Oct 24, 2021
I'm putting together a timeline of my life events and memories, which I call a "Lifelog". Today I was updating and adding details from my 3 years spent in Japan. I kept journals and I also have the photo roll on Google Photos to explore and organize events by date. When I opened this one photo, I felt a sensation of nostalgia in my chest, around my heart.
The photo was of me in the English classroom I taught in, with a few of my students. Memories flooded and flashed through my mind from during that time. There was almost an urge to let tears out of my eyes. Why does this happen?
I had an amazing time in Japan, full of fun memories. However, most of my time was rather mundane, but this is easily forgettable. Most of the photos are of students and of locations I traveled. Those are the dopamine hits: familiar faces and new places. Those are just the highlights of my time there, not an accurate reflection of percentage of time in a happy state. It doesn't matter where you are, if you're there long term, you'll mostly be in a neutral state. Most of my time was spent alone in my apartment or working.
I enjoyed teaching kids, but one of the main reasons why I chose to leave was because I got bored repeatedly teaching the same basic English to kindergarteners week after week, multiple times a week. I had crossed the threshold for how many times I can sing the ABC's or "Head and Shoulders". (My skills and passions lie in computers and tech, not the English language, which is why I am now enjoying Second Brain mentoring and the computer coaching I do.)
So when I subconsciously compare my current mundane state of being home on my computer looking at those photos, to those fun memories in Japan, it's easy to understand why I might long for that life again and feel that bitter-sweet nostalgia.
I want to go back to Japan someday for travel. There are still many places that I want to experience.