What a difference a year can make

Reflecting back this time last year I was depressed, absolutely miserable and fighting many insecurities, internal conflicts and struggling at work. I hated my supervisor and English co-teacher. She was overworking me and still does to this day and even though she was ‘nice’, she could be cruel. My students don’t like her and I’m not quite sure why. When I wanted to go to my elementary school graduation, she refused because she needed me at junior high school to do 3 normal lessons. It was frustrating and useless as I wasn’t even doing anything important in those lessons. My students were teaching me a game and playing the piano with me and she said they could no longer teach me anymore. She said the other students couldn’t play piano during lunchtime, but we already asked and were granted permission from the music teacher. So in my mind at those times, she was a cruel, jealous and horrible woman. She wasn’t nice or even a good teacher in my thoughts.

Likewise, I hated my 2nd grade students and resented my 1st grade students at Junior high school last year. My 1st grade students were so shy they didn’t want to speak English with me. My 2nd grade students were so mean, they laughed at me, one girl ignored me and turned her back to me when I was talking to her. They were rude. In January, one boy said at lunch during one of my lowest points when I was trying to speak to them that he doesn’t speak English. He hates English and no-one understands. I sat there in silence not daring to speak after that, in such a foul and angry mood wondering what the hell I was doing wasting my time on some useless children who didn’t even want my help nor my teaching. Not that anything would help since their English was beyond despair, since their level was so low and they weren’t even motivated to try. After I finished eating I immediately stood up abruptly and without saying goodbye walked away. I think I shocked them. I almost gave up that day. I almost gave up a few months later after the earthquake.

One year later. 

I am happy. That same boy who told me he didn’t want to speak English began speaking English with me. He taught me a Japanese game and tried to use English to explain. He was patient and kind. That rude attitude and that distrust, suspicion and dislike melted away though I’m not sure when. He still dislikes English, but now he at least tries and has promised to do his best. He’s in 3rd year and has now graduated. I was so sad to see him and the fellow 3rd years go. I fell in love with my students (platonic off course).

I almost gave up on them, but somehow I kept eating lunch with them and I kept speaking English to them. They didn’t like it off course but eventually they opened up, eventually we started to joke and laugh. Those mean 3rd graders became kind and friendly. I don’t know why. The girl who rudely ignored me while I tried to speak to her when she turned her back to me, I was so shocked. six months later she began to thaw. She wouldn’t cover or hide her work anymore, she let me look and check. She didn’t ignore me but would say hi. When I spoke to her, she would try to speak English. She had such a strange personality transplant I wondered what happened. In all these incidents I have no idea why they changed. Maybe they got used to me. It’s hard to replace your predecessor who was so loved by them. It’s hard to fill big shoes, but I managed to change my attitude and they changed theirs. And somehow we improved and they became my favourite classes.They were still naughty sometimes, but more cheeky than bad. They certainly improved a little bit – mainly their speaking and conversational skills.

I don’t hate my teacher anymore. I just accept her, though she still pisses me off from time to time, I no longer care. She is not significant. She is just part of the job and will be leaving in two days.

During graduation, my favourite student when giving me a present told me that he was very glad he met me. He truly had fun in my classes and one day he wants to speak English with me as an adult. Earlier when I met his mother, she told me that he always spoke about me and how kind I was, how he enjoys my classes and wants to do well in English. Truly he was the kind one. He also was enthusiastic about my ideas and games, getting other students involved. He always spoke to me and asked my questions, not letting the conversation die. He always tried even though his level was very low. He always did his best speaking. I was very proud. I managed to inspire one kid out of 44. Only one, but it makes a world of difference to me because I was extremely happy to know I had succeeded with one. He wants to go to America one day. It’s not England but it is abroad at least. It’s not just about Japan. I changed that view.

My 1st years who were very shy have also improved and opened up. They are still quite shy but they are very kind and always have been. They try to speak English and even when I ask questions in Japanese, they reply in English.

I can’t believe the transformations. I have met some wonderful and lovely children. I am so very happy now. I am also sad because my students are leaving and graduating. I am sad because soon I will be leaving and the harsh truth has hit me. I’ll never see them again. But I’ll always love them. I am so so glad I stayed. I am so glad I stuck it out and never gave up because in the end, the benefits reaped were far greater than the losses I’ve experienced here. I am stronger emotionally, internally and as a person. I am more confident.

What a world of difference a year makes. I don’t know what changed and why. I only know that I am now happy.

 

Disappointment leads to anger, then hate and finally conflict. Welcome to the story of my life.

Recently I have been very happy meeting friends, catching up with a guy I met last year, getting job interviews and visiting a friend for the weekend. But we all know that happiness does not last long and sure enough if you look closer the cracks begin to show.

