Will I ever feel ready? Is that even possible?

So I was meant to go to Japan to teach English in June. It feels too soon though! I’m still working at my full-time job in London, I’ve only restarted learning Japanese and my teaching feels rusty already.

I was originally meant to go in April, but decided to delay it to June. Now I’ve asked the company I’m going through on whether I can start in July or August.

Is this me just being scared and putting it off or is it right to have more time in order to rest beforehand and feel better prepared?

I did the right thing in delaying in Japan. I think it’s not me just trying to put it off, but to make sure that I have the Japanese language nailed down as much as I can while in the UK and practice teaching one-to-one before I go, such as in a language exchange with a Japanese speaker. That way I would feel more confident in going to Japan and be ready as a teacher. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself!

I love plans and setting goals. Meeting them is a lot harder and doesn’t always happen, but I love to plan and write to-do lists. I know that the true learning of the Japanese language will occur when I’m actually in Japan, but I can do a lot beforehand to feel ready.

The idea is to:

– finish learning all the kana (I’ve learnt most of the hiragana, but not the katakana). 

– focus more on listening (such as listening to more language CD’s and online sources like fluentu) and writing (join a penpal type of thing and practice writing in romanji)

– then start speaking Japanese (could try a language exchange and practice my teaching one-to-one skills). I can currently speak some Japanese, but it’s very limited!

It’s strange to note that this order of learning is different from what I was taught in the CELTA and how I would teach English! Normally the emphasis is on speaking with less focus on listening, reading and finally writing. Hmm…I may need to rethink my learning strategy.

Beauty

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Weaving the Threads.”

It is something we all seek, whether we acknowledge it or not. We know when we see a beautiful person and when we don’t, but how do you define it?

For me, beauty would be someone like Sade – a beautiful woman with nice features, such as full lips, long hair, great curves and yet slim. In essence, what I would love to look like. A strong female who is feminine and yet not girly; strong and yet delicate in some way.

sade1

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This is my version of beauty, but it’s certainly not the only one and shared by all. Some people aspire to be rake-thin, while others see strong, athletic types as ideal. There is no one type and why should there be? We all have different cultural influences, upbringing, likes and dislikes, personal tastes and preferences.

Life would be boring if we all considered one type as beautiful.

There may be a science to beauty, such as a preference for symmetry and signs that indicate fitness and the likelihood of healthy offspring http://www.livescience.com/19553-samantha-brick-beauty.html

However, there is more to it than ratios and such. Beauty is such a complex subject, which makes it a fascinating thing to ponder on. What do I consider as beautiful? Why? What factors are involved? http://www.brainpickings.org/2013/07/01/survival-of-the-prettiest-nancy-ectoff/

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It’s easy to compare oneself to another person and say that they have better thighs or shape, which can lead to feeling bad about ourselves. We are unique, however, and need to appreciate what it is that makes who were are. I may sometimes feel disheartened that I don’t weigh as little as I hope to weigh or that I’m not as thin as others I see, but I do like certain aspects of myself. I like my blue eyes for being unusual. I like my womanly curves. I like how in the summer I get freckles and how they stand out. These things make me feel beautiful and feel more confident in myself.

Hi, nice to meet you….oh yeah btw, I’m moving away in 3 months!

So I went on a date with another guy. In some ways I’m wondering why the hell do I do this when there’s a chance I will like someone and they will like me. That would normally be a good thing. Not when I’m moving to Japan in 3 months time! (Ah scary, is it really 3 months!)

At the same time, I like meeting people and having new experiences. London can be exciting and busy, yet at the same time it can be quite lonely. Also, I like the attention! I am only human.

I met a nice guy last Friday. It was a first date and we got along well. Very well to be honest. We connected, we shared, it was nice. I do feel guilty that I have not told him that I’m going to Japan yet. I need to tell him the next time I see him, but I’m wondering how?

I don’t want to hurt anyone, but also don’t want to scare anyone way. I don’t know how, but I do seem to make such mess out of things!

I remember it’s only happened to me once myself. Last year, I dated a guy from Texas. On the very first date, he told me that he’s going back to the US in 4 months time. It was a bit of a surprise and obviously was something I had to think about. Did I want to continue seeing him when I know it will have to end. Will I get too close and be hurt? In the end, I decided to continue seeing him and we had a good time. We got along and I get too didn’t attached. By the time he had to go back to the US, we had already stopped seeing each other and it worked out fine.

He did the honourable thing and was very honest about it. I have not been honest and vague with plans. By not mentioning it, I’m creating false promises of the possibility of long-term future dating. The likelihood of that is quite low. I know I get attached quite easily and believe I would move mountains for someone if they were worth it, but I’ve often jumped ahead of myself and did not think things clearly.

I will see him in 2 or 3 days time and will have to be honest. It’s going to be hard to mention and will be hard for him to hear (he seems very keen on me), but I dislike the feelings of guilt and dishonesty I have. He deserves honesty.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fly on the Wall.”

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If I could be a fly on a wall at any point in history, what would I choose? Now that’s a tough one! Part of me thinks I should choose some great moment in history, but in all reality, I think I would be more interested in seeing what the ordinary people did at the particular time. Instead of seeing King Henry VIII have one of his wives beheaded, I would rather see what happened at the Court during that time – what the people were like, how they acted, how they dressed and what were the norms.

