All right, so…

I’m sitting in a youth hostel in Fukuoka (Khaosan, and yes, I would recommend it even though it’s a little bit grungy).  My flight for Narita leaves in T – 3 hours, and the flight from Narita to Seattle in T – 8.  (May have to buy another book.  Maybe not.  Will three books tide me over when I’m already halfway finished with one?  Hmmm…)

A few days ago I was all pumped and excited.  I get to see friends I haven’t seen in years!  I get to wander around Seattle–haven’t done that in years either!  I get to go to the Arizona Ren Faire! (It’s the biggest ren faire in the southwest, and I’ve always wanted to go but never was home at the right time.  Oh, and it’s only five miles from where my parents live.)  I’m going to see my parents after a year and a half!  My sisters!  One of my sisters is getting married!  More exclamation points to emphasize the fun that shall be had!!!!!!!!!!!

And yet when I got to the ferry point to go to Fukuoka yesterday, this rock just descended into my stomach.  Butterflies.  I’m anxious.  I’m downright nervous.  Will I fit in there, after so long?  Will I be lonelier in America than I was when I first arrived in Japan?  Will I even like it?

I’m so in love with Iki, and so comfortable there, that it’s officially difficult for me to imagine leaving, and leave I will–permanently–in about another year and a half.  This is like a practice run.  I already miss my freezing cold home.  How is that possible?  And the cherry trees were JUST starting to bloom.  Don’t get to see any of that.  At least it’s not beach weather (I’ll be returning in time for the start).  And I’m really, really going to miss my friends: Yoko, Etsuko, Eiko, Guy, Christine, Ava, Nat-chan, my students, my teachers, Shun-chan, Habu, Yo-sensei…

We’ll see how it goes.  Christine says that she felt the same way when she returned to America after over two years in Japan.  And then, when she was supposed to return, she didn’t want to leave.  Maybe it’ll be the same for me.

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