I'm still visiting family in Chicago and still way behind on my blog reading. This will continue to be the case until at least early next week. To those still reading and commenting while I'm not being reciprocal, many thanks!
Yesterday was the main reason I made the trip out here at this exact time - the JET Program interview. I keep promising more info, and this is just a quickie post, but basically, I've applied to go back to Japan for a year, got the interview and will now wait until April to find out. If I go, I'd leave in July. The suit looked good with my dad's input and that of my dear friend J who knows these things (and who I'll see today!), the shoes were hawt, and I really think I answered the questions pretty well, even if it took me 20 words to say what I could have said in 5. I get nervous and give longer answers while thinking my way to a good one, I guess. Still, overall it went really well, and I even got to speak some bad Japanese (no Japanese required, and I did fine with the basics but kind of botched the harder stuff, which might actually be kind of a good thing since I'd be there to teach English, and they aren't looking for someone too very fluent who might use too much Japanese). I never count my chickens before they hatch and never assume I'm a shoe in for anything, but I do feel pretty good. Competition is tougher than it was 14 years ago when this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but now they allow folks who've done it before to do it again up to age 40. If it doesn't work out, of course I'd be really bummed, but it's also not my only option and not even one I'm 100% sure I'd take, though I'm leaning that way.
Yes, it would be more apartness from Tom, and we discussed it at huge length back when I applied, and he couldn't be more supportive. If I go, he'd be visiting me and hopefully twice, and he has always wanted to visit Japan anyway. This avenue makes it more likely we'd ever get to see Japan together. I would have regretted not trying to do this thing again since everything has lined up in a make some lemonade with some of these lemons and a little sugar kind of way - I'm 36 without the children and minivan I dreamed I'd get to have, I'm unemployed and between jobs instead of mid-career that wouldn't have allowed such a break, I've already left the Portland area I'd called home for about a decade and just arrived in Tulsa where I'm not yet firmly implanted and entrenched. Most of all, and this is the sugar, I have a man who supports me fully and wants me to never have any regrets for not pursuing this big maybe. And he's not just saying that.
There is more to say, but it's time to head out and get on the road. Things are icy up north where we are, and I'm headed south to get my car and to make the trip out to Indy to see my dear friend J, easily my favorite person on the planet. Some of you know that I met him on the JET Program in 1995. Lots of good things come out of an experience like that, and while I expected to learn much about Japan and living abroad, I didn't expect to get a best friend out of the deal. If I get to go back again, who knows what I'll take from the experience this time. We applicants are sometimes referred to as JET hopefuls.
That's probably an understatement.