Finding the ways to fill the time
I understand now why people get future shock. Time seems to be moving more quickly – how can 12 months have passed already?
Reading over my 2013 goals list, I can see many which weren’t ticked off. More exercise, pass the Japanese Language Test at level 2, learn to braid my own hair…
But then there were things I did do, like getting a job, and improving my photography, which, obviously, were the goals which meant more to me.
So, in the style of last year, let’s look back at the good moments in 2013.
Yes, I did it! I finished my Primary Education diploma in summer and was lucky enough to be offered a job at the same school where I had done my training. This semester, the second in Japanese schools, was extremely tough – with Sports Day and the end of year Performance to prep the kids for. My students, however, are wonderful, and I miss them sometimes even over weekends. My teaching partner is also excellent, and we mesh very well together, supporting each other, and picking up the slack for the other person when they are tired or overwhelmed with administrative work. I very much hope to continue in this position again from April.
Where Next Japan, the blog, has exploded into Where Next Japan, the Ryann and Felicity travel videography team. Along with my husband, Nori, who is quality control, tech support, translator and business card designer, we have gone from strength to strength with our videos. In August, the brief empty gap between the end of training, and the beginning of full-time work, something changed in our mind-sets, and we went from a video every three or so months, to a grueling monthly schedule, requiring almost every weekend and time aside from work to be devoted to filming, scripting, narrating and editing. In early September we attended a Kansai Scene presentation, and met the publisher, resulting happily in us becoming travel correspondents with our own monthly show: Adventures in Kansai! Kansai Scene is an English language travel and life-style magazine, distributed mainly in Osaka and Kyoto, with a 17 year history, and a great reputation amongst expatriates. It’s amazing to be associated with it.
Ryann is my friend and Where Next Japan business partner. She’s bright, cheerful, crazy and generally awesome. Though 2013 was a rough year for her, and I know there were many points when she wanted to just go home and sayonara her Japan experience, she persisted. I am a pretty selfish friend, and have done everything to keep her around because she’s become one of my best friends, and the best travel buddy and business partner anyone could hope to have – and she’s staying another year!
My husband is a pretty awesome person – smart, capable and cheeky. Japan is a tough society to live in though sometimes, especially when you can’t/won’t adjust to the company mindset. After many years of trying and abandoning various jobs and plans, late last year Nori invested in some land in order to grow his own fruit and vegetables. The land is mostly satoyama – a maintained forest mixed with natural and deliberately planted trees – with a small area that is flat. It is very quiet, and peaceful, and Nori has worked hard to clear the weeds and rubbish that thoughtful construction companies dumped on it over the years. He’s done a great job this year and it will only get better!
I really think that the mixture of blogging and videography we are doing with WNJ could go further, and this year I hope to develop that with Nori and Ryann and see if we can take it to the next step.
I want this to be a year of improvement and growth in my two full-time spheres. Despite the grueling pace of developing two videos a month, while thinking of how to best teach my students, I am still having fun, and don’t want to stop now!
This blog has lagged a lot. It began as a storing house for writing tips and ideas, morphed into Australian-centric writing market leads, then kind of… stopped. I would like to use this blog more effectively somehow – maybe become more like a diary – in the same way that Where Next Japan stores my travel memories, perhaps TAPD could hold my daily mundanities.
Last year I wanted to write, THE END, on a book. This year, I just want to devote more time to writing creatively – not scripts or reports – but exploring my created world and characters and just… writing.
Here’s to a wonderful 2014 for everyone! Let’s hope that this will be a year of peace, and principle, and people taking the time to care for each other, no matter how closely or distantly connected we are.