At certain points in my time here (especially in the beginning), the saying that often motivated me to persevere through tough times was it’s sink or swim. Those days long gone, what I hear myself saying more often lately is it’s sinking in. As in, my days left in Japan are numbered and it’s becoming more and more real every day. I finally did my taxes (first time semi-by myself! Which I say because I did ask my dad to check the forms over, though I had pretty much filled out everything I needed to correctly the first time), I’ve been communicating with my programs at UCLA about Fall classes as well as clearing up residency issues with the registrar’s office (hellooooo in-state tuition), and I’ve been seeking out living situations in Los Angeles and emailing potential roommates. Scarily, going back to school, which was once merely a concept always too far into the future to fathom in a practical sense, is finally materializing. And then in present time, among the big hula fundraiser for Tohoku I’ve spearheaded that has me teaching hula lessons twice a week, choreographing dances and sewing costumes, as well as planning and promoting the event itself, I’m trying to map out my final couple of months in Okinawa, including who I am going to see and what I will do in that time. And then there’s the whole communicating-with-successor/packing up/moving out thing. It’s all happening too fast. As my Mom pointed out to me over the phone the other day, it’s kind of like India (which, don’t worry, I still plan to write about) was the catalyst for everything else to start falling into place. I guess I just didn’t expect them to do so this quickly. Every minute is precious these days, and for one of the few times since I’ve lived here (where normally the lifestyle is open, slow-paced), on most it feels like there just aren’t enough. And I’m beginning to dread that anticipated moment, that sensation, where I feel like my entire immune system has been suddenly cut off and the air I’ve been breathing for the past year and a half has been taken away from me. Like I’m sinking.


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