While attending Japanese language school I stopped publicly journaling my thinking on this medium. Partly I felt that any time spent writing and reading in English was detracting from my language studies, but as time went on, I found it harder to articulate my thoughts, deep thoughts, in English or otherwise.
Writing... and for that matter, deep thinking, seems to be like a muscle; one that unfortunately I have let atrophy with neglect of use. I feel like a ghost, a shell of a person, like a part of myself is missing. I look back at things that I wrote years ago and catch myself thinking, who is this person, what happened to him, where did that nativity and passion go?
It might just be the reverse culture-shock talking, but as I continue to engage with my supporting churches, I am coming face to face with a specter, a version of myself captured in the memories of others that is now incongruent with who I am. It breaks my heart, because I am not the person they think they are meeting, I feel like a counterfeit.
In another way, it is bittersweet, because I really want to meet the man that so many people seem to think that I am. He seems like someone I would really enjoy being around, a much better version of me. Instead when I look in the mirror I am confronted by reality, hypocrisy, failure.
Hopefully while I'm on home assignment until the middle of next year I can rediscover that person again. I can't go back and change decisions I made... those decisions form who I am now, but sometimes we need to go backwards to go forward.