I’m entering another of those seasonal slumps, I think. The first of it started to hit me last night, when I was hanging out with my friends (Chalice wanted one last night of karaoke to tide her over before her first trip to the US since arriving in Japan). So, yeah, Julie and Brian, if I seemed like I was really freezing up or clamming up near the end, that’s what it was.
I went into work today and just felt miserable all day. I started to get really frustrated over the stupid mistakes I was making while doing practice GRE problem sets, and I just felt this really heavy weight settling in. I was pretty quiet, though I’m usually fairly quiet at work anyway, but I guess something clued my JTE in, because she noticed that I was gloomy, and asked me if I was okay, but I just brushed it off as stress, not really wanting to get into it right there.
This evening, while walking home from running errands, my phone rang, and it was her, calling to make sure I was all right. I didn’t get to say goodbye to her because the prefectural BOE was doing their annual tour of our school and she was in her individual interview when I left. She actually had thought that something at school had stressed me out (which surprised me, but I finally told her about the fight that broke out after one of my solo classes at the end of spring term, after a nearly identical incident happened Monday–maybe she had that in mind), and she just wanted to make sure I was all right. I reassured her that I was okay, and then explained that it was homesickness (I guess it is…? It’s the easiest way to sum this all up), and nothing really started it, that it started last night, and that it just comes out of nowhere sometimes and you can’t really do anything but ride it out. She told me that she’d begun to understand how I felt after her two months in England this summer, when she’d had similarly homesick days.
I was really touched that she went out of her way to check up on me–she has an extremely busy schedule, personally and professionally, so I’ve tried hard to make sure I didn’t add to her load this past year. Part of my emotional “complex” with all these ups and downs is that I feel like I bug the people around me sometimes (it doesn’t help that my actual supervisor at the BOE has been more distant and less friendly lately with me–granted, I’ve tried to not ask her for much after the whole car thing, so maybe that’s kind of backfired and she thinks I’m being distant), so I do feel guilty when people interrupt their own very involved lives to check up on me or come cheer me up. My eikaiwa ladies, particularly the two younger ones who speak the better English from that crowd, have told me that I can call them anytime if I need someone to talk to–I’m close enough to all my eikaiwa students now that I know I can go to them any time for anything, and in the early summer when I made the decision to take that weeklong trip home, there was a class where I finally admitted to them that I was really homesick, just because I’d been upset at work earlier and wasn’t sure I’d remain completely composed through class. It was the first time in my entire year here that I admitted that it wasn’t a completely smooth ride. I’d feel really bad about actually approaching them, though, since they have their own families and businesses and whatnot to run. The last thing I want is to be a burden.
Anyway…it’s funny how “are you okay?” is the one phrase that really makes you realize you aren’t okay. When we hung up, I was blinking back tears for the remainder of my walk home. You just need a good cry every now and then, you know? I think this is one of those nights. I’m borrowing Ashley’s copy of Office Space to give myself a chance to relax, I think, though I can’t afford that luxury tomorrow or Friday. I’m under 72 hours away from the test now.