backpackbnwWhen I arrived in Japan just over a year ago, I had nothing but a backpack, a small purse, and a laptop bag. I had just spent three months in Honolulu, Hawaii trying to find a way to make a living through freelance work online, but things weren’t working out too well. The atmosphere of Honolulu didn’t fit me as well as I’d thought it might, and I found myself missing Japan more than ever. The stress of trying to “pull myself up by my own bootstraps” in such an expensive city also made it nearly impossible to focus on what I really wanted to do at the time: Make music. Realizing that both my sanity and my wallet were growing dangerously thin, I decided to use my last remaining frequent flyer miles to take a one-way flight to Tokyo and find work. (Thank goodness I had those miles, because I couldn’t have afforded the flight otherwise.)

After about a month of searching and completely emptying my bank account, I ended up taking a job teaching kindergarten. The school helped me find an apartment, and although it would take a while to get completely back on my feet financially, it was a huge relief knowing I didn’t have to worry anymore. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually loved teaching kindergarten, so I’ve now signed on for a second year.

They say you can tell a lot about a people by looking at their bedrooms. But if you had seen my room back in Honolulu, you wouldn’t have been able to tell much about me. I did have a ukulele sitting in the corner, so maybe you would have guessed I play. Other than that though, there was pretty much nothing in that room expressing who I was. The walls were completely bare, and there were no gizmos or gadgets sitting around. I could have thrown all my belongings into a backpack and flown away at a moment’s notice (which I obviously did). [Read the rest]

As I explained in my last post, I took a break from making music after I got sick (just a cold, but it was enough to keep me from singing) and decided to re-evaluate my ambitious plan of sharing one new original song every week. I knew that I was going to have to allow myself more leeway in my schedule, but I imagined I would be more or less dedicating myself to music again once I recovered from my sickness.

Yet for some reason I wasn’t quite feeling inspired to work on music even after I recovered. I guess the whole incident threw me off so much that I couldn’t get back into the swing of things. So I thought maybe I needed a longer break, and decided to spend some time doing something else just for a change of pace.

Because I’m a weird nerd and this is my idea of “fun” and even “leisure”, I decided to try learning a bit of some random foreign language as I often used to in my free time. I’m not really sure why I picked this particular language, but on a whim I chose to teach myself some German. It had been a while since I was really into languages, so I thought this would just be a fun distraction I would probably get bored with after a couple of days. I thought I would learn a few basic phrases and come away refreshed and ready to work on music again. But things didn’t quite work out that way. [Read the rest]