So, I’ve reached the end of another year. It’s been hard to indulge my annual birthday reflection since the last few weeks have been tyrannically reigned over by ‘n wooden sword yielding schedule of indignant deadlines and how shall I call it, social issues.
Amongst many of these presumptuous events, demanding both my energy and a space on my worry menu was the fact that I was about to quit my job. Do I have another one lined up? No. Do I know what I want to do? Sort of… I guess mostly I just don’t want to do what I’m doing now….and like with most things, I will never change until my life depends on it.
I have never wanted to be a teacher, yet I have been teaching for the past ten years of my life. Those ten years of crucial career building time, I have been teaching. I initially thought that if I tried hard enough I would grow into it and learn to love it and be content, but it never happened. I worked with so many passionate individuals who live to be educators and I always, almost jealously watched them blissfully prepare worksheets and churn out activities. I’ve been told that I am a good teacher. A badge I only wear when expected to. In spite of this, the one thing I can say, is that I have loved my students deeply. I have been known to tear up multiple times when having to say goodbye, or when I watch them go off into life. I guiltily hug them goodbye, wishing they had someone more passionate to help them lay the bricks for their bright and beautiful futures. I even remember, to this day, my first really difficult student. His name was JMJ from Masan City in South Korea. We had so many battles and I never seemed to manage anything with this little boy except to indirectly teach him a perfectly pronounced Afrikaans cuss word I am very ashamed of and wasn’t paid for. To this day I remember his bright and mischievous face, and I remember him with a touch of melancholy and missing. I wonder where he is right now. I also remember having to MC at a ceremony in Korea and not managing a single word in-between sobs after my beloved Ulleungdo students performed on stage. I will always love them from such a special place. They have loved me back even more.
So, where am I heading to? Bittersweetly, I say goodbye to my beautiful babies (although they are predominantly fussy Highschoolers) into the great wet-my-pants unknown. My therapist has given me and unnerving list full of questions that are meant to help me discover myself. Some of them are fun, like filling in one of those glossy mag personality test type questions like: Three places where you feel the most comfortable and what kinds of men would you marry/not marry. It was disappointing (though not surprising) to see that I most liked to be alone in my car, alone in my room and alone on an island and that I had three ready-made types of guys I would not marry while the bullets under the positive are still date-less at the bar. Some were scary and confrontational. Three things/people you are most afraid of and three things you want to do, but never do… and so, I both write one down and strike it out at the same time. Living my dream. Making a change in the world through my creativity, my talents and my abilities…and those are the opportunities I will be looking for. Scary as it is, but who cares. I’m taking a backpack with an extra pair of pants. Welcome to another start, and happy birthday to me.
Here is my Birthday Song for 2013…The year I turned 31. Fort Atlantic Live at the Avon Theatre with No One Will Know.