Before I work today, I have a post I need to make. I’m making this post because I need to make it. The only real choice I have, really, is whether I post it privately, or publicly, and for now I chose publicly.
Japan hurts, and I don’t know why.
When I first started learning Japanese, I did so because I felt a strong attraction to the language, country, and people. I don’t have this feeling about any other country. There are countries I absolutely loathe (Russia, North Korea), countries I mildly dislike (Nigeria), countries I am indifferent to (most of them, but France is an example), and countries I have slight good feelings towards (Canada, Australia, South Korea). But Japan is the only country I actively, actually, love.
And this is entirely irrational. I have no good reason for it. I mean, Japan has a lot of good things going for it, and a lot of bad things, and there’s no reason for such an intensity of feeling, but there it is.
It is even more complicated by the fact that I know how irrational it is. I know that if I were to go to Japan it would probably fade, just like when you have a crush on someone and you fall in love with them, and the crush fades as you realize that they’re not who you expected. Maybe it’s replaced with something different and even better, but it’s not the same. Right now I just kind of pine from afar, and wonder if I’ll ever get to tell them how I feel.
It’s not any particular aspect of their culture, either. I love anime, but I’m not unhealthy about it. I love their food, but honestly, I can’t even eat most of it for health reasons. It’s not their pop culture, I like it but it’s not amazing, it’s absolutely not their work culture.
I truly have no idea what it is. But there’s just something about it, something undefinable, something that I don’t even know myself, that I love about them.
It’s likely something about them resonating with something about me and causing all of this, and I don’t know what or why.
It’s probably not realistic. I won’t go so far as to say it’s unhealthy – “crushes” like this are a part of life, it’s always about what you do with them – but it certainly has its fair share of annoyance. Why don’t I like even my own country as much, or even in a similar way? Don’t get me wrong, I like my country, but… it’s not Japan.
And that’s wholly irrational.
And it’s worse, because I know…. I know… the Japanese people… not as individuals, and not as a group… will never love me back.