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Yesterday, they named my replacement at work and I moved the first load of things out of my apartment.

It’s really here, guys. I’m going to Japan. I’m leaving my lovely city behind, the city I love so much, abandoning my beloved apartment and my beautiful man and my job and journeying forth. Less than thirty days stand between me and departure.

But there’s still so much I want to do.

There’s so much that I want to do here. I realized this yesterday, about the same time I realized that, not including this weekend, I have only four weekends left between me and departure. I want to see all my friends, visit my family, and snuggle my boy for a week, no interruptions. But I can’t do any of that. There’s no time. I have to keep cleaning and packing and just doing things.

In less than a month I will be in Japan, which I have been waiting for so long, and right now I can only think about what I’m leaving.

So I am making a list, right here, of things that I want to do when I get back.

  • I want to see FoamHenge. Everyone I know has been to FoamHenge. They say it’s fabulous. I’m really just fascinated with the concept of a life-size replica of StoneHenge made out of foam. You know you want it, too.
  • I want to go to BobbiJo’s with my boy.Despite the name, Bobbi Jo’s is actually a pretty good Mediterranean restaurant. My friend KW swears by it. I’ve wanted to take him for a long time, because he loves Mediterranean food so much.
  • I want to visit my loves. Recently I got a letter from my best friend from college, in which she apologized for not keeping in touch. But you know what it made me realize? I haven’t really tried either. I want to plan to visit all of my favorite people who I haven’t seen for months, some of them for longer. I don’t know how I’ll do it, but I want to.
  • I want to publish something. This is not something localized to Roanoke necessarily. That said, my friend Gregory is an artist and graphic designer, and we have been talking about putting together a book, maybe even hand-binding it which would be amazing. I’m sure we could sell it on Etsy or Amazon or at Appalachian Press, but it’s not even really about that. It’s about the fact that the project would be just plain fun. In addition to that, I’m playing with self-publishing a novella or collection of short stories as an ebook.
  • I want to learn a dance with my lover. My boy has promised me that, in deference to my love of dance, he would learn one with me. Like waltz or swing or something. I’m so excited for it, but there just hasn’t been time yet.
  • I want to make a book about my travels.I made a photo album when I went to Spain, but it only has a few photographs in it and they aren’t organized well. Hopefully I can do better with Japan.

I’m sure the list is going to continue. I’m more than sure. But for now, it’s a start.

This journey is just starting, but it’s not forever. I’ll come home in July, when it’s green and hot, and swim in the rivers and soak up the sunshine and practice archery and wander the market and everything else that I love about the mountains.


I have decided that blue is not a bright enough color to capture my excitement. Therefore, I have changed my blog to orange.

My weekend, or end of the weekend, with Johana the Future Roommate and Dog the Demon-Eyed was, by all accounts, a success, though it left me a little frazzled. Johana the Future Roommate likes to talk a great deal and it has been some time since I socialized with anyone who carried on such extensive conversations merely for the pleasure of it. Not really my style. I tend to be more verbose on paper, and only speak when I have something to say. But part of the reason that I think Future Roommate and I will work is because she is so much more extroverted.

I walked Dog the Demon-Eyed down to the neighbor’s house on Sunday, and everyone assured me that he seemed a very calm and collected dog-sort. Dog and I seem to get along. We’ve found several apartments that will allow Dog residence, which has been the sticker in our apartment hunt. Now I just hope those several apartments will allow us to move in on July 1st. Otherwise I will be paying a month’s rent without living there, which would be lame. Maybe I could get away with only paying the rent and not the utilities for that month?

I’ve been playing phone tag with a few of my potential landlords/ladies, which is annoying. I work from 8:30 to 5 at the earliest (5:35 and counting today) and usually when I get off work all I want to do is something enjoyable, like reading a book, riding my bike, or at least cleaning my apartment so I don’t have to deal with a stinky kitchen. Instead I must continue making phone calls. I tell myself that I am willing to endure, but I would rather be digging post holes in all honesty.

I complain a lot for someone going to Japan. I’m so happy.

It may surprise you to know that life doesn’t stop with Japan.

I know it’s something I’ve been trying to convince myself of. I need some sort of plan for when I return but I don’t know what the plan is. It has caused me no small amount of stress. Trying to come up with a job for July has been difficult if not impossible, not only because I’m essentially applying for a job two months in advance but because I don’t actually have time to really hit the ground running with my search. Add to that my fear that they’ll want my to interview while actually in Japan and you can understand my concerns.

In the interim I need a place to live besides my boyfriend’s bed. This is a work in progress as well.

My potential future roommate told me she would be coming down to apartment hunt today, which is good since I feel like having a lock on a place would make me feel more comfortable. So this afternoon we should be journeying about with pen and paper and a weather eye out for rent signs. Here’s to hoping we find something promising!

I am not going to miss working ridiculously late, I will be honest.

That being said, let’s take a moment to talk about job security. It’s nice to have a job. It’s nice to have a steady paycheck, and more than that, to have money left over to save. It’s one of the things that worries me about my return, even with the buffer I have in savings to keep me from being homeless and other such unfortunate things.

One of the things I am working on to guard against possibly using all of that money over the next few months is diversifying my income. I put a couple of ads up on the local Craigslist for copyediting and proofreading services, among other things. They’re things I know I could do for side cash, cash that might let me go out, save up, etc. I’ve also got a few feelers out for jobs that might be open around the time I’m coming back. A reporting position at the local newspaper opened up, for example, and I am going to try to apply for that. Everyone has to start somewhere.

And that’s a lot of what I plan on doing. I want to start, or restart in this case, adulthood. I am making good money at my current place of work, but I don’t particularly feel fulfilled. Too many spreadsheets, not enough meaning, I suppose. It’s hard for me to get worked up about things like cosmetics or self-preservation. Counter-intuitive, I know.

In a year I want to go back to school, too – well, a little over a year actually. I don’t really know what I want to do still, and if things work out with my writing career I might let that go for a bit longer. But at some point I would indeed like to study things. Maybe developmental economics, maybe fantastical literature. I can’t say for sure.

A lot of things are up in the air now, and I think for now that’s how I want them, job security or no.