A lot of great questions during our Q&A but the one that stood out for me was a student asking how becoming a journalist affected my life.
I thought about it and told the class that when I first moved to Japan I couldn't speak any Japanese, I was very alienated and isolated at my 'regular' Japanese high school. When I entered Sophia University in Tokyo things did not get better, if anything they got worse. I was surround by 'perfect' bilinguals and developed a severe inferiority complex that really stunted my growth as a Japanese language speaker and as a Japanese citizen. It caused me to severely question my identity and tore apart any self-confidence I had remaining. 'Who am I?' 'Where do I belong?' - the usual late teens and early 20s angst compounding by acute feelings of abandonment and loneliness.