I see with some consternation that the last time I wrote a post was this time last year.
I have been reflecting over the last month about the last year, and have come to see it as the second half of a two-year period of lots of upheavals and changes. There have also been quite a lot of articles about the end of the decade, the awkward teenage years of this century.
In 2019 I left Japan, after twenty-seven years. I returned to the UK, and went back to college. I am no longer a teacher, but an ordinand training at the College of the Resurrection in West Yorkshire. Rather hilariously though, I am squeaking this post out in the remaining minutes of the year in . . . Tokyo. I am back for a short visit, because although I don’t miss living here, and I certainly don’t miss teaching, I do miss friends. So here I am, catching up with friends and eating as much sushi as I can, stocking up on yuzu kosho (柚子胡椒) and laundry bags with zips and enjoying an extra ninety minutes of daylight every day compared to the UK.
I have seen friends posting photos on social media of themselves ten years ago and now. I suppose it’s an end-of-a-decade thing. And quite a decade it’s been. 2011 was the year of the earthquake and tsunami, when I started sending long e-mails to family and friends, which led to me starting this blog. The decade has taken both my parents and left me a middle-aged orphan. The last five years have been a radical re-orientation of my life; a discernment of a call to ordained ministry and the long process of preparation, selection and finally beginning training. My life is a very different shape to what it was ten years ago.
I shall not be sorry to see the back of 2019. It has been a year of so much change, and I am exhausted. I think I wrote something similar last year, so don’t want to sound like I’m wishing my life away. I hope that now that I have moved back to the UK, that I am training at college, that I am done with swerves and speed bumps . . . but I suppose life isn’t really like that.
New Year’s resolutions: to blog more. Really. I want to write about everything from discernment to training over on my other blog, and I still have to write about grief and leaving Japan and being back in the UK and so many other things. I don’t know if people still read blogs; there is so much out there, who has the time to read even a fraction of what they want to? But I know that I enjoy writing, and so I shall do it anyway. I am going to read more, and not only the books I need for my studies.
Tomorrow I am starting the new year with Mass at the Anglican cathedral in Tokyo. In the afternoon I am going to do a Seven Lucky Gods walk with friends (and another one a few days later). Somehow by January 17th I’m going to produce three essays.
Off you go, 2019. Off you go, awkward teenage years of the twenty-first century. Time for a new year, and a new decade. Life is good. May 2020 be a good year for everyone.