on top of that is... i've been dreaming of going to japan practically every day of my life since i was SEVEN. that's almost 20 years. it sort of feels like once i go there i'll have died. like the rest of my life was just a long, bad dream being the prelude to my actual life. not just that i'll have "died" but that in japan i'll also be a "real adult": doing all the stuff adults do (going to concerts? hanging out with friends/coworkers? i can even visit a gay bar or go hang out with old ladies if i want to etc). it feels like my self-reservation and stuff like that will fall away. i'm pretty sure this is just one of many weird symptoms of depression; going to japan shouldn't make me think i'll be a completely different person once i get there, you know? it's not even my first time living in a foreign country.
BUT, japanese IS already "freeing" me. every day i'm talking to normal, non-depressed even, japanese people; something i don't (apparently) do in english or swedish. i really watch what i say ("this is just my opinion but..."), say please and thank you (stuff i really don't say in english/swedish...), and it's just natural. it's not fake. i've started reading the news, i read amateur short stories, manga, doujinshi, listen to music and occasionally the radio. i don't follow the news in any other language. i don't listen to the radio (by my own free will) in swedish. i've already found TONS of similarities between my life and these japanese guys' lives (ex. how their parents treat them, what they do when they're just sitting at home, even their holidays). it's not everything of course, but ex. O Bon is literally just the 4th of July except O Bon has the pretext of your dead relatives coming to visit. you have a fire/barbeque in your backyard, you have fireworks and relatives over, you probably go to a neighbourhood/community party = exactly the same. or, simply just the fact that we've seen the same anime and played the same videogames can go really far. and they, even if they actually hate japan, really like it when YOU like japan and have a real interest in what they're doing etc. so to someone like me who genuinely loves almost everything about japan, everyone's really friendly and nice.
i don't know how i'll feel once i actually get there, or what will happen to me during the exchange. seriously every time i think about it it's like "but i'll be dead then, i can't know the afterlife". but i just feel like... i just have to get there. i honestly feel like my luck with japan has been so good so far, i could probably get a job in like one week as soon as i start looking. (my plan is to start looking in september/december, after i've gotten used to the place... but if an opportunity comes knocking i won't turn it down!)