Where I Am Now

I’m coming into the closing stretch of my time on the JET Program: my contract ends on 7/28 and I am officially leaving Japan on 7/31. So, with a little shy of two months till I’m back in the States, I’m thinking ahead as to what I want to do with myself. I need some kind of plan, something to work for, because I know it’s really easy to settle, to find something that’s “good enough” and lose momentum. And I’m not ready for that. Right now, “good enough” really isn’t. So a plan and sense of timeline it is. A rolling stone gathers no moss and all that.

The year since I graduated university has been a big growth year for me. I think it is for everyone, but I can see that I’ve become both way more decisive and way less scared. I made two huge decisions – first to take this job and then to quit – and stuck to them, on my own. These are things I did for myself and I didn’t let my fear of failure and being wrong convince me to stick to safe and easy. And now, after a lot of going back and forth and not being sure, I have a pretty good idea of what my next few moves are going to be.

First, I’m going to stay in Washington for a while. I need to work full-time and save money and the best way to do that is to go back to my parents’ house. It’s just going to be for a year or so, but I know it’s not a good idea for me to lock myself into something just yet. I miss Oregon, I miss my friends and the life I have there, but practicality comes first. I need to be getting my shit together and I’m not going to be able to do that if I’m also trying to be a renter and shoulder all my expenses. Expediency wins out at this point.

Honestly, the kind of work I get doesn’t really matter so much. Would I like something that doesn’t suck? Of course. Will I despair if I get stuck in something mind-numbing? No, because it’s just a method of getting from Point A to Point B.

Securing employment aside, I have two tentative goals:

1. Do four weeks of intensive language school in Tokyo (probably next June).
2. Start an MBA Program (next August/September).

For the former, I know of a school and will need about $3,000 (that includes airfare and housing). That’s not an outrageous amount of money to save, I just need to plan accordingly. For the latter, my first choice is the school of management at Willamette. As in, the school from which I graduated last year. The program is pretty highly ranked, WU is good for international stuff and that’s what I’m keen on, and I think I’ve got a decent shot of getting in. I never took the GRE, but I’m now thinking about taking the GMAT, which is specific to MBAs, instead. So I’ve found study guides online and am going to start revising for the quantitative section because, while verbal and writing are easy for me, it’s been a while since I’ve taken maths. I know I can do it, I just need to get to work.

I’m actually feeling a lot more certain and confident now than I did even six months ago, which is fantastic because I’m tired of sitting around second-guessing myself and always thinking if-if-if. I’m done with “if.”

Jumping ship on the JET Program has been surprisingly empowering.

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