Sunday, June 2, 2013

And one more thing

Oh, and you know what?

Speaking of reaffirming actions, last week I received a large envelope from my senior year high school English teacher. She had had us write essays and letters to our future selves, and now, five years later, has sent them out. I had written the following four "Plan A" predictions for myself:

-Have done study abroad
-Traveled a lot
-Finished at least one more story
-Not married

Well, that's three of four. (I'm still working on that story.) Not bad.

"Not married" was kind of funny.


So I got in.

Here's the thing. My feelings towards this acceptance is a lot more subdued than I had thought or hoped it would be. Lately I've been questioning the path I chose and I was sort of hoping, against what I knew was probably true, that getting this job would fix all that and reaffirm my actions. And reinstate me in the eyes of my peers. Yeah, there's that, too.

I'm well aware of the reputation young English teachers abroad have. It's not a particularly respected position. There are quite a few sub-par teachers out there, only using the position to have fun and travel, delaying "real life" just a little bit more. Of course it depends on where you go and where you teach, but it's not exactly very competitive in general.

To be honest, my primary goal when I applied for this was not to teach either (although I genuinely enjoy teaching and I genuinely love the English language). For me, it was also an easy chance to get abroad and work on my own foreign language skills. The long term goal was to just be there, become fluent, then come back and do some professional work.

It's not as easy as I make it seem, of course, and I worry that this will end up just giving me two blank years in which I'm standing still and all my friends have moved far ahead. Some of them already have. It's a little embarrassing. I also think about how I might never be able to match my parents financially. It's pretty daunting.

I had a short talk with my friend about it, and she understood my concerns. However, she also told me that the path I chose is a decent choice for me based on my background and my goals. I know I shouldn't worry about what others think of me, but I do. It just happens.

If my acceptance had happened at the get go, in the beginning of April, it's possible that much of this self doubt could have been avoided. But it came just two days ago, and I'm not so sure anymore. I'm going to take it--because what else can I do? We'll see. I hope it works out.