Split in Two 二つに分かれた

I was talking to a friend the other day who pointed out something that I had not taken the time to consider yet. My friend did a one year working holiday in Australia, and had intended to do a second year, but decided to come home to be near her family. When she returned home to Japan and started working, she struggled to adapt to her old surroundings and began planning her escape to Australia. However, before she got the chance to put this plan into action, she met her now husband, and decided to stay for a while to be with him. She told me that she doesn't regret returning to Japan, but she still would have liked to have lived in Australia again.

Her story made me realise that I may have made my life slightly more complicated than was necessary. The moment I stepped on the plane to Japan, I chose to split my life in two; my Japan life and my Australia life. There are things that bring me incredible happiness in both of these lives. My friends, family, job, hobbies, and material possessions are spread haphazardly between the two. If I return home to my Australian life, I will miss my Japanese home, and wonder what my life would have been like in Japan. If I remain in Japan, I will continue to miss my family and the comfort that comes from being in the country that one grew up in. No matter which choice I make, I will always be missing someone. No matter which choice I make, my mind will occasionally wander to the life I could have had.

It is not all bad news though. The benefits of experiencing living life abroad far outweigh the difficulties. I have met and worked with people from all over the world, learned a new way of speaking, a new way of thinking, and have had time to reflect upon my culture and myself. It is only when you remove yourself from the familiar, do you discover who you really are and what you are made of. Naturally, there have been moments when I have found myself crying on the bathroom floor after eating an entire pizza. Or, the time I drank three quarters of a bottle of wine while watching Bridget Jones’ Diary and thinking, will this be me when I am in my thirties? There are highs and lows in my life. Even if I had not chosen this path and had instead continued to live my life in my home country, I believe my life would still have highs and lows. Maybe it wouldn't resemble my current roller-coaster, but that’s also part of the fun. 

Perhaps it is the case that I can be happy in either of my lives, if I choose to be. I could choose to get caught up in the negatives, focusing only on the people I want to see or the inconveniences in my life. Or, I could choose to enjoy the opportunities I have been given. It’s impossible to be happy every single moment of every day, but I choose to be happy as much as possible. We all have this choice. 

My Japanese Life


  1. I made my choice more that twenty years ago. I remember in the early days feeling like I was missing out on so much because I was in Japan. And I also distinctly remember when I realized that THIS was my life and I needed to get on with it. Distance is hard but those reunions, no matter how short or infrequent are worth their weight in gold. I have learned to appreciate my family and be grateful for any time we can have together, and in some respects feel a little more appreciative than my aussie counterparts who seem to take it all for granted. My wonderful husband/kids/job are all what keep me focused and still in love with Japan. Without their love and support I know my life would have been totally different. I have found my niche!


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