No. This is not an Anne Bradstreet-esque poem.

Is this real life?

I was in Victoria’s Secret when I found out I would be living in Shizuoka Prefecture in 72 days– 71 days from today. I was surrounded by over-priced underwear, over-priced lip gloss, and two screaming children. It didn’t seem real.

First of all, I have never bought anything from Victoria’s Secret. I don’t have that kind of money. But, I heard Japan’s bras are decorated like small parade floats and finding my size would be comparable to finding the fountain of youth– not like I can find my size in America anywhere but Victoria’s Secret anyway. But hey, I can find something simple here– even if it is Victoria’s Secret.

I was in Victoria’s Secret to get ready for Japan. I’ve been talking about Japan for seven years now. The JET program I have been talking about for four. The key words here are “talking about”. I’m still “talking about” it. I guess it’s slightly more real since I have been paying for things, filling out forms, graduating college– you know, things that should make me feel like I really do only have a little more than two months left in America.

I have been obsessively opening my emails to check for JET. Every time it’s for that Twitter account I forgot the password to in high school, or for this real-estate update I asked for as a sixteen-year-old ( I had no intention of buying a house- I just liked looking at houses), or a Target Ad (literally everyday Target… Every. Day.).

I don’t know what it was, but I felt like it would only be fitting for me to open this life-changing email in a Victoria’s Secret. Why? Because it’s intimate (no, not like that…) Going to another country for my first year of life away from home or a student apartment or a dorm is… how do I put this?…. I have no idea how to “adult” (Yes. “Adult” is a verb now.). Ask me to take over a classroom full of hormone-infected sixteen-year-olds? Okay. Ask me to buy my own phone, apartment, or pay a bill? I have no idea what I’m doing in English…. let alone Japanese. I was lucky to only need to buy my gas, food, and random miscellaneous expenses in college.

So, I was surrounded by these intimate things– and I felt like this email (or my reaction to this email) was something personal– something I’m going to hide from the two girls returning something in line in front of me, something I’ll cover as I walk through the whole mall back to my car, and something I will shield from a lot of people, I suppose. Victoria gets me. She has secrets. But, hey… maybe it’s time for me to walk around in my emotional underwear. I’m a Victoria’s Secret model inside– and here are the intimate details.

  1. I am going to live in Shizuoka Prefecture. I am not sure what town yet.
  2. Shizuoka is famous for hot springs, tea farms, and a mind-blowing view of Mt. Fuji. (Shizuoka City is less than two hours from Mt. Fuji.)
  3. I am definitely panicking about my Certificate of Health. (I have to have a full physical, Tuberculosis test, possible travel vaccinations, and scariest of all… I need to somehow make sure all of my medical history gets to the clinic and get the information for my June 2nd appointment into the JET office by June 5th. Fingers crossed.)
  4. One time in Japanese class, we went to a Japanese restaurant where we needed to order in… (You guessed it!) Japanese. I was so nervous, I forgot all of the Japanese I ever learned. (Hopefully this was just because I was sixteen).
  5. I haven’t studied Japanese in three-and-a-half years and I am rusty!
  6. I am worried about what my life will be like when I get back from Japan (but maybe I’m getting ahead of myself…. I am getting ahead of myself.)
  7. I am still trying to figure out what I am really, truly passionate about in life and what kind of career will fulfill that passion.
  8. I am slightly horrified that I will fall in love with Japan and actually want to stay there longer than a year or two.
  9. I worry about the friends and family I am leaving behind.
  10. I worry a lot in general.

This was my first gig as a model. How did I do?