, I got interviews/jobs and a rental immediately, all of which I am very excited about. My neighbourhood and this city are incredible and I’m excited to explore them more. The more I learn about Halifax, the more excited I get.
(I even passed by one of my favorite Halifax artists the other day on Spring Garden Road, Ria Mae. Check her out, she’s incredible!)
My beautiful city