My to-do list

Since coming back from Japan I feel happier than I’ve ever been. Rainman can testify to this, as he’ll watch me burst into fits of laughter when I enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures. Or maybe I’m just being silly, I don’t know. What I do know is that in the four months I’ve been back, I’ve been in a bit of a funk.

Have you ever anticipated something for a while, and then when it happens it’s totally and completely amazing? How about that feeling afterward. Not immediately afterward where you still have that high, but maybe a few hours, days or even weeks after. For me, it’s a bit somber.

I’d looked forward to visiting Japan for about 16 or 17 years. I finally visited in 2007 for one week, and the experience blew away all my expectations. I knew I had to find a way to live over there. And live over there I did. But after 7 months, I returned, not because I didn’t love Japan, but because I wasn’t doing anything I felt was fulfilling to myself. I had no passion in what I was doing. My desire to be in Japan hasn’t left me though.

A few months before leaving Japan, I really started to use Anki, a spaced repetition software (SRS) flashcard system. It uses the principles outlined in this wonderful story from Wired, I’ve always been telling people that every day I’m studying Japanese, which I suppose is true because of this, but it’s not truly studying like I want to be.

Every day for a while now I’ve been creating to-do lists for myself. And they’ve been almost entirely the same since I returned to Texas in September:

  • Anki
  • Check web/twitter/e-mail
  • Shower
  • Search for and apply for jobs
  • Lather, rinse, repeat.

The past day or so I’ve decided on a new to-do list. It’s much shorter, and I don’t have to keep rewriting it each day. Ready for it?


Yeah, that’s it. Just one thing. My goal is to get to Japan. What that entails, I’m not entirely sure, but at the moment I’d like to do the following by the year’s end.

  1. Finish paying off my student loan (roughly $3,000 left. WOOHOO!)
  2. Pay off a low credit card bill
  3. Save up $10,000+ to afford one year’s tuition at a Japanese language school in Japan

What’ll happen in the end, I don’t know. But being adaptive and willing to accept sacrifice to make this goal happen is something I’ll strive to do. Of course, life always throws curves your way.

So until you hear that I’m back in Japan, there’s no need to ask what I’m doing. It’s right there. I’m getting back to Japan!

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