Monday, February 1, 2010

??? months left...

Some regular/astute readers may have noticed that I didn't start off this year (i.e. January) with my usual "# months left..." post.

And this is the reason why:

Yes, I changed my mind about moving back to Canada in August of this year.

I actually started seriously thinking about staying in Japan when I found out that I wouldn't have to pay anything for the repairs from my car accident and that my monthly insurances premiums wouldn't go up.

I couldn't/wouldn't say anything about the change in my thinking, though, until I'd spoken with my parents about it. So pretty much the first night that I was back home during the Christmas holidays I asked my parents how they would feel if I wanted to stay for another year.

Being the awesome supportive parents that they are, they encouraged me to make the re-contracting decision for myself, without worrying about them.

Suddenly freed from the "I have to go back to Canada" mindset, I spent the past month or so since that discussion endlessly debating with myself about the matter and soliciting advice from many many friends.

I think that in the back of my mind I knew that I'd pretty much made the decision once I asked my parents for their "permission", but for various reasons (which I won't get into here) I was afraid to change my (October) decision and commit to staying in Japan. (I actually purchased an electric oven--to make baking cookies for my students more time efficient--on Sun. Jan. 24th without even thinking about it, so I guess I'd already subconsciously decided by that point, even though I was still consciously doubting my own judgment.)

And even thought I recognize that I was being a little self-indulgent in playing "the conflicted heroine" for so long, I think I really did need that time to hash everything out in my mind and to make certain that this was what I really wanted to do.

Now that I've made the decision, though, I've also committed to not regretting it, no matter what happens in my fourth year.

As well, I've made a couple of personal resolutions for the rest of my third year and/or the duration of my fourth:

- I will find a church to attend at least once a month, if not every week
- I will try to cook a proper meal at least once a week
- I will call home at least once a month
- I will write the JLPT this year (probably only level 3, though, because I don't want to spend that much time studying)

Food & memory

Inspired by Vicki. ^_^

Hot green tea: Long conversations shared sitting under the kotatsu table  
Smarties: Struggling to stay awake during Mr. Davis's Ancient Civilizations class 
Lai-cha & bubble tea: Hanging out on Fridays after fellowship 
Warm tea biscuits: Family celebrations at Red Lobster 
White hot chocolate: Second Cup study sessions with Steph & Howard 
Eggs benedict: Breakfast with the girls 
Congee with minced pork and bak hu: Being taken care of when sick 
Timmie's Ice Caps: Summers working at Scotia 
Profiteroles: Chubby Bunny at WAY Summer Camp (Profigeroles! What?! ProFIGeroles! WHAT?!) 
Giant cream puffs: Kirita School Festivals  
Sweet potato "sticks": Matsuri (Japanese festivals) 
Hot tea with honey: Small group meetings at Vicki's during the winter 
Firm Jello: Hockey Night in Canada parties with Steph and the guys 
Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting: Visits to the Hockey Hall of Fame 
Cold veggie subs: Helping with school lunch sales at Dolphin  
Toblerone: Fellowship (Swiss Chalet) Christmas dinners and one very bad day after the sleepover with Nate, David and Sandra 
Mint chocolate chip ice cream: Childhood birthday parties
Mango shakes: Lunch at pho after church

Please share yours, too!