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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Recently, I have been asked by several friends what the verdict is for my life. There has never been a black and white answer. It is the most difficult question for me to answer. When I was young, my goal was to escape from my hometown. Over the years, I had gradually moved further and further from my roots. My life is more complicated now. I’m older and have accumulated assets and responsibilities. My decisions involve others very close to me.
When I got a job offer in Australia, I was caught by surprise. I honestly did not think I would get it. I really didn’t want to leave my job in Tokyo. I never intended to find another job nor did I want to have the job in Australia. One of my coworkers told me to take a day off because I was becoming a workaholic. I was a country girl and I had nowhere to go in Tokyo. At the time, my coworker was reading a newspaper in front of me. He suggested, after reading the newspaper, that I interview for a position to work in Australia. Since this was a last minute decision, I wasn’t prepared.  I just wanted someplace to spend a paid vacation. Well, I passed the interview. I thought it was some kind of scam. My family and friends were skeptical also. I was invited to a second interview and passed that too. Okay, I achieved a short term goal…two days off with pay to travel to Australia. I received phone calls from the Queensland Education Department in Australia. Now, what could I say? I needed to figure out my next move, so I decided I wanted to challenge myself. I decided to leave my country and work overseas. “This was a one-time chance,” I thought. My aunt said, “Do whatever you want to do with your life. Your life is only one time…but you must be responsible for your life. When you fail and come back, are you willingly to work as a janitor? Will you respect a janitor’s life? If so, do it.” I often hear that advice in my head. Yes, I will, but I always have another question, “Can I provide food and medical treatment for my dogs?” “But, what if…” seems to follow every question.
 

We will, again, put the house on the market, soon. A lot of worries, discussions, debates, and changes in our minds. We know if we wait for 5 more years, George will get a small pension for early retirement, the housing market should be better and we can more easily transfer our life to Japan. A huge disadvantage is that the dogs will be older and they will have tremendous difficulty flying for such a long period. Then, we will probably have to wait at least another 5 years until the dogs pass away. We cannot live our daily lives waiting for their lives to end. If we don't leave by next March, we will have to put the dogs in quarantine again and that process could take another 8 to 9 months. Whatever we choose, we will have to make a difficult choice.
So, if we cannot sell the house on this attempt, let’s lease the house and leave for a new life. I know so many people and almost all of my friends disagree with the decision to lease the house. “The house is completely remodeled and you are going to let a stranger tear it apart? Are you crazy?” I respond by saying, “Money is not as important as time,” but that is because we are economically comfortable right now. We may soon say, “Money is more important than time,” while we are crying and starving. I have a lot of wishes, but right now, I wish I could make a definite decision. I cannot predict my life and I am so scared of making mistakes. All I can say is,” I don’t want to regret for what I don’t do.” I much prefer regretting what I tried. George and I would often question ourselves and ask, “If we could redo our lives, then...?” Every time we would come up with the same response, “If we hadn’t done all of those stupid mistakes in our past, we wouldn’t have had our life together.” If George became a very rich brain surgeon, I would not have been married to him. Our only major regret is that we wished that we could have shared our lives together much sooner. I just hope that we can feel the same way in the future. So, now I will say, yes, we will move to Japan this year.
Erika

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