I hate moving, but I especially hate moving in Japan. Even though this particular moving process ended up working out, with some good twists and turns along the way, it was also hell. Hell on my nerves, hell on my body, and hell on my mental state. I’ve had non-stop nightmares from beginning to end, and I’m still not feeling settled in quite yet. I don’t know when I will, honestly.
But let’s start on a positive note first. I ended up doing what I should’ve done a long time ago and asked for help, so a very very good friend named D____ came down to help me. He actually drove me up with my bigger things (the bed, some shelves, books, kitchen things, gas stove, etc.). I couldn’t believe he was so kind enough to do it, and then even help me with my job hunt too. D____ and I had fun on the drive, talking and signing along to songs. We also went out to dinner and hung out, so that was a great memory to create. I will always be so thankful to him.
From there, things kind of go on into a roller-coaster of events. I had an issue: the big items couldn’t go into the new apartment yet. Instead, I actually stored them for another week at future roommates’ place. My new roommate, K, was working with things on her end to get big things moved to the new place too. She and I decided to consolidate our big items, and then by only moving the big stuff with a moving company. We would carry our smaller things ourselves.
You see, before I could move I had to finish up my job at the high school. I needed to do paperwork done on a variety of things, like the pension papers for the private company and getting the letter of leaving from this employment. There was also a goodbye party thrown for all the English teachers leaving that year, which of course I had to attend! It was bittersweet to say goodbye, but I intend to go back for bunkasai in the fall.
Also, I had to still get rid of things. I threw things away, donated clothes, went to the recycle shop to sell things, I did everything I could. Without a car or other means of getting these stuff done easily, that meant a lot of running around and train rides. I was just constantly moving, and all the while still job hunting too. I was sending out applications and cover letters, trying to get my life in order!
Still, I focused on what I could control and do. I cleaned, I packed, I threw away, it was just constant motion and movement. I knew I would need to just keep at it, but it never seemed to end.
On the “real” moving day, even though I did my best to get rid of so much, I still had too much stuff to carry up all at once to the new apartment. I lugged four suitcases up, hurting myself multiple times in the process of going from train to train to walking to bus. It was honestly horrendous. People thought I was crazy, but I managed, in no small part due to Japanese citizens taking time out of their day to help me get through turnstiles and into/out of elevators. Also, god bless our new apartment manager, she sweetly let me keep two suitcases that broke on the way up.
I got the keys from the key office and raced to the apartment to catch the moving company coming with the big items. Luckily, they were understanding of me being late, and they quickly put all ours stuff where it needed to go. K actually got our friend E____ to bring around a car to get the suitcases moved from K’s apartment to the new place, too (and we also picked up two suitcases I left at the key office).
By the end of the day, K and I were exhausted. My mind wouldn’t shut up about how I didn’t quite move everything, and I prayed that the next day I would get it done. I had to be there by 3 to let the utilities people come and turn everything on, but I also had to go back down to the old apartment to get the keys returned. That meant money down and up, time I didn’t really have in order to pack up the last of my stuff, and get the keys to the apartment company.
Long story short, I did not succeed. I ended up having to reschedule because I had two job interviews in the next couple of days. I decided to just set my stress levels to max to get the last stuff packed up right after I did my second interview. I can’t describe the amount of stress that I felt in those 48 hours. I needed to get a job, get moved out, and get back to the apartment all in that short span of time.
Luckily, I did.
When I received my offer of employment, I cried such happy tears. At this particular place of employment, there is a Masters degree program I can get into, and I can get certified for things too. I wanted it so bad ever since I found out it had this program.
On the rescheduled move out date, I was a bit late, but I managed to get everything out of the apartment. I ended up having to throw away some things that were really dear to me, but I did get to keep all my writing notebooks. Those were the most important, of course, but there were just so many. I’m making another goal this year to digitize and/or publish these things so I’ll not have to keep lugging them around.
When I got back to my new home, something clicked and I realized it was over. I was covered in bruises, my wallet was slim, but I was home. K and I didn’t have everything we needed, but I knew this place was where I belonged. I loved the street we would walk down every day past flowers and tiny creeks. I loved the size of our big kitchen and living room.
Home. I was home.
Like I said before, I’m not quite settled in, mainly because it’s still just so new. All the same, it feels right. All the effort and pain that went into this process was worth it. I’m closer to my support base as well as working in a job that suits me and will improve my skills. I wish it hadn’t been so terrible to move, I wish at the time I had more funds to afford a really good moving company, but I am glad I ended up where I am.
And now that I’m here, I think I’m going to stay a while.