Once Upon a Tanbo

Plan B

Posted on: September 6, 2008

So I’m back and posting at this ungodly hour since Ryo is back up at his parents this weekend for the city hall interview which apparently went bad…

So it seems that our komuin journey has come to an end. We were planning to have him go for it for one more year, but realistically that’s not really an option at this point. And… after a lot of deliberations, we have come to the agreement that we would like to move back to my home country (America) in the next 4-5 years. Of course that’s a long time from now but at this point that is the plan.

So the next matter of business is making this come about because although I have “devil job” (which I have a huge rant about, but will wait until next time) until the end of next summer as our main form of support which gives Ryohei a year to put himself on the edge to his new career. He’s decided that he would like to go into the world of accounting as that is what his mother does, and he thinks it may be in his genes. As you remember before his parents were not supportive of his komuin venture, but apparently they approve of this one *sigh*

Anyways, as always I’ve done my research. In Japan how you get into this field is, you guessed it more tests. There are 3 levels of “bookkeeping” exams. Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced. (There are testing periods 3 times a year) The elementary one takes about 2 months of study so Ryohei is planning to give it a try in November and then the intermediate one takes anywhere from 3-9 months so he is aiming to pass it at either the 2009 February (doubtful) or June (more likely) testing period.

He should be able to get a so-so entry level position in a mid-size company with the elementary but getting the intermediate will get him at least an extra 3-4 man in his salary just starting. I personally am tired of working full time and we both want to have children reasonably soon, so that extra “allowance” would be nice. So, Ryohei will be looking for his new job in Tokyo. Yes – we will be moving to the Kanto area around this time next year! I’m really excited. Kanto is where most of my friends from university are as well as some good friends from blogging/foreign wives etc. I only have 3-4 good friends here in Kansai so I’m looking forward to having a more viable social life.

Ryohei was dragging his feet in the mud about Tokyo but we realized it’s more practical than any other metro area since its the closest to his house. (About 3 hours by car or 1+ by shinkansen) and then he realized all his Niigata friends live in Kanto now anyways. *sigh* men… Anyways like I said we do plan to move to America but it will probably be around when our first child is getting ready to go to elementary school. Ryohei gets to start learning business english hahahahha. (Not from me since I am horrible teacher)

Anyways – to be honest this plan is more do-able than the komuin one, although that was really idealistic and I do know that was what Ryohei wanted to do, but sometimes things that we want just don’t happen and theres a reason for it. If he had gotten that we never would have had the chance to live in my country for a few years (we plan to return to Japan eventually)

To be honest a lot of things might change, but for now Ryohei getting his qualifications and us preparing for a move to Tokyo next year is in the immediate future. Its funny, I never ever thought that I would want to live it home, or that I would get that chance, but now that I know Ryohei is open to it (on the condition we live near an area with a Japanese import foods store) I feel a lot of pressure off my back.

So hopefully there will be a more relaxed Sarah from now on. And even though I still have about another year of my job, I feel somewhat… excited?

Also I would like to congratulate my dear blog and hopefully soon to be real life friend, Nay on her wedding today. I wish you two a life time of happiness and love.


9 Responses to "Plan B"

Hi! I know I haven’t commented for awhile but I’ve been following your journey through this testing (real and figurative) process over the last few months. And I feel your pain.

When we first moved to Japan our plan was for my husband to get a regular salary job for a couple of years so we could establish a credit rating and buy a house. Once we did that, he could quit and get a job that he liked better if he wanted to. Well, it took three years instead of two years and I thought maybe he might lose himself during that last year. He was so cranky, depressed and unrealistic. It was all I could do to hold it together! The thing is that we had talked about it together and had decided that one more year at the “job from hell” was the best course of action. We did buy our house, we had two more kids and we met all of our minimal financial goals. BUT, he still had a hard time with it. It turns out later (way later) that actually he hadn’t agreed with me at all but he just went along so as not to “make waves”. When I heard that I was really frustrated. If he had just said what he was really feeling we probably could’ve found another way to get all of that stuff done without all of the pain. Even now when we’re making new life plans I check and re-check that he’s seriously “for” the plans. And then when I’m pretty sure that he’s really OK with them, I tell him that he said OK so there can be ABSOLUTELY NO COMPLAINING later. Sometimes this prompts a last-minute confession from him!

