And I kind of like it. I’m worse than illiterate, in fact, because I don’t even understand spoken word. But I like the feeling. I know what it feels like to be a kid again; the helplessness, being carefree, the sense of mystery.
I’m helpless because I can’t talk to anyone or read anything to get what I need or want. I’m carefree because I have chosen to let go, to let my school handle everything, to tell me what to do and where to go and when. And I feel this sense of mystery because I face an entire world of information, relationships, rules and language that I cannot decipher.
Of course it is a little terrifying. I’m afraid of being left alone—me! Miss self-proclaimed loner/hermit. I cling to the people who speak English, be it fellow JETs in my jutaku or teachers at school. But, honestly I find it fascinating watching myself flounder, get thrown off-balance, and struggle. And as my old boss Bill said, it IS rather like skydiving. I’m enjoying the disorientation and changes that I’m going through.
But the best part is that, someday soon, I am going to figure it all out. That makes these feelings ultimately exhilarating—the knowledge that I will learn Japanese and everything will fall into place. And you know what else? I’m going to blow people’s minds with how fast I pick it up.