28 January 2011

Who AM I?!?

When we sat down to review our blog schedule last autumn, we decided to incorporate “Who am I?”-Fridays, where each and every one of us could describe a place, an activity or other things related to who we are and what we do, as a way of taking this blog to a more personal level (also – we realized we weren’t the best motivators, so “Motivational Friday” often risked turning into Demotivational Friday…).

Confused? Yeah, me too...
Anyway, due to a series of (fortunate?) events, today is my first “Who am I?” post, even though the feature has been running for a while on the blog, and regular visitors thus ought to be fairly familiar with it. I am, however, not. As I started pondering what to write under this headline, an existential crisis hit me. After all – what sort of a question is “Who am I?”, and how in the digressiosphere am I supposed to answer that in just a short blog post?!?!? (<-- Interro-KABOOM)

I suppose that part of the problem is that I’m in a difficult part of life in that respect. In December I finished my Master’s Degree, which means that I (probably) am done studying. This might not seem like a big deal to you, but to put it into perspective: I have been a student for the last 18 years (and to expand the perspective further: that is about ¾ of my entire life…). Without much time to think of the life-changing event that was, I rapidly started packing after having completed the degree, and left my home and country. Even though I’ve been to Japan before, it is still very much an extremely foreign country to me. The mega-city Tokyo even more so. I only have a temporary contract here, though, so come July I have absolutely no idea what I will do or where I will live (though I do have a plane ticket for Oslo, so chances are I will at least land there before making my way into the world again, if so should happen).

Thus, “who am I?” can in many ways be summed up in the following few key words: girl/woman, 25, Norwegian, nomad, educated but not enlightened, temporarily occupied but soon to-be unemployed, penniless, homeless, alien/gaijin, unbound, untied, untidy, unsure, unconvinced.

Blurry? Yeah, me too...
Don’t worry. I realize there are several advantages to many of these things, and at the moment I am appreciating them to the max. My lack of ties is what allowed me to take a leap and accept a position on the other side of the world. My nomadic tendencies can only be satisfied through traveling, and I appreciate my Norwegianness all the more if I leave my home country from time to time. Being unemployed is exciting, in a way, since it opens up all sorts of possibilities for future positions; and my current meager funding is probably useful in the long run: I could definitely do with a stricter financial plan.

Thus I am enjoying my identity crisis even if it wears on me. I realize that I will have plenty of time for the rest of my life to find stability (that’s it, isn’t it? What we all crave in one form or another – even if your particular brand of stability is called “variation”…). I will have a permanent home, a permanent job, a permanent life. “Temporary” will be a sweet memory from the past, and I am sure I will miss it once it’s gone. I try to remember this, and remember that I am privileged. I even try to remember that I enjoy my new (if temporary) life in Tokyo – the city, the job, the people, even the ascetic living quarters – and that I wouldn’t take back my decision to come here for all the digressions in the world.

Ah. Do you see a pattern? I am confused. That’s who I am. Confusion embodied, not certain whether I love my current state enough to enjoy it properly, or if the things I want in the future are calling my name so loudly I cannot ignore them.

Who am I (Friday)? Ask me again in March. Until then I only have to mull over Reading (Monday), Writing (Wednesday), current affairs (Topical Tuesday) or the occasional Delusion(al Thursday). They all seem like a piece of cake in comparison…

Uprooted? Yeah, me too...


Images:
#1: sneakily taken in a Japanese park. I would appreciate translations, as my current guess is: "Beware! Goose crying in sleep might result in shaky and teary cat and doglike creatures. Let's make happy with together!"
#2: blurrily taken from a tall, tall building, trying to capture the essence of "Tokyo by night". Frankly, I think I nailed it...
#3: shadily taken from www.boredpanda.com, where the artist Sarolta Ban is duly credited (and worth a visit too).

8 comments:

Hart Johnson said...

I giggled all the way through this, Cruella--I think you are at such an exciting time... life is PURE potential.

So sad that sleeping ducks cause such misery...

Cold As Heaven said...

I think that sign read "watch out for wild Pokemons" or something like that >:D

Cold As Heaven

Cruella Collett said...

Tami - it's a duck! It's a duck! There was also a sign which I'm pretty sure (again judging from the illustration) that read: "Putting pepper on fire will cause life-like flames to be angry with you. Let's make happy with together!"

And yes - all the potential in the world. Yikes!

CAH - That is probably a fairly accurate guess, yeah. Yet another sign in that park said: "Pulling flowers from their roots will make them cry and it will also make old men stare at you with flames coming out of their eyes. Let's make happy with together!"

sue said...

I think you've really nailed it with the words "let's make happy together" with regard to your confusions, delusions, and identity crisis. Enjoy them!

Hope someone drops by and translates, it's a perplexing sign.

ViolaNut said...

Duuuuh, obviously they were playing Duck, Duck, Goose and the bird fell asleep, so they couldn't play anymore and now they're sad.

That doesn't make any sense either, never mind. ;-)

Remember, the more you write now, the easier it will be to recall it later... when you need story fodder. :-D

Lisa - Fine Sweet Life said...

Great post. I giggled through it too!

Cruella Collett said...

Sue - The Japanese loves to "make happy with together", so I'm fairly sure that goes in there somewhere ;)

Leanne - *snort* This explains so much! And yes, write now. Only - when will I have time to write? I think I need to establish a Sunday routine with getting up early and going for a coffee shop alone. Otherwise I either end up going out with my friend (=no writing) or being to cold to even consider sitting down at my desk, since my room is about as densely isolate as a grape (= no writing)...

Lisa - glad you enjoyed it! I might seem more distressed that I actually feel, though. Life is good. I just need to remember it ;)

Chary Johnson said...

Mari, I can totally empathize with culture shocks. They make you appreciate home that much more. Have a blast in Tokyo. Don't forget to post the pics!