04 August, 2015

It's like stepping into another movie set

This is the metaphor that's been in my head these last few days as we've arrived in Japan and began to resettle.

I wrote that title and the first sentence a few days after we arrived back in Tokyo.

An Australian friend describes it as stepping into a different chapter in your life. She knows, she has a life and a family in one town and currently works in another town, and consequently has developed "a life" there too. She goes between her two "movie sets" far more frequently than we do.
Continuing along the grocery store line, this is my little local
store. It's a familiar place.

We backed ourselves out of Australia in June. That is really what it felt like. We were settled, had routines, and life could have gone on there (except that we had employment issues . . . ). We uprooted ourselves by gradually saying goodbye, closing doors, and stopping. It didn't feel natural. And it wasn't easy.

We hopped on a plane and six hours later landed back in Tokyo. It was as if we'd only been away a little while. It was as if we'd stepped into another life, but strangely it was ours too. It had different props, many familiar ones. Routines that had been ours a year ago returned to our lives and it felt strangely normal. People, places, and things we'd left behind when we backed out of Japan 12 months ago were here to greet us (most of them, anyway, there are a number of people who aren't, and that is a grief).

It is hard to get my mind around, but we really do have two lives. Two movie sets. And the Japan one is more familiar, because we've spent four times more time here than we have in Australia over the last decade and a half.

And with all this comes mixed emotions. I miss people, places, and things in Australia, but I'm happy to be back in my Japan "movie set" with the people, places, and things that are familiar here.

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