This past Wednesday, after lunch with a friend at Subway, I made my trek to George Mason University’s Center for Global Education. I can scarcely remember when I first came here, back when I was amazed by the indoor city atmosphere that the four-floor open space of the Johnson Center created. Actually, I still seem to be fond of it.
I walked in the door and had my meeting, and went over details for applying to study abroad in Japan. But we quickly figured out that I was already familiar with many of the details. It’s rather bittersweet to be going through the process again. It is exciting in and of itself to look at the program’s info, fill out the forms, and go to the ‘next stage’ of the application. (I’m not sure how geeky that sounds :p) And, the truth is, I’m looking forward to this semester. I feel like, each year, I’m in so much better a place than the last, and with creative writing and game design, the class lineup is looking cooler than ever.
And yet, while I look forward to all that, while I know that I’m gonna enjoy it a lot, and that this is where I need to be right now, even as I am fully aware of all this, occasionally this casual, but powerful thought waltzes across the foreground of my thoughtlife: “I was supposed to be in Japan right now…” I wonder what it’d be like, if this semester I finished just now would have been finished on another east coast. But that thought vanishes as quickly as it came, behind some mental corner.
And so I find myself both letting go and holding on to Japan at the same time, a heart going in two opposite directions. Hopefully, it’s the healthy choice, though. I let go so that I’m free to do what I need to do, free to be joyful, free to press on. But I also can’t let go. I think it’s something you do when you love. You bring the thing or person you love close to you. When you love them a lot and bring them really close, it’s called marriage. You remember loved ones when they pass away. Sometimes, loving means letting go, too. Either way, though, I have my bases covered :p
And so begins the journey to Japan, take two.