Note: This is quite long. がんばって！(Do your best!)
Hi! I’m back for an updated history which I hope will help you get to know me a little better. I’m affectionately known as Pink. My WordPress pseudonym is Usagi or Princess Serenity (more on that later).
I’m 37 years old. I live in Japan. I’m married to a Japanese man, and we have a dog (mostly she’s mine though). That’s the bare bones of me. Now lets add some muscle, tissue, organs, and skin.
I was born in the USA. I grew up and lived my whole life in one state. I’ve always considered myself unlucky in two things: love and finances. I’ve struggled with body image my whole life (even when I was skinny in high school). I’ve struggled with being loved and accepted for who I am. I fought hard for love, but love never loved me back. I’ve had sex with a fair number of people. I’ve had a small number of boyfriends. My longest boyfriend turned into my husband, so that worked out for the best.
I love animals. I love people. I love to laugh. I love food and cooking. I garden and I sew. I draw (really well), and I love to read. I like to write, and I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I enjoy going to the movies, and I watch an obscene amount of TV. I relish the technological advances we’ve made, and I appreciate being able to learn new things.
I’ve been employed since I was 16 though it took me a long time to settle on a career. When I did choose a career, I choose one that wasn’t especially lucrative, but I excelled at doing. I’ve been doing it for the last 15 years both in America and Japan. In America, I worked with the same awesome group of people for around 10 years with a few new comings and goings. One Christmas, I was on my way to the office Christmas party when I got into a car accident. I decided to go to the party anyway citing that I needed some cheering up. The party didn’t go as planned as I had an epic breakdown, and my coworkers and friends eventually used this as an intervention to urge me to seek help afraid I might be bipolar. Since I had pretty good health insurance though my work, I went to a doctor. He diagnosed me with depression, and I was give medication and referred to a therapist. I was in my mid 20s. The medication he gave me made me sick, but I took it for a while. The therapy sessions seemed like a lot of bullshit to me, but they eventually helped me enough to get off meds and take back control of my life which I hadn’t noticed had been spiraling out of control. I got better.
In 2006 (I was 27) I traveled to Japan for the first time. It was only my 2nd time abroad, but Japan was a country I had dreamed about since I was in high school. In high school I became a huge fan of Sailor Moon. The real Usagi Tsukino was basically my doppelganger, a silly clumsy girl with the heart of a fighter who would do anything for the people she loved. I collected Sailor Moon merchandise (yes, I still have it), I drew pictures of the characters, and I even dressed up as Sailor Moon for Halloween twice. One time the owner of a local comic shop we frequented traveled to Japan and brought back all this beautiful shiny pink and yellow merchandise. We got first crack at it. My love of Japan started with Sailor Moon and blossomed into a love for a country with a magnificent culture that settled under my skin and got stuck there. My first trip to Japan was an absolute blast. I savored every minute of those 7 days. Sitting on the plane to go home, I looked out the window and cried. I knew that I had to get back to this place, this place where I left my heart. So I did. I returned in 2007, 2009, 2010, and finally in 2012. Five trips to Japan. The one in 2012 was to interview with three companies. After coming back from my 2010 trip, I had decided that the trips weren’t enough. I needed to be in Japan for more than 7 to 9 days at a time. I started looking for a job there. It took two years to find a place where I could be happy and financially stable in Japan. In that time finished paying off my car, my credit cards, and I sold my house. I donated or sold most of my worldly belongings, and those I couldn’t bear to part with either went into storage, boxes to be shipped, or in suitcases.
In June of 2012, I said goodbye to my family and the people who had been my dearest friends (some for as long as 10 years). I was scared but I was bright eyed and determined to finally be happy after struggling for years to be happy in America. It didn’t work quite as planned. For the first six months (or so) I fought hard. I developed anxiety. I was depressed and homesick, but I couldn’t understand why. Moving to Japan had been my dream. Why wasn’t I happy? I chalked it up to not having any quality friendships. Sure I hung out with my coworkers, but they were merely drinking buddies and our only activity outside of work consisted of, you guessed it, drinking. I met Minako at my first workplace, but she and I didn’t become really good friends until we both left, and in 2012 Naru hadn’t joined the team yet. I made it my mission to stop being unhappy. I would make friends, I would build a life in Japan, and hell I’d work on getting a boyfriend too. I managed to accomplish all three of those things. I became best friends with Naru, I became very close with Minako, and I started dating a handsome but nervous young prince of Japan (not in real life just in my Moon world), Mamoru aka Endymion.
I took other big strides in Japan. I left my first workplace because it was making me miserable. I wanted to advance my education, and I wanted to be happy where I worked. I wanted a dog. In 2014, I started at a new company. I found more people to love and strengthen my love for Japan. I found Motoki, Artemis, and later Ami and Makoto. I got a dog (Small Lady). That summer Naru left Japan and took a big piece of my heart with her. Artemis left the office in 2015. In 2016 Motoki took a leave. It was decided that 2016 was going to be the year of babies, so Mamoru and I started TTC only to be met with failure after failure. It turned out that 2016 was a year of many things, but babies for us was not one of them. My beautiful Japan had grown turbulent. I had started to find going to work difficult. I thought for sure these waters would still. They didn’t. The waters became more violent and my tiny perfect vessel was tossed this way and that. More bad news came pouring in. Failure met miscarriage. Miscarriage met a 132 day cycle. Mamoru received a notice of transfer just as Motoki returned to the office. We were leaving. We were leaving the only place in Japan I ever wanted to call home. Worse than that I was leaving Minako, Artemis, Makoto, Ami, Setsuna (who I met in 2015) and worst of all leaving Motoki who had become one of my dearest friends, and also my advisor, my number one supporter, and most trusted work confidant. Forced to quit my job, we packed up all our belongings and Small Lady and headed out west. I unpacked our things and put them in a bigger house, a bigger but lonelier house. Endymion’s promotion meant more work for him, and he became an absent fixture in our house, so I became a semi-permanent absent fixture in our house as I packed my bags and headed to visit Naru for a week and my family for two months.
Although my time with Naru was wonderful, my time in America gave me a never ending pang of sadness and depression soon set in. I missed my prince, my Small Lady, my friends, my home, my own bed, my beautiful Japan. Worse than that I saw a doctor and she tried to put an end to my never ending cycle only to come back later with a PCOS diagnosis. Hopes of having a biological child dashed, I had hoped we’d adopt. Endymion had other plans wanting to put me through the scientific ringer in hopes of creating biological children. I think we’re still at an impasse. However, I finally came back to my dear sweet Japan with a new sense of love and joy for my adopted home country. I made a stopover to visit my friends. I saw Minako, Makoto, Setsuna, Haruka, just missed Artemis, but best of all manged to see Motoki. Then it was back out west.
So here I am. Back in my new city. Back with Small Lady, and the prince is sometimes here when he’s not ruling the Earth kingdom (aka working). I am depressed. I have depression, so I’ll always be depressed. It’s a matter of managing it. Some days I manage it really well, and other days I manage it very poorly. Unfortunately, it’s a battle I’ll always fight. I don’t have a job right now, but it’s not for lack of trying. I’ve had a number of interviews. I’d put money on few to no foreigners in Japan matching my qualifications and experience. I think in the end it will all be a matter of timing and maybe a little luck. I’m eager to get back to work. I’m looking forward to making new friends. I’m not looking forward to suffering through the initial depression of relocation, starting anew and building a new life.
I’m glad you’re here. Support comes in many forms, and I’m lucky to have virtual support too.
Thanks for reading,