Naritai Jibun 2: The Deconstruction

By bluemist on March 8th, 2011

Naritai Jibun

Sorry, this is not so much about Madoka Magica, let’s just say that I can relate with the anime depicting a deconstruction of what it takes to be a magical girl in the magical girl genre of anime. In the first article I compared myself to Amu-chan (Shugo Chara), a magical girl with multiple personality issues, as a reflection of my life at that point when I had to decide which path to take in life. And so here I am today, trying to reflect on my decisions from that point in the past, and what the reality looks like at present..

Yes I did resign back then in 2009, and I got new work early 2010 (at the very same office right now, typing this in my work time lol.) Maybe because of the economic recession, or maybe because I didn’t try hard enough, I am in a Japan-unrelated work. All my I LOVE JAPAN PERIOD rants and raves back then, all of it down the drain. There’s completely no relation between my work and my hobbies anymore, and it’s starting to concern me. I’ve just finished my first year in this new job, and already I fill myself with nostalgia about the old one. In social conversations I would frequently refer to my past experiences (mostly the year I worked in Japan), heck sometimes I feel like I’m already boasting about it. Yet here I am, not following through the dream I wanted to reach.

I guess this reflection of my life can be closely depicted in the character of Miki Sayaka in the Madoka Magica anime. She thought about and believed her decision thoroughly. She wanted to be a mahou shoujo to make someone important to her happy. Problem is, reality can be harsh and everything would not be according to what you wished for. In the end, the desperation and loneliness overwhelmed and consumed her. This is where I’m at now. I had a decision I thought was for the best at that time. Now I’m starting to feel the weight of that decision and I wonder if there was something else I should have done.

This is bad. I told myself back then to be “ready and accept it, and someday never look back and regret it.” But I am, after all, an idiot, so the feeling of regret is slowly creeping on me. I could have tried harder, tolerated my impatience of having no work even in the midst of the economic crisis back then. It’s not as if I needed the money. All my parents told me back then was “don’t be a hikki all day at home” when I had a few months of idleness. Afterwards I kinda rushed it, went to multitudes of companies without thinking things through. In hindsight, I wonder now why “Japan” wasn’t in the agenda, or in my considerations at all. I didn’t browse through Japanese companies. I never asked the people I knew back in Japan about job opportunities. I never even talked in interviews about the JLPT4 certification I had in my resume.

Was my plan to gather enough credentials? Right now I’m in a huge, kinda well-respected company. Surely this is a wonderful addition to my resume. Heck, I can even resign now, this very moment, and I think I can still revive the Japanese dream. What’s stopping me? Change-jitters, maybe, as I’ve always been afraid of change. But the biggest reason pulling me back from that dream remains to be my own motivation for the cause. Am I really serious? Working in Japan means studying through the entire language not just as a hobby, but as a necessary skill. I seem to be contradicting myself in wanting my work to be related to my hobbies as I stated a while ago, but I still see learning Japanese as a very difficult thing. Even if I’m having fun with my animu, that doesn’t make me want to go full-moonspeak.

Maybe all it boils down to is one thing: I still don’t know what I want. Welcome back to 2009. Welcome back to Amu-chan, or rather, I’m actually a Madoka who can’t decide to be a mahou shoujo.

I feel so half-hearted about everything. I remain here even though I yearn for something else, yet can’t fully commit to that something else. In the end I can’t commit to any of my decisions, and this is pulling me down. I wonder how long would this charade may last, whether I get burned out of my work or something. In any case, I think I have found a much deeper root of my problems than what I expected to find from my reflection. I guess this is how deconstruction works. With it actually comes the solutions. I could pull off a Mami, the optimal Japanese dream. I just have to gain the mindset that “I can do it”, that I can overcome the language barrier in order to get back to that simple ambition to live (hopefully not alone) in a simple Japanese apartment. Or I could pull off a Homura, the realistic career track. This current company of mine provides that, and all the necessary tools to have me a comfortable life and career. It’s just that I’m still half-hearted about it (thinking about the Mami path), that’s why I’m not seeing much benefit from me being here. If I can let go of that dream, I can be serious about this reality.

So what now? I know my problem, and I even know the solution at the same time. Pulling it off is an entirely different matter. The good thing about this is, I don’t have the pressure that I had back then when I wrote the first article. I have a job, right now, and it’s stable as far as I am concerned. As Sakura Kyouko had implied, only those with no choice should put their lives on the line, anyone else doing it “just because” is screwing around. There will be a time and place for me to fight this battle again. And when that time comes, I’ll think about it more carefully.

Oh look, I just related myself to all the mahou shoujos in the series.


Posted By: Jeremiah Bourque On: May 21, 2011 At: 5:59 pm

Well, that was an interesting read. Totally besides the anime angle, I really sympathize with your plight, and to some degree share it. There’s a lot of things I want to do in life, that I’ve tried to do, and, well, eh, put bluntly, not taking the Homura path hasn’t exactly led me to riches, but it’s an ongoing process. Sometimes all we can do is just keep plugging away. Ganbatte!

Posted By: Anime On: May 28, 2011 At: 3:42 pm

great read….thanks for posting