Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Should I stay or should I go?

Should I stay in Japan for another year or go back to Vancouver in August? I can’t decide.

I had originally planned to stay for just one year and then go back to my life in Canada. But then my supervisor dropped by my apartment with a new contract and begged me to stay in Japan for another year.

I don’t know what to do. I’m so torn. I love living in Japan and could easily spend more time here. Another year would deepen my experience and give me more time to travel. But I miss my friends and family back in Canada. Another year away from them would be really hard.

And then there’s the whole issue of my job to consider. I’m technically on a one-year leave of absence from the David Suzuki Foundation. If I come back in August, I’ll simply pick up where I left off. Easy. If I stay in Japan another year, I might have to give up my job at the Foundation and face the unemployment line when I get back. Not so easy.

Am I crazy for even thinking about giving up the security of my job back home? Will I be able to find another job after having been out of the country working in a completely unrelated field for the past two years? Is the chance to stay in Japan a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I shouldn’t let pass me by? Or is it career suicide?

I figure I have enough money saved up to survive without a paycheque for about five months. But after that, I’ll have to move in with my parents. Which means I’ll never get a boyfriend because who wants to date an unemployed loser who lives in her parents’ basement. And then I’ll probably fall into a deep depression and get drunk every night to numb the pain. And then my parents will kick me out. And then I’ll be unemployed, single, depressed and homeless all because I decided to stay in Japan an extra year.

Argh! I hate making decisions. Especially ones that could radically alter the course of my entire life.

I tried making a list of pros and cons (see below, click to enlarge) but that didn’t help at all.

So should I stay in Japan for another year or go back to Vancouver in August? I don’t know what to do.

If anyone has any advice, please, please, please post a comment below. I have to give my supervisor a final decision by February 2nd. Help!

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