Anyways, I say all that to say this: Japanese men compromise easily but he will probably have recurring feelings of failure, disappointment, etc. over the next year and I would encourage you to let him have those feelings (even though it’s frustrating) because he’ll get through it all faster. One of the hard jobs of a wife is to support our husbands even when we think they’re being big babies!

I thought it was great that you guys were able to have those discussions and come to an agreement together. Being able to have that kind of communication will keep you guys together for a long time.

Gambatte ne!

Sara, What Sarah@mommyinjapan said is really good advice. The kind of advice that somebody like me, who is not yet married, can not give.

I know that Ryohei had this dream and I know it must be hard for him now to have had it come to an end but I know that you will get through this together.

When we met earlier in the year, you had always said that you didn`t think you would ever go back to live in America because you didn`t think Ryohei ever had a desire too. I am glad that you have discovered that is what you want and that Ryohei is with you there on it.

So you have decided to stay in your job until next year? I guess in the cirumstances, so that Ryohei can establish himself in accounting, that this would be the best option. I am happy you will be moving to Tokyo area next year as you know how happy I am that we will be closer together!!!

I am really happy that you and Ryohei have a plan of action for the next couple of years and that it was something that you could reach together.

Love you both! And by the way, Nay`s wedding was beautiful! She looked stunning and Naoki did so well with his speech in English & Japanese that even I had tears in my eyes!

If it makes you feel any better, Yohei and I are still trying to figure out our plan B (or C or D or whatever). IT sucks that you have to stay at that job longer and it’ll feel long but when you look back once it’s in the past it’ll feel like nothing at all. I agree with Sara about Japanese men and their agreeing even when they don’t agree. And I’m still the main breadwinner in our family even with our little one here.

I’ve also been reading but haven’t had a chance to comment. It sounds like you guys are on the way to figuring out what you want to do with your futures, which will also change again and again as the years go by. 🙂 I think Ping and I have come up with about a zillion plans A, B, C, D!

I know you are disappointed that you will have to stay in your job for another year, but there IS an end in sight! Keep your eyes on the goal. You’ll make it through!!

First of all – Thanks all for your thoughtful comments. I’m not sure if my replies reflect it but I am very appreciate of all of your personal stories and advice.

Sarah – Thanks for that story about your own plans and especially your husbands reaction to it. I guess I feel slightly worried that Ryohei may be feeling slightly pressured into all this by me but feeling to defeated or frustrated to really say anything back. I made a (rough) next 3-5 year plan which he seemed to like but you never know really… I too feel like he’s putting a bit of a front on of being ok after his exams, but I’m starting to see that maybe things will work out for the best. I’m wondering if this plan now will work out or if we’ll scrap it for something else. One thing that is refreshing is that we were so blinded by the komuin thing that I think we might have ignored a lot of other options. So much food for thought…

Lulu – Yes, I think the crappiest thing about this is that I have to stay at my job. I’m trying to not be so frustrated about it, but I really was looking forward to leaving. Who knows, maybe I just need a vacation or something. I’m kind of happy Ryohei is being more flexable and that we have the option to go back to America now. I mean who knows if we actually will push to shove, but at least we will be getting out of this rut at the moment. I will say one thing, I really hope that he can find a decent job thought because there is nothing that causes more fights between us then him being unemployed. I’m not crazy old fashioned but I do want to be a SAHM or at least WAHM with my translations before my kids go to preschool, but for that to happen he needs to have a decent job… oh well! This year begins today.. or something like that.

Christelle – *sigh* Yah – its nice to know that there are a lot of options out there. To be honest I HATE being the main breadwinner… maybe I wouldn’t if it was something I actually enjoyed. I’m kind of glad that we don’t have kids now as I think that would make things much more difficult! I’m really impressed with how you are pulling everything off!

Kurichan – Thanks!! And congrats on your new house!! That must be so exciting!!! Thinking that far into the future really scares the crap outta me… houses and morgages and stuff…

Hope to meet up with you and N when/if we take our vacation to Fukuoka. We’re thinking of taking the Shinakansen from Shin-Kobe to Hakata once Ryohei has gotten a baito!

I`ve been silently following along as well (here and on FWC) and I`m so glad you have found a way to move forward. The sacrifice`s you make now are surely going to make your marriage (and future) stronger. Best,

Well done for getting a Plan B! Things may change again but you now have something concrete to work towards and to get excited about.

Tigermama – Thanks!! We’re trying to move forward… its just so hard sometimes.

Marianne – Yah! Its exciting… but it seems like things change so quickly and never really go how you plan. Trying not to stress too much…. ahhhhh

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