As someone has been pointing out, this blog has seemed a little moribund of late. So, I've made a decision. I'm hanging up my boots; I'm throwing in the towel; I'm handing over my badge and gun. After 127 posts and almost three years, it's time to call it a hi (day).
There are a number of reasons. For one thing, in my new line of work I'm going to have a lot less time to kill. Also, I'm now surrounded by internet-savvy English speakers, so inevitably I'd be that bit more conscious of what I say. But mainly, I just feel that I don't have to much to write about anymore.
I think the reason finlayinjapan worked (if I may be so immodest as to presume that it did indeed "work") is that it was a fish-out-of-water story: it charted all of my experiences as I adjusted to a new culture. But now, I think I am more-or-less completely adjusted. The novelty has worn off. That's not to say I've become disillusioned or jaded; I still love living in Japan. It's just that hopping on a shink to Osaka or tucking into some pufferfish sashimi no longer fills me with the same breathless excitement, and urge to recount the experience to the folks back home, as it once did.
I think my change of occupation was perhaps the final nail in the coffin. I never felt entirely at home as an ALT, and the scrapes I got into provided some good blogging material. It was also something that my readers could relate to, since everyone was at school once. Now that I'm once again securely barricaded inside the ivory tower of academia, I imagine that I'll be having fewer experiences that would be interesting to a general audience.
If anyone reading this is distraught at the prospect of a Finlay-shaped hole in their internet, never fear. My Flickr photostream will remain active, and I've also started to have a presence on Google+ over the last few months. So far, it seems a lot less objectionable than Facebook. So, sign up if you haven't (and let's face it, you probably haven't) and add me to your circles! (Disclaimer: If Google+ does take off in a big way, I might just delete my account like the massive e-hipster snob I am.) Finally, finlayinjapan will say online indefinitely, and I may even post once in a while - at the very least, I want to do a third installment of the Annual Countdown. But you should probably consider the blog in a state of semi-retirement.
Inevitably a goodbye post like this has a bit of a melancholy tone, but I must stress that things are going extremely well in my life. I literally can't think of another job I'd rather being doing. I've found love. And, I'm going to see Lady Gaga in Tokyo next weekend. As I approach my 30th birthday, the future's so bright I gotta wear shades.
Nothing lasts forever, and the chapter of my life that this blog chronicled is now over. But what a chapter it was. My mum commented that coming to Japan on JET was the best decision I ever made, and I'm inclined to agree with her. The last three years have been unforgettable, and incredibly good for me. Thank you for sharing that journey.