Dear Japan,

Thank you for granting me a working visa last week – it looks like I’m here for another year. As of next Wednesday I’ll have been living Japan for 18 months (where did that time go?) and while my Japanese is still terribly poor, I’ve changed a lot. I’ve learnt how to deal with cultural differences, and learnt the importance of time management. I’ve gained more confidence and independence through teaching and meeting new people. I’ve made wonderful friends from all around the world, I like food I wouldn’t have touched a year ago and according to my family back home, my Australian accent has somehow changed or faded. Is that even possible?

But most importantly I’ve gained a new perspective on life. 3 years ago I was striving to become a professional ballet dancer. 2 years ago it was no longer an option. 1 year ago I was struggling with homesickness and culture shock, missing ballet horribly, and working in a job I had no interest in doing. Back in the present I’m still searching for what I want to do but I’m no longer living in a state of self-pity or in the suffocating bubble known as the “ballet world”. Although I still crave ballet the way an ex-smoker craves a cigarette I can honestly say I’m happier now than I ever was 3 years ago. For that, Japan, I’m extremely grateful. 

I don’t know if I’ve made the right choice to extend my stay or if all I’m doing is just avoiding the difficult question “what do I want to do with my life?” But for now, if you don’t mind Japan, I want to continue living here and pretending to love my job, while exploring and enjoying life. 

Yours truly,


Because I’m happy…




4 Responses to “Perspective”
  1. Tim says:

    At age 21 you go right ahead and hang out in Japan, or anywhere for that matter. Life will come full force soon enough and demand answers to your questions. I was in the exact same boat years ago, that boat is holding up well, and traveled for a long time before coming to a decision about work and home. Everyones is different so do what it right for you. Just remember Australia and that life will always be there…at least while you’re in your 20’s. Travel the road, enjoy the road traveled. Tim

  2. You’re happy, isn’t that what matters? Live life on your terms not on the expectations of others. MM 😃

  3. Trust your instincts Alyce. It sounds as if your journey is providing answers.

  4. Give Japan a chance. Your present job as your bread and butter but explore the possibilities of becomming a professional ballerina in Japan.

    I am from Yokohama too. :)


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