Archive for the ‘Decisions’ Category

So it’s FINALLY Friday and that can only mean ONE THING…the 6 day streak of rain is OVAH!!…that is, if Mother Nature cooperates and follows through on her promise of sun for the next 5 days. That would be nice.

The workday is done, I’m off for a run, but to keep you all occupied until my next (and much more exciting) post I’ll leave you with my new project:

Like many other bloggers, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon: 101 in 1001.


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So, I had such great intentions for an out-of-this-world post, or something close to it, but it’s 11:50p.m., I’ve clearly procrastinated and I have to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn (a.k.a. 5:30a.m. to walk 40 minutes to the station) Oh me, oh my. That being said, I’m making this news announcement short and sweet! Compared to my recent novels, you’ll most likely appreciate it!

First off, the news! So…when you walk out from the station, take a left a the Docomo, walk down, turn left at the green frog, and keep going down until you reach my house. That’s riiiiiiiiiiiiight! MY NEW HOUSE!!!! I’m moving folks, to the land of happiness, friends, a social life, skyscrapers and honking, crazy taxi drivers, mmmk, slight exaggeration. 🙂  I’ve also come to realize that I’m completely reliant on big flashy landmarks to find my way in this world, and thanks to the bright billboards, ramen shops, and green frogs?, I don’t even need to rely on the kanji-written signs that I can’t read anyway ;).

Let’s take a step back here, and fill you all in on how this unraveled in the last week or so.

So, Mr. Supe took me to look at an apartment a few weeks back? Have I shared this news already? I can’t remember, but I’m too tired to look back now, so I’ll repeat myself- this place was in ‘the ghetto’, meaning run-down shanty far away from friends, the convenient station, and in complete, unfamiliar territory. A no-go in my book.

Anyway, I was really discouraged after the hunt, because it would be 1/3 the size of my current house, yet cost 3x as much. Grr. And I would have to pay a moving company to transport my fridge, washing machine, microwave, and stove. Ask me why I have to go through that foolish hassle in the first place? Bugger.

Well, one of my teachers at the junior high is an ANGEL, and he came up to me in my distraught state, knowing perfectly well, I would be homeless in less than 2 weeks, unless I was forced to sign for the shanty. Bleh. He sat me down and said,

Molly, you need place to live? Well, my mother has 3 floors, and lives alone. You would have the top floor for you, and share the kitchen, bathroom, but no cost. Wow, I wanted to cry and hug him right then and there. I felt like after all these months of facing opposition, things were FINALLY falling into place. Can we get a ‘hallelujah’ ?!

Today, Mr. eigo sensei called Mr. Supe and my supe said it was a GREAT idea. He just has to talk to the superintendent. We’re almost there folks, no contracts, no worrying about the hassle of changing my address for bills, no transporting a washing machine. I think my stress level and blood pressure went waaaaaay down since hearing the news. Yippee!!!

So that’s it folks, I’m movin’ on up, moooooooovin’ on out!

I’ve been doing a lot of walking this week with a slight improvement in weather and I’m seeing so many spring photo ops. So, without further ado, it’s my Picture-a-Day photo display! Even if it’s something small, or a famous monument, you’ll catch it all right here, and first up, on my walk to Alesha’s:

Day 1: Ramen Shop sign, Eat a whole piglet on-a stick. (I bet it’d be a jackpot seller at the MN State Fair!)

In other news, I was walking and talking on my ketai (cell phone) when I saw an 80-yr old man lying on his back on the sidewalk and his wife trying to lift him up- clearly not gonna happen! I ran over, and picked him up, that women would have never gotten him up by herself! I really hope he was okay- he was able to hobble away with the help of his wife. Gambatte!

Night, night~


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I received a call from my supervisor asking me to please come to the Board of Education at 3pm. I don’t know why I always think I’m in trouble, but I was definitely a little nervous, considering the recent happenings with my ‘absurd’ eating habits.

I had a mini panic attack, but then asked what the reasoning for the meeting was. He explained, that it was to return my hanko (signature) stamp. Ohhhhhh, what a relief. I will admit, right here and now, that I suffer from “Fear of the Unknown” Syndrome. I’ll work on it.