During WWII, I would rather see first hand how people were treated when they  were taken and sent to concentration camps or what it was like living with war ranging around them than to observe the political discussions between ministers.

What is love?

Shutterstock

One of my good friends is currently undertaking a project on creating a kind of documentary looking at love – what it is, how can it be defined from different points of views and people from different cultures. In essence, it sounds like a great project and I am very happy for her!

I was lucky to be asked on what my views were on the subject of love and she will record my thoughts sometime soon. I was asked this about a month ago and it made me evaluate on what love is and how I have experienced it.

So far, this is what I have come up with:

Love is all encompassing, it’s madness,   

It hurts and it can bring great joy. 

It goes against all logic.  

Even when all the signs say no, your heart says yes. 

Even when you sense trouble ahead and see all the warning signs, you plough on through.  

You care so much to the detriment to yourself.           

You burn and get burnt,   

And hopefully they will too.     

Hopefully they will desire you as much as you do with them. 

That is all we can hope for.   

Whether that flame will flicker and extinguish early on, 

Or scorch for a lifetime we will never know,

And yet we should never stop trying.    

To not try is to give up and to give up is failure.   

I would rather be burnt each time than to not try at all.

What are your opinions?

 

Don’t lose yourself!

I started dating a guy in January and cared about him very much. In the beginning all was great. Then I started to notice some things. I was starting to make all the effort in contacting him and meeting up. He said he cared about me, but his actions did not show it.

I could see the warning signs and sensed trouble ahead, and yet I continued. I cared about him very intensely, which took me surprise. I was honest with how I felt. He said he cared, he missed me, etc, and yet I was still making all the effort. [Warning – girls should not chase, it only leads to problems.]

I even started to think about future possibilities of getting together and delaying my plan to go to Japan for him if we got together and it worked out. Crazy right?!

But yes, I was crazy. I was a fool for him and he knew it. He was self-centred, lazy person who was disrespectful in ways and yet I continued to hope that he would like me the same way I liked him. I thought if I showed how nice I can be, how kind and accommodating, sweet and all the things he wanted, he would like me back and show me the attention and affection I needed. Wrong!

In all the heady infatuation for him I lost myself. All my thoughts focussed on him. I lost sight of me as a person and my needs. I forgot my goals and stopped striving for them. I would’ve put my life on hold to give it a chance. And yet it was still not enough.

In essence, I lost my head and my sense of self.

From Leonie Dawson

From Leonie Dawson

Well no more. After being honest with him on how I needed more attention and affection, he was still doing everything on his own terms. Then I got the fade out.

For those who don’t know, the fade out is when someone doesn’t bother to contact you back. They don’t reply to your texts, your calls or messages. It’s like the literally drop off the earth. Sure, it might be easier for the dumper, but it leaves the dumpee in a confused state. You start to wonder ‘Are they okay, what did I do, how can I make this better, do they really care about me, they said they cared and now they won’t contact me’, and so on.

It is a cowardly way out. It’s probably excusable if you don’t know the person very well, but if you have been on dates or were in some kind of relationship/quasi-relationship, have the decency to just let them know that it’s not working out for you. It may seem harsh, but it’s kinder in the end.

What would you prefer? The anxiety-inducing, self-doubting, neurotic state of not knowing what’s going on or being told that “you’re a great person, but I don’t see a future between us”?

Everyone makes mistakes. I’m sure I came across as too strong, maybe a bit neurotic and needy, but I think is what happens when I like someone who leads me on and is selfish (bad case scenario).

Well, there is a lesson in everything. Let guys chase initially. If the guy is not going to call you back or won’t following up on his words, let him go because he is not worth it. Some people are just toxic.

Also, don’t lose yourself. Yes, you may care about someone, but don’t let them become your world and eclipse everything else going on in your life.

It’s your life, so do what you want to do and share it with those who show care and respect. You deserve nothing less.

New beginnings

So I’m going to Japan this summer to live there for a year to teach English as a foreign language. Or at least that’s the idea…

Isn’t it weird that when you have wanted something so much and worked so hard to reach that goal, that when it actually happens, it’s bloody scary! I have wanted to live abroad for a long time and have always been fascinated by people’s tales of travelling abroad, the mishaps, the trials, the unexpected joys.

I’ve always been interested in Japan – the culture, the food, the people – and found that I actually enjoyed working with kids. Two birds, one stone.

I did a part-time CELTA at Saxoncourt last year and found it immensely helpful! It was not easy, especially when doing that on top of working full-time, but I had a great time and met so many lovely people. I applied to work in Japan and got the job offer! Most likely I will be heading to Tokyo, but a small chance it may be Kyoto or Osaka instead. Tokyo is going to be crazy! I’ve been told it’s like Oxford Street, but all the time!

Ever since then, I’ve been excited, scared and confused. It’s the whole leaping into the unknown that part appeals to me and part terrifies me. But I will never know if I don’t go. I was not made to work in an office. I like travelling and love helping people learn, so to Japan I go!