Am I Making a Mistake? What Life Wants You to Know

Howdy Folks,

I’ve been on a hiatus, but now I’m back to share some of the happenings in my life. Hopefully, this post can encourage you in your own journey in this confusing as hell thing called life.

Image courtesy of Stuart Mills at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Mills at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I thought the middle of 2015 would be much more successful, but it’s actually been a struggle. I’ve been trying to add more accomplishments to my repertoire this year, but I’ve only been racking up failures. Nevertheless I’m thankful for the failures because they’ve taught me some important lessons that I plan to apply for the rest of this year and beyond.

First, I tried buying a house with my parents, and it ended up pretty badly because we made first-time buyer mistakes and had the worst lenders on the planet. We lost the house, lost a ton of money, and I almost lost my mind. I’ve been trying to block out those three horrible months, and I think I’m succeeding. At least that’s one thing going right.

Image courtesy of Stuart Mills at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Mills at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Second, I tried getting a full-time job in Atlanta, the place where I thought I would be living, but I’ve only gone deaf from the silence of these potential employers. I switched my job-hunting to Boston, but I got only crickets too. I have undergraduate and graduate degrees from Tufts University and Columbia, great references, and amazing cover letters. However, because I decided to go to Korea to teach English right after graduate school, I found myself teaching English for the past two years because I enjoyed it and, also, couldn’t find work in anything else. When I tried making the switch to getting jobs tied closely to my graduate degree, I got no invites for interviews because my resume lacked the experience.

Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net / I’m one of those X’s 😦

So, warning to those out there hoping to teach English abroad: make sure you have great connections to get a job in something different when you’re done and don’t spend too much time teaching English if your heart not’s really into it.

Thankfully, I don’t mind teaching English, but of course I don’t want to spend the rest of my life doing it. I want to make a living as a writer: write books, articles, and personal essays. Teaching English is just a fun way to pay the bills before I make it big as a writer or whatever that means. But I’ll know it when it happens.

Despite all of this, I’m currently enrolled in a Master’s program in Law and Public Policy. Why? Well, when I failed to get into a PhD program, I thought getting a second Master’s would be my way there. Don’t ever do this, by the way.

I also wasn’t doing anything spectacular with my life, and my father still clung to his dream of me becoming a badass lawyer. As a result, I made the BIG mistake of getting into this program. I got A’s, but I was incredibly unhappy and uninterested in the subjects my classes covered. Notice I’m speaking in the past tense here because I plan to drop out. I’ve never done this before and it sorta scares the hell out of me.

Now, I’m back where I started: lost, adrift, confused, miserable, and unfulfilled. The realization hit me that if I didn’t do something drastic, I would give up on life, not kill myself per say, but be a walking zombie who just did what was expected of her because it was easy and required no confrontation and risks.

Now, I’m not one to be concerned about the stars, but I’m an Aries and my claws came out at the thought of having my life controlled by the expectations and dreams of others.

I needed to do something crazy, something to shake me out of the three-year funk. Look, I tried. I really did. I tried being a normal functioning member of American society, but I failed. Others might say I gave up to early. All I know for sure is that I’m sick of forcing my self to be a person I’m not.

So, what did I do?

I applied for a teaching job in Aichi, Japan.

Toyokawa Inari Temple
Toyokawa Inari Temple

The specific town, Toyokawa-shi, where I’ll be living is about three hours south of Tokyo and possesses castles and gorgeous flora. I got the job because my teaching credentials were hard to beat. Competition didn’t have a chance.

The job is a perfect fit for me because I’ll be working 4pm-9pm, which gives me plenty of time to work on my writing in the mornings. I’ve already lived abroad before so I know what to expect and what not to expect.

Look, I’m not going to Japan to solve my problems or to run away from them. I’m going to Japan because I want to experience something completely new every single day. My soul needs wonder to shock it out of its sleep and slow decline toward death. Furthermore, I have no romantic partner nor children, so I have no responsibilities there. My parents are young and thankfully healthy and don’t really need me around.

At 28, I’m free so you bet I’m taking this opportunity.

However, it’s not all sunshine and unicorns. My parents will be furious when I tell them. My family will talk. People will think whatever they need to think about my decision and will most likely believe that I’m making a big mistake, committing career suicide. I know.

But I don’t want to be a lawyer, a policymaker, or office worker. I want to do two things: teach and write. In another country. And travel. I want to explore new places and write about my adventures. I want to meet new people and listen to their stories. I want to inspire other people to take the chance to travel when it’s given to them. I want to live a life that’s under my control.

I’m tired of trying to be someone I’m not just to satisfy other people, especially my parents, family, colleagues, and society. I want to be true to myself no matter the risks, no matter the number of shaking heads, no matter the disapproval.

Am I making a mistake? Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not. At the end, I’ll live with my decision. But one thing for sure, the ride definitely won’t be boring.

How about you? Have you ever taken a decision that you thought was a mistake, but went through with it anyway? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Stay Amazing,

Sammy

4 thoughts on “Am I Making a Mistake? What Life Wants You to Know”

  1. As I once told you, I thoroughly enjoy reading about your journey through this maze called life. I empathize with you all to well because I have an electrical engineering degree but also am a full time musician. I recently had to make a decision to go on tour with an artist in Europe or not. I would have to hope my day job would give me the month off, quit my day job or decline this opportunity.

    I was given new insight on the old proverb from the Bible “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” I asked for the insight of the friends, colleagues and yes, my parents. This taught me two things. There will be varying degrees of answers which remind you that these people are speaking their truth a.k.a giving you their opinion. The second thing I learned was asking a lot of people helps to place all outcomes in front of you so you can choose your risk.

    I was made aware of all my risks which included not having a job to go back to, upsetting my co-workers, losing out on money since the tour would pay me less etc. The risk I was not willing to take was missing out on having the time of my life in another country playing music for thousands of people and being back stage with artist I looked up to from childhood. One month and some change later I can tell you that it all worked out and I am glad I partnered my mind with my heart.

    Jeffandy “AllTogether” St.Hubert

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    1. Just wanted to reply here as well, Jeff! 🙂

      It’s really wise of you to ask many people about very big decisions you’re going to make. As you said, it gives a better idea of all the risks you’re about to take and helps you better assess whether they’re worth it or not.

      I also think it’s great you asked your parents for advice as well. Shows great humility and let’s me believe you trust your parents to hear you out. I don’t usually ask my father for advice cause he’s already made it clear what he expects from me so anything I ask/tell him will follow the same old script which I can’t do. This has made me impulsive in some ways. Seeking wild opportunities without asking advice. I’m a bit stubborn in that regard. Maybe I’ll write about this next time, lol.

      And I’m so glad you went on that tour because it’s like the equivalent of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! I’m sure you’re full of joy about following your heart and maybe found yourself more in that tour around Europe! I look forward to the day I can see you perform in a venue outside of church.

      Cheers,
      Sammy

      Like

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