Normally I blog about changing my plans as my interests wax and wane. This time, I want to expand upon my plans.
I've been blogging almost entirely lately about learning Japanese. I also talked about joining the JET Program as a CIR. This is being moved to a backup plan. My new goal is to get to Japan as soon as possible, preferably in April when the new school year starts there.
The reason I didn't even contemplate this before is simple: my brother is graduating high school this year and my sister next year. We've always been close and I have always tried to be there for them. I have only missed one birthday, ever, and it still bugs me. I've made it a point to go to as many cousin's graduations as possible, and REALLY did not want to miss my siblings'.
But then I got to thinking. No matter when/where I go, I will begin to miss events in their lives. If/When I get married, I'll start to miss things. Yes, high school graduation is a major milestone to adulthood here in the US. That's why I asked them their thoughts yesterday. My brother is all for it, as long as I send him something from Japan. My sister has more reservations, which is understandable, but gave me her blessings as well. I know I don't need them, but feel better for it.
It's not going to be easy. I have a lot of work ahead of me. I need to become qualified for the job and need to prepare myself to live in Japan. Becoming qualified is more complicated due to my age; they usually want younger people, typically in their early to mid twenties. Being in my early thirties, I'm a slightly less attractive candidate. I need to be very qualified to get this job.
So what exactly am I doing? I'm starting an online TEFL certification in October, after work quiets down. I'm ramping up my Japanese studies. I'm going to practice drawing, as that is an extremely useful skill. I'm also going to take Vocal I in the winter.
In the end, I'm banking on being better qualified than the rest of the candidates as well as the fact that, as of this past April, elementary schools are now required to teach English. Everything I do to get ready will be geared toward that.
This is just the first (large) step toward an even further goal: opening my own English language school in Japan. But more on that later.