People say how lucky I am that I’m living my dream. Teaching abroad is what I’ve always wanted to do, right?
When I was little, I admit I dreamed of becoming a teacher. Then I later dreamed of becoming a secretary, lawyer, chemist, baker, photographer, writer, publisher… I went to college to pursue my dream of becoming a writer; it was the one desire which never waived.
After college, I was burnt out and finding jobs in the field (even publishing) was difficult. I should’ve started in high school or even junior high. I started working a job at a medical implant company. It consumed my focus and energy. By the time I got home I wanted nothing more than to shut my brain off.
It wasn’t until 6 months in that I realized my passion for writing had diminished. There were numerous times I sat with a cup of tea and my laptop in hand. My fingers hovered over the board but not a word came through. My imagination raced with ideas and thoughts, but my rational side knew it was pointless. I was going nowhere…
A year after being with the company, I was at a breaking point and needed change. I took a writing internship and fell back in love only for it to diminish soon after.
I had stopped almost all writing. I tried for the occasional travel blog and even my own blog. You can see those didn’t work out well. I had lost my ‘umph.’
When I got laid off from work, I was devastated but knew it was coming. I was working for three of their companies, and I saw the decline in sales due to owner’s management. I was out of work for several months. I applied continually for jobs, but none of them could offer me pay which would cover living expenses.
Before I was laid off, I was planning on making a drastic change but only needed time. I decided to get my TEFL certification to teach abroad. It wasn’t something I really wanted to do, but it would enable me to travel… maybe inspire my writing again.
The course wasn’t hard, and all I had to do was teach English which is my native language and my area of expertise in college. It wasn’t long before I received my first assignment in Thailand. I took it without hesitation. Well… I hesitated a bit. I was about to drop everything and move half way across the world.
I was ready to teach high school or the advanced kids where I could get into technicalities. That didn’t end up happening. I was stuck with the little kids. If anyone knows me, I have (had) an aversion to kids… I don’t have that innate sense to be a mother. I don’t have the baby fever. I don’t want kids… at least not any time soon. I don’t have the mindset of a child. I don’t even like holding babies.
That all sounds like a recipe for the worst teacher, right?
But the only thing I had on my side was that I knew I loved tutoring kids one on one or even older students. Education is important to me. I’ve always believed strongly in it, but actually teaching? I wasn’t ready.
Despite that, I oddly found a liking to it; especially, when I have some wonderful students. It’s growing on me, and I’m imagining a career in it… not just experience.
Teaching isn’t my dream job. I’m not traveling as much as I wish. I’m not writing the novels I thought I’d be doing. I’m hardly even writing. My mind’s all over the place and none of my work makes sense. It’s sloppy and un-proofed.
I haven’t entirely given up on my dream of becoming a writer, but I have understood that life takes you on different paths. You don’t know where you’ll go, but maybe one day your dream will come true. It might not be the way you planned but it could happen.
So when people tell me I’m lucky for living my dream, I want to laugh and say I’m not, but I reply, “thank you.” I’m not living my dream yet. I’m walking along the path towards my dream. Actually, I’m running and tumbling down it with sticks and mud in my hair. It’s a long fucking path with a shit ton of obstacles. Believe me, I’ve failed more times than I can count. But in all of these failures, I’m finding silver linings that lead me down new opportunities.
If you’re like me and your dreams haven’t come true or to fruition yet, just keep chugging along. Make the most of what you’re doing now and loosely plane for the future. You can’t predict it, but you can make a damn good guess at it. I may not be living my dream, but I’m at least fulfilling some of my goals in seeing the world.