Reason #87 to Keep Living: Milestones


For the last couple of years, school hasn’t been the easiest for me. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know a little of the story: I began my undergraduate degree at full speed in 2013. I was flying. Great marks, great motivation, and not a lot of worries on the financial side of things. But two and a half years in, my brain had run out of steam, my mental illness had flared up worse than ever, and I was ready to give up formal education altogether.

Then, I discovered Japan. After a two and a half week trip there in the summer of 2016, I was desperate to go back, and this time long term. How could I manage that? Teaching English, of course.

But in order to teach English I needed to finish my degree. Continue reading

The Early Stages of Living and Working in Japan

About a year and a half ago I visited Japan for the first time. It was an out-of-this-world experience (I’m not kidding, at times I felt I had landed on an alien planet), and I vowed to return. I loved the food, the architecture, the language, the outstanding customer service, and, above all, the deeply-rooted tradition.


Here’s me in a yukata (summer kimono) at the Tanabata Festival in Nagoya, 2016

When I vowed to come back to Japan, I knew the easiest way to stay here for an extended period of time would be to work. Of course, the most available employment opportunity was teaching English. I signed up for a TESL certification course, and, in the mean time, completed my undergraduate degree. I soon got a job, did the necessary paperwork, and booked my flights. Continue reading

Reason #47 to Keep Living: Achieving My Goals


Tomorrow I will write the final exam of my undergraduate degree.

Wait, what?

Ahem, yes. Tomorrow I will write the final exam of my undergraduate degree!

If you’ve been following my blog for a little over a year, you might remember my post, Time and Too Many Monsters: Why I am Leaving Formal Education, in which I professed my reasons for dropping nearly all of my classes in the early spring of 2016. For a short synopsis, my decision had both to do with persistent mental health issues and a stagnant, frustratingly dreary existence that went along with university life. Continue reading

Reason #34 to Keep Living: Education


If I have it my way, the next half of this blog-series will become somewhat of a travel blog, documenting my adventures finding work in countries other than Canada. Travel, as you know from past blog posts, is one of the central reasons I stay alive. I find value in it not only from its pleasure, but also from its inherent educational tendencies. Every time I travel, my brain stretches and my heart grows a little bigger.  Continue reading

Time and Too Many Monsters: Why I am Leaving Formal Education

I’m not looking to change your mind, I am simply looking to answer your questions.

Because there will be many of them. When I don’t show up to class and sit quietly in that third row from the back like I’ve done all year, you will ask questions. When I tell you I can’t be a part of that group assignment we’ve already started planning, you will ask questions. When my status changes from “student” to the void of “unemployed”; when my blog “About” page struggles to define what I am without the comfy label of “studying at the University of Western Ontario”; when I no longer complain about class hours and essays with word counts and deadlines, you will ask questions.

Here I intend to provide you with answers.

Let’s begin with a photo. Continue reading