This year, I've been getting out a bit more and have been enjoying meeting new people and developing new friendships. This is a huge shift from my previous philosophy of limiting relationships. Crazy philosophy I know, but I was on a mission. I had serious financial and career goals to achieve and I simply didn't want to be involved too much. However, aside for the career goals and long working hours I put in, the foreign community here is quite transient. The foreign female community especially. I rarely meet women who intend to remain here more than three years. Thus, it can become quite discouraging to continue developing friendships, as it's almost inevitable that that person will be leaving within the next year and a half. It takes me that long to develop a true friendship!
Anyway, since I will soon be a mommy- I am in huge self-reflection mode. And as the morning sickness continues to go away and I become more genki, active, and return to a semi-regular routine, I've been attempting to reach out to more people. The conversations I've found most engaging recently are those with expats who are at the cusps of leaving here for good, or are committing themselves here for a longer period of time. I thought I'd take a moment to share my perspective on what I have determined to be the four stages of Japan life for expats.