Since our Re-contracting forms are due on February 5th, I decided that I would hand them in today, being that I already made my decision. Each ALT was given a stack of papers to fill out (more if you decide to stay). Once I sifted through them, I found the one I needed: Please CIRCLE your decision-

  • A: Yes, I am re-contracting for the 2010-2011 year (or something along those lines)
  • B: I have decided not to renew my contract for another year

As you’re all aware by now, I’ve decided not to re-contract. However, when I arrived at the Board of Ed Office, I was a little worried about telling the supe, in fear of letting him down.

I handed over my forms and when he saw what I had circled, he seemed surprised by my choice, and asked, “Ah, why?” I went on to explain that it was a very difficult decision, but I want to continue school, I am lonely, etc. I tried to explain the best way possible, with the little English/Japanese that either of us know. I was surprised to find myself getting teary-eyed (especially after this whole week of not really liking it here). There are MANY things I like about Japan, and so naturally, I was a little sad to say I was leaving, even though it felt good to know that. As I walked down the main street towards my house I felt like 1000lbs had been lifted. Knowing FOR SURE that I would be returning home at the end of July- what a relief. I celebrated by eating chocolate, watching the Biggest Loser, falling asleep on my living room floor at 7p.m. and definitely NOT going to the gym. Looks like the past week has really taken a toll on me! I was wiped out!


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Mmmk. I’ve neglected to share a few BIG things with you all.

1.The MN Vikings lost on Sunday, 31-28 in overtime to the New Orleans Saints. Upsetting. The Vikings have lost 5 straight NFC title games. This would have been the first time in 33 years that the Vikes made it to the Super Bowl.

2. In January, we are celebrating 2 BIG birthdays, my dearest Aunt Judy and Uncle Brian! I hope you had great birthdays and that all of your wishes came true! 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

3. The biggest news of all- My friend Megan has BOOKED HER FLIGHT TO JAPAN!!! WAHoooooooooo! Here is the hoTTest pic of us…evah! Here, in our prime— way back in high school:

Yea, that’s right. THIS girl is comin’ to see me and I can’t wait!!! 🙂 She’s coming at the end of April, just in time to see the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom season/Festival, as well as during Golden Week, where we’ll get to travel to either China, India, Thailand, or Korea. Let the planning begin! LOVE YOU GOOCHI! :O)

4. Miss Holly our neighborhood Everythingtarian is giving away a single serve blender! Don’t check out her site, cuz I wanna win (kidding, kinda)!

5. Today marks 6 MONTHS since I arrived in Japan. Wow, 6 more to go. That went FAST!

6. The Elephant in the room…Do I re-contract for another year in Japan?!






After LONG, and hard thinking, praying, making lists, going back and forth, more thinking…

I came up with why I should stay-

  1. Teaching the Junior High students is extremely rewarding. When the kids approach me in the halls or in town and speak to me in English, it’s so exciting to see that they are learning what I taught them. They are quite humorous as well. (i.e. Boys shouting: MOLLY I ‘LOB’ YOU!)
  2. The money is good. Being the the U.S. economy is slightly unstable and unpredictable, I would have a secure job here, helping me pay back student loans, my parents, and have a little money saved on the the side, too.
  3. I have met some really great people here on the JET Program, as well as Japanese friends. Since we are all from different places in the world, I may never see some of them again.
  4. The convenience to travel to other nearby countries that I most likely wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.

Now, reasons to go

  1. It is lonely in this little town sometimes.
  2. I don’t know Japanese.
  3. I want to start pursuing my career in Health Communication
  4. I don’t plan to be a teacher, and if  I stay another year here, that’s just another year I am behind in job searching back home.
  5. I obviously miss my family and friends a lot.
  6. I want to go to grad school.

SOOOOO- after my Pro/Con list…I’ve decided to RETURN TO AMERICA. 🙂 I think this is the best decision for me, and although I do love Japan, I ready for the next stage and adventure in my life. So, there ya have it. I am coming home.


