From early in our relationship, she decided to keep our relationship off of her blog. Part of it was for privacy reasons - she didn't want everyone to know everything about her. That part I understood. But there was also this element of it either not being professional or it not being quite proper in some way to share those private but important parts of her life on such public media. That part always bothered me, but I eventually learned to accept it. Recently she decided that Facebook also needed to be similarly self-moderated, and our relationship status was hidden. That kind of hurt, but I didn't put up much of a fight...I knew she was going to do what she felt was best. Last night as we talked about it, she said that she saw my point of view and changed her mind. And she wrote about us.
Although I've mentioned Yoshie before, I don't write here a whole lot about my personal life. Writing and publishing a blog post right after a breakup is probably some kind of faux pas akin to writing and sending an angry letter or email immediately after a perceived transgression. But honestly I'm not holding up as well as I had hoped, and this is one of the few tools I have at the moment for trying to achieve some kind of catharsis. I trust most of you have been where I am sitting right now, so you'll forgive me for using the blog for this once. If not, well...you don't have to keep reading.
Yoshie and I started dating a little over two years ago. From the start our chances of making it work were against us; she was a musician struggling to earn some degree of success and for various reasons wasn't really looking for a relationship. I was working on JET on a per-year basis and knew that I would most likely go back to the States within the couple of years. On top of that, she lived in a different prefecture, about 3 hours away by shinkansen. But I really liked her, and despite remembering the difficulty of my previous long distance relationship and having sworn them off, I found myself telling her that I would do it again to be with her. She took some time to think about it, and I visited her in Saga once to spend some time getting to know each other better, and about a month later she asked me to be her boyfriend. I'll never forget that date because she included with her request a note that although it was April Fool's day, this was definitely not a trick.
We had our share of tough times, as is to be expected of any relationship. But one thing I love about her is that she is always striving to be better. A better person, a better pianist, and at the time a better girlfriend. In our relationship, we had few real fights. There were times when one of us would get upset or angry, and the majority of the time the other person would listen and we would have a dialogue. I remember being pleasantly surprised by how understanding she was and how she would try to adjust to make me happier. It took me a long time to accept and feel comfortable with the fact that she played piano at a gentlemen's club. I don't think I ever really liked it, though I was happy sometimes that the hobnobbing with big shots opened doors for her. She knew how I felt, though, and went from keeping her work and private lives separate to letting people at her work (coworkers and customers) know that she had a boyfriend. She stopped going out anywhere alone with customers because I didn't want them to think it was a date. And when she made changes like that in consideration of my feelings and insecurities, she did so and moved on and never complained about it.
Near the end, the past few weeks and months, things have been more tense. She has been striving to find a direction for her life, and though she doesn't know with certainty what she wants to do yet, she knows that she doesn't want to be in Saga forever. She knows that she wants to improve her musical skills and fulfill her potential as best as she feels she can. And she knows that although she thinks she will want marriage and children with someone she loves in the future, there is still a lot that she wants to do before that. I saw the direction things were going and how most of her time and energy has been going to her work, leaving little time for us...and it's something that I knew I couldn't handle for an indefinite period of time. I understand her need to do what she's been doing. If I had as much talent at something as she does with the piano, I'd want to see it through as far as I could. But the fact is that my focus and aim for the future right now are on wanting to build a family. I think I need to ultimately be with someone who is of the same mind on that, though I'm further from that goal now than I was only a couple days ago...
Last night she told me that it was ok to cry. I replied that I was probably mostly ok because I had kind of seen this coming and had been able to prepare myself. I guess I was wrong...the pain and sense of loss are here in force, but they just didn't come until things were finally ended. Thinking back on happy times, knowing that I'll probably never see her face again or brush her cheek. Breaking up is tough, especially when you still love each other.
I told her that if she wants any of the pictures from Facebook of her performing, she should probably take them soon. Kind of funny...the pictures in my room I can take down and put in a box, but then there's also the chore of "de-relationshiping" myself on Facebook. She told me that she doesn't think she will throw away or delete any of her pictures of us. I know at least for the physical photos it will probably take me a while before I can get to that point. Until then I'll box up the most important part of my life for the past two years, and away that will go...out of sight, out of mind is the hope.
We agreed to minimize contact with each other from here on out. I'm going to write her a letter and she will write a reply. We agreed that if any big events or difficult trials come along that it will be ok to contact each other. Maybe someday we'll be friends. She told me that one of her goals is still to make it to the U.S., hopefully at least for a short study abroad. If and when that happens, she told me, she hopes she can see me and my mother and sister, and my friends Ben and Chikako again, as friends. She told me that maybe one day in the future if she moves to America and she and I are single, maybe we'll meet again. I told her maybe. It's a nice dream at the moment, while we're both freshly torn up about this. But I hope she can move on and find happiness, be it in her career or in another relationship, or both.
As she was talking about keeping in touch, I started to tell her that it was probably best if we didn't, and she stopped me. She said that she knew that but just didn't want to think that we wouldn't see each other again, that she wouldn't hear my voice. That she didn't want to say goodbye. I said ok. Then I said goodnight.
I know it's no use wishing things were different. Neither of us was at fault. If not for the long distance; if one of us were willing to move immediately to the others' country; if one of us were willing to ease up or slow down on our goals, or if we had some kind of definite timeframe...but there were just too many things working against us, and the odds won out. It's not always about love, because we had that. But ultimately I think this is the right decision for both of us.
Once I get through this pit, I hope I can be happy thinking about this. I am so grateful to have spent two years with such a wonderful person. I learned a lot from her, about life, about relationships, about myself. And I desperately hope she finds her happiness.