Just over fourteen years ago, I returned home from two years in Japan. At that time, I was certain that I would be returning back to Japan in the near future, if not to visit, to resume my life for an additional period of time in the land of the rising sun. With college ahead of me, I chose to head off to Hawaii, the closest I could be geographically and culturally o Japan, and spent the next three years maintaining and improving my Japanese. In planning for my next step from college, I was drawn to the U.S. mainland for graduate school. Don’t worry, I thought, I will just complete my education, start working and will be back in Japan in no time – again, at least to visit.
Now, in the fall of 2014, I have yet to return to Japan. My memories of those two years come back to me often, but they are just memories now. There are some nights when I still dream in Japanese and sometimes come across sights and sounds that remind me of Japan, but these are fleeting moments. I would have never thought that by 2014 I would not have returned to Japan. Maybe it was not meant to be after all. Maybe it all was just a dream. Maybe, just maybe, I will find a way back some day – you know, at least to visit.