People are like magnets sometimes (mostly guys I refer to!) They seem to repel and run in the opposite direction when you want to get close and then when you give up and try to move on they come back to haunt you. But I am finished and fed up of people using me. I am no ordinary girl- I am not like every other girl out there because we are all different and no one is the same. But also because I am different. I went out with this guy the other week and we spent 8 hours just chatting while the time passed by unnoticed. It was great and the conversation alight with debates and getting to know each other. It felt like a good friendship was being formed. As the week went on I thought of him and the next time I could see him again. I felt pathetic and stupid because here I was laying myself open to get hurt. In the end I did indeed get hurt. But it was a hurt that spread deeper and penetrated the superficial wound of my ego. It hurt me greatly to be stood up yesterday. Yes that is right I had a job interview yesterday and the guy offered to meet up after which delighted me. He lulled me into a false sense of security and little did I know it would be destroyed in seconds by a single thoughtless text. After the shitty interview was over, (and I quite literally mean shitty- no joke) I text him to meet and he replied that “he had a bit of a cold”. Fine but why was I not told this earlier? Why did he wait for me to text him? Why do people play games? Why did he not tell me the day before? So many questions and not one good answer can be made. My day went from shit to even shittier and it was a weird feeling because in the morning I could feel that the day was not going to end well. I just had a feeling in me- something telling me that everything was going wrong and it did all go wrong but I managed to change it after that guy replied. I had enough of moping around and taking crap. I text my friend who text earlier to meet up and asked to meet again and she said yes. (No I did not blow my friend off for a guy because technically me and this guy had this arranged since the weekend.) My beautiful friend came 15 minutes later cheering me up and taking my mind off a crap day. What started out as a disastrous day was averted when my friend came to pick the pieces up. I would have been sulking at home with a tub of ice cream and box of chocolates pitying myself and falling deeper into a sadness.  But that is what true friends do- they are there when things fall apart i.e my life not just professionally but personally too.

But that day was a lesson of many. It made me think and realise what a fool I had become. What is important in life and how much people can disappoint and hurt you. But I too disappoint and hurt others- even my friends. Saying no earlier in the day to my friend made her sad (she told me this and that she was happy when I text) and I inadvertently and unknowingly hurt her. She wanted to spend time with me when others did not. I really need to treasure the friends I have because everyone needs a friend to help them.  Because they are important and they are there no matter what. My point is where people disappoint- strangers even- others can come through for you.

This disappointment has led me to take more precautions to guard and protect my heart and who I let into my life and trust me I guard myself too much already! Don’t think I’ll meet my Prince Charming any time soon. In fact I reckon we’ll never meet except in my dreams. Anyway as I was saying this disappointment has led me to hate- especially on guys. They are so unthoughtful, so cruel sometimes even if they do not mean to be. But hating is not good. I know that but I am angry at the world, at people and most of all at myself which is I suppose what leads to hate.

I am currently reading a very good thought provoking book today The Shack and it makes me think a lot about life and people. I am conflicted because I hate people so much. I hate their actions. I hate what they do- the pain they cause. I hate that I am one of those people who cause pain. I hate my life and I hate living in this virtual world of Facebook and internet. I don’t want to be sucked in and get lost. God knows I am already lost and I am trying so hard to find my way back but I keep walking through the wrong doors. Everytime I think I am close again- I have found God- I have found my sanity back I realise it was just an illusion. I’ve been lulled into a false sense of security when the truth is I am just as lost as I was a few months ago. There are so many people I want to delete on Facebook but feel restrained not to because I will be seeing them again and I don’t want to hurt their feelings. It is nothing personal but I have realised recently that Facebook I believe for me is to have only my true friends- those who care about me. If so many people don’t care about my status why don’t they just delete me?  Life would be easier this way but by not feeling like I can delete them I am limiting myself through fear. But fear I realise is what holds us back from doing things. Why should I care? Why should I worry? Who is living my life? Me or the shadow of me? Clearly my shadow. What am I so afraid? Why am I afraid of life? of the future?

In this book The Shack (a brilliant book I recommend it) Mack is a man having a conversation with God and the injustices, evils and pains of life. In one passage God says “Do you realise that your imagination of the future which is almost always dictated by fear of some kind rarely if ever pictures me there with you?” This is very true for me- I love escaping and day dreaming about my alternate more interesting life. Instead of living I live in these happy fantasies. Why? because I am so unhappy with my life! What life cannot provide for me- a stable living situation I provide in my happy imagination. The imagination is a powerful thing indeed and you could create anything you want. Another passage when Mack asks God why he does that God says “It is your desperate attempt to get some control over something you can’t. It is impossible for you to take power over the future because it isn’t even real, nor will it ever be real. You try and play God imagining the evil that you fear becoming a reality and then you try and make plans and contingencies to avoid what you fear.” So basically I can be God in my imagination and create whatever scenario I want and it makes me happy to have this control over my life which I do not have in reality. It’s a sad realisation but it is a very true one. I will admit I would happily leave this life to maintain and live in my imagination because I believe that anything is better than the world we live in- the cruel harsh world that spits you out and crushes you till you’re stuck in a large fat hole.

Fear is only in our minds but it is taking over all the time. I want to write more about this book but perhaps in another post. Today I guess is a day for discovering more about the real. Why we parade around masking our true intentions- hiding from ourselves and the truth. I hope I can find God soon again because I really need God. I need help and I need to escape this current conflict. I need to sort my life out but it is not as easy as it sounds. No ones life is simple. Everyone’s life is complex. Welcome to Life. More specifically the story of my life.

We are meant to live in the present but that is not where you’ll find me. If you need me I’ll be in my head dreaming of happier times.

The Fear

This post is about things I have been experiencing lately which seem to be hindering me. Mainly it is my past which keeps me shackled in chains desperately trying to escape the painful memories of the past few months. It doesn’t help that facebook is there to remind me of the evidence, the people and the experiences. Fear is however a massive factor in life which prevents us from doing the things we really want to do, i.e try a new experience, get a job in a completely different country, shop in a certain place due to the bad reputation or even the fear of going on a date/meeting with someone because of what may happen. In life we all face many challenges, but I mostly seem to run away from them giving excuses as to why I can’t or don’t want to do something.

The fear of failure so what’s the point in trying because without trying I can guarantee I won’t fail! But that