I made it to the gym last night, had more energy than I knew what to do with, so why not crank out a 10k, eh? I ran, and fast, for the first 30 minutes ranging from 10.0-15.0 (16.o is the fastest it goes), for a total of 6k, then had to get off the “30 minute limit” treadmill, waited 5 minutes, did triceps dips on the bench, and then continued my run at a constant 10.0 and 1% incline for another 20ish minutes until I reached 4k. That’s a whopping 6.4 mile run. It’s been ages since I’ve done that far (esp. on the tread- I much prefer outdoors)!

Other than forgetting my bra at home, it was all in all a good night. 😉 Guess I’ll make a quick pit stop in the morning before school starts, otherwise it will NOT be a good sight to see.

Nighty night.


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…Only a week past the New Year, so obviously being on time should be added to the list.

Travel. Why yes, I do a lot of that already. I mean, I have 8 countries under my belt thus far, starting with the most recent- Japan, then Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Bonaire N.A., Italy, and Germany, (and maybe adding S. Korea & China/Thailand come this spring). However, once I return from this fairytale life I’m leading abroad, I will be hunkering down in my comfortable, mid-western Minnesota lifestyle (whatever that lifestyle actually is?) This means no more worldly adventures (as least they’re not planned yet.) So, in 2010, I’m making a goal to travel at least once a month. It’s okay if it’s just across the river to Stillwater to celebrate Lumber Jack days, or if I get brave and road trip to Chicago, and even more, visit my friend in St. Louis- did you know flights on Southwest are only $49 one-way!? It doesn’t have to be something super fabulous or that exciting- however, I will say, there is a LOT of Minnesota I have yet to explore. I don’t want this blog to die, and even though it’s primarily a travel blog, it’s a lot more than that to me, and I’m gonna keep this thing goin’. So here’s to 2010 and travels to come.

Read more. People magazine doesn’t count. I want to re-read/finish the Harry Potter series. Caitlin (N.O.S.) has lapped me a good 5 times, if not more. I like a book that you just can’t put down. I’m pretty open to all genres. Others on the list include:

¤   Wicked

¤   Twilight series (not gonna lie- wasn’t that captivated by the 1st half of book 1)

¤   Jodi Picoult books

Anyone else have a list of to-die for page-turners? I’d love to hear some suggestions!

Yoga. I’m running my body to the core and probably wearin’ her out. I’d like to get into yoga. Once a week for at least 20 minutes is an obtainable goal for me.

GRE. I’d really like to take the GRE’s to add a little direction in my life. I’m thinking Health Journalism/Communication right now. U of M here I come? 2012 is that goal.

Job. The market may be hurting (but hopefully improving) however this girl cannot come home to America, wishing she’d stayed in a secure job in Japan. Well, I’m sure I’ll miss it (I technically don’t have to decide to recontract until Feb 5. So I’m not 100% sure yet), but I am aiming for a job/internship at a hospital or news company or General Mills (we can dream big right?) working in the health field, possibly writing?!

Published. I want to submit articles to magazines, newspapers, blog sites, anything. Maybe some freelance writing in 2010?!

Be Green. This includes eating more green(s). I’m not a full-fledged vege-head, but dang-near. I’ll see what 2010 brings. But being environmentally friendlier is a good start.

Join a gym. Pending my location in the world, if I’m still on the ‘rents insurance- you can bet your booty I will be a gym member. The benefits are endless, especially with the unpredictable MN weather and WINTER.

Faith. I’ve got the faith, now I just need the Church. When I was at St. Ben’s (Central MN) I found a church called “Crossroads” that I LOVED. I also attended a weekly Bible study called “Prepare.” Thanks Gary for that! I have yet to find a non-denominational place of worship in the Twin Cities. Preferably close to home. I love church and need it back in my life.

SLR. I dabble in a bit of photography, but have LOTS and lots of learning to do. I want and NEED an SLR camera. Researching starting now. Maybe I can afford an Ebay purchase…or CraigsList. It will happen in 2010.

Wow, I have lots of goals- and here’s a few more, for good measure:

No more pickin’. At my cuticles (scabs & scars are not attractive) but it’s a nervous habit, my face (again, scars, redness, undesirable), wedgies…haha, just kidding, I don’t really do that, more like, I don’t think that’s a bad habit. 😛


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