I have had to think a lot about the future and the past recently. It is one of the great vices of humanity that we choose to focus on these things rather than the present and yet, without looking at them we cannot make truly informed choices about what to do in the present. It has been a difficult time for me recently. There has been a lot to do. I moved to Tokyo, got a job, it wasn’t the best thing in the world but it was enough for me. It seemed as though life would just carry on as normal, I would keep plodding away and never really get anywhere. Then whine about how I wasn’t getting anywhere. My new wife would believe in me for a time, then she would realise that I’m a fraud and that I wouldn’t be able to give her what she wants from her life. I’d end up like the dad from that song “Fast Car”.
But events seem to conspire and overtake me. Now I’ve booked a shot at the JLPT N1 exam, despite being woefully unprepared for it I’m going to try my hardest. I also have a new job. I was fired from the old one for reasons unknown and the very next day found a job that I thought would be ideal. It was all in Japanese but and I again thought I had no chance against the other candidates but surprisingly things turned out and I got the position. It’s not the best job in the world but it’s better than what I used to have.
I sometimes feel as if I’m a character in a novel. I know that I’m not the first person to think this however I can be pretty specific. I’m a character from one of Murakami Haruki’s earlier works. I’m not entirely sure which one but I suppose that doesn’t really matter much. Actually scrap that, I come from his short stories, which I have always liked better than his novels. Though that’s not to say his novels aren’t good, they’re just a different level of good to his short stories. Maybe even a different flavour of good. I’m not really sure how to put it into words. But his short stories just mesh better with me.
What I’ve been trying to say about myself in these words is that I’m not sure where I am. I guess this could be a “quarter-life crisis” or something but it doesn’t feel like that to me. It feels like I’m just floating in space, being pushed about by forces of gravity from larger stars and planets. I never seem to smash into them, just to be pushed by them. I love my wife and want the best for her, but I worry if I can be the one to give her what she needs. And then there is the question of what do I need? And I haven’t even addressed that within myself as yet. The new job, the Japanese test, keeping the money going. There are too many pieces at the moment and unfortunately I seem to have misplaced the box to this jigsaw. Still new pieces continue to arrive and others seem to be swept away. It’s like trying to build a puzzle on a beach with pieces made from sand.
But the shells are pretty, and the sun does shine.