Being in Japan for the last 8 months, where I’ve been not just isolated from the world, but cut off by language from most of the people here, has increased my sense of the importance of family and friendship. In the past I kept to myself, turned down invitations in favor of quiet nights at home, stewed in loneliness, and kept at bay the people I ought to have been close to. I wasted time on media escapism, time I should have spent on conversation, dinners, drinking and dancing.
When I left, I’d been stuck in life and love for a long time, and the only way of breaking free that I could find was to cut loose, to leave without a plan for coming back. Had I chosen a place worth living in, maybe I’d have stayed. But my old home is, from what I hear, among the best of cities. I chose my destination poorly, but my action wisely. Eight months in what may as well have been outer space cleared out my complacency, despair, and my reluctance to live boldly.
There are people I didn’t pay enough attention to while I was in Melbourne, and people I didn’t say goodbye to properly. There’s no excuse, but I’ll try to make amends. I’ll be back next Friday: expect to hear from me.