A New Life in Japan

A Better Life in the Second Act

Closet invader

Daily Thoughts for 2021-05-10 Monday

It’s been a little while since my last post, largely because I’ve been caught up in a million things, distracted to no end, and more than a little stressed out. I’ll explain.

First, there was <a href”https://somewherein.jp/no-37/” target=“_blank”>the COVID scare. During Golden Week, I met up with a friend who I hadn’t really seen for a very, very long time. We mostly just walked around outside, but did stop briefly to get a bite to eat. A couple days later, she tested positive for COVID-19.

I got tested twice, both coming back negative, but still missed a couple days of work because of it. Booooooooo.

And on Saturday, I received the postcard from immigration letting me know that my new ID card was ready, so this morning I went to the immigration office to pick it up. Took more than an hour of waiting, but I got it, and my immigration status is safe.

For a year.

My residency had been good for five years. I was hoping for another five years, or at least three, but instead got one. The consensus on Twitter seems to be that a) it’s probably because I changed jobs and b) it’s all a complete crapshoot anyway. And so in eight or nine months, I get to start the visa renewal paperwork marathon all over again.

At least next time around I’ll be prepared for it. I still have extra copies of most of the forms, and know where and how to get everything else.

I hate being stuck in this cycle, though, and being subject to needing to keep a job I really don’t like1 to keep my right to live and work in Japan. I’m almost 40 and I did not come to Japan to be forever trapped in low-income jobs. This shit has to change.

But then, that’s what this blog is all about, isn’t it? Finding a way out of that cycle. Finding a way to do work I love in the place I love.

There is a way. Of course there is – there’s always a way. Just gotta find it, is all, and do the work to make it happen.

It’s hard to see the way forward, though, when you feel trapped, and the system is really geared towards keeping immigrants where they are, rather than giving them a chance to fulfill a greater purpose.

I’m very frustrated by all of it. Very, very frustrated. But just being frustrated won’t do me any good. Gotta be smart about it, clearly define the problems, then set about solving them until the situation has fundamentally changed.

  1. My school is fine, I’m just sick of the English-teaching lifestyle ↩︎



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