I'm in an odd situation—my life is about as good as I could expect, outside of work. It may be a bit inconvenient to get into the city from my apartment, but it is still near the city; the compensation is being near the Arakawa with its bike path. An initial chill of depression and cold feet has cleared up, and now I love just walking around the city when I get a chance. My apartment is excellent, I really like my room, and my roommate is better than I could ask for: funny, intelligent, and willing to do his share of the housework. I see us getting along well, no matter what happens. I don't think I've felt this comfortable straight off the bat with a roommate since college.

But this job scares me. I have never been so out of my element. I can't use the one skill I came here for, my Japanese, but instead must fight 31 years of self-consciousness and reserve, a general feeling of inadequacy, and difficulty getting a good night's rest, to try to do something I didn't really want to do in the first place. Honestly, I'm pretty excited about some of the classes I'll be doing, of interacting with the students who are engaged and interested—despite my reserve, I love learning about people and interacting with them. But kids. Kids, now. I just can't see myself jumping up and down and getting them to follow along. I'll say it again: I've never felt so out of my element. I'm not convinced two weeks of training can change a man. Or rather, I'm quite sure that, short of a miracle, it can't. I hate feeling guilty that I am not the person that can make that shift, but I do. As if something is wrong with me.

Well, the point of this was more to count my blessings than harp on my fears; I guess I also want to list my fears so that if I ever overcome them I'll have a record. But I don't think I've ever been so well placed, as I've said, and I am very thankful for that.