Wakaramichi can mean crossroads, but thanks to the double meaning of some kanji it can also be likened to 'the road to understanding', with a little imagination. This was the title of my previous blog, on my beloved blogspot address. Alas, web life is not just blogs, and I needed a place to put more than just daily ramblings about life, and I moved to wordpress. I changed the name to the colorful wolf on a suggestion from a friend ,who told me that it means something funny in modern Chinese slang. I still don't know how much of that is true, as nobody else seems to know the meaning, but I'll get to ask her at the end of this month, on my trip to Beijing. As far as blog titles go, I feel that Wakaremichi still fits me better. I haven't quite gotten tired of finding the path of life yet. 

Today is the day I left. Three years ago, I embarked on a crazy adventure to Japan, I country I knew only from anime, to work for a company I had never before heard of, and without any previous work experience worth mentioning. Needless to say it was quite a shock. Japan is the country that activated me. It allowed me to experience life, to see things I never thought I would see, to make friends from impossible places around the world. But most importantly, during my time in this country I experienced the greatest moments of joy, and the worst moments of sadness. I live here. 

Every year new people come. It's hard to believe that I'm now interacting with the fourth group of interns since I arrived here. The first year was too new for me, and I didn't quite fit in yet, but it gave me a chance to experience many new things. I never learned so much as I did in that first year at AK. The second year was my favourite. I became good at my job, and the group of people was amazing. So many people I could get along with so well. When the third generation came I thought I'd gotten used to seeing people come and go, but it didn't stop me from going on crazy trips again and seeing even more of Japan. Especially places that the average tourist would not go to, like abandoned theme parks or monkey hot springs. 

So how about the fourth generation? It has become a routine now, I am sorry to say. As I stay longer in the company I become more and more important, and I get to manage more and more people. The amount of work increases, and so do the stress levels. Part of me wants to hang out with the guys, but for me to take care of my inner stress level I have to be short with them and concentrate on working, and I need to rely on them to work for me, too. Very soon the last two guys from the third generation will leave, and then the fourth year can really get started. There's a lot of great things yet to be done at work, and even more boring things that need to be done. But I'm confident that I will create a chance to learn new things. I'm working on the creation of something beautiful, and I am in complete control. What more could a software engineer want?

At this time three years ago I was at the aiport, getting ready to board the plane. I never thought my life would change this much when I first decided to come here. Every intern that I talk to tells me the same thing: "This year in Japan changed my life. I am a different person now". Now, multiply that feeling by a factor of three and you know how I feel :)

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