Archive for the 'Working in Tokyo' Category

Vita Nova

June 7, 2006

Last Wednesday, on May 31st, I spammed friends old and new about my move from Kichijoji to Meguro. And now, a week later, I’m happily ensconced in my new home — plus a new job, plus possibly a new last name by the end of the summer.

When it rains, it pours. My life is changing two, three times over. This is how it all happened:

May 31st: Seems there’s no end to packing.

June 2nd: 8 AM: I receive an e-mail from my boss announcing a meeting that afternoon. 1 PM: As I enter my boss’s office, I am told to close the door behind me. My boss’s boss is also there. First thought: Am I getting sacked? No, I was only getting promoted. 2 PM: The meeting is over, and I am left with a choice — to stay where I am, or to move onto to a managerial position at a different (further) location. My head is in a whirl. 4 PM: With the work day over, I dash out the door. I have to find a way to settle my thoughts before I have to sit down tonight to pack again. 5 PM: I get my hair lopped off into a short bob, just on a whim. 8 PM: At home, in the presence of rather apprehensive parents, I announce my new job offer. They are ecstatic, and give me copious advice. He thinks it’s a good idea too. The packing drags on until the sky turns a drippy lavender.

June 3rd: The move took all but 4 hours total. The movers were vigorous, efficient, and impatient. As their vans pulled away, my Vita Nova quietly slipped in.

June 5th: I decide, after much deliberation, to accept my new job offer. I cannot quite stomach the change. The internal word gets out, and I am greeted both by well wishes and hostility.

June 6th: The official words gets out, and people are coming up to me left and right to congratulate me. I sound vain, and I do have more than a fair share of vaingloriness in me so I bask in this newfound attention. My boss interviews and hires a successor with record speed. Suddenly, my work feels deconstructionistic: instead of working toward a future goal, I am breaking down my work and packing it up into little parts and parcels, all to be handed over to the next person in charge.

June 7th: My successor shadows me all day. I worry that she is judgemental of my work, but in truth she isn’t. I imagine my workplace after I leave — thriving, efficient, and amicable — and I get a little jealous.

I might change my name at the end of this summer. My Vita Nova seems to be devouring my old life alive. Mixed in with happy anticipation is a fair bit of fear, but I’m a lover of risks. In “The Goonies,” as Chunk fumbles through a forest alone at night in search of his friends, he blurts out, “I love the dark. I love the dark. But I hate nature. I HATE nature!” I love nature, with its unexpected tosses and turns. I just hate being in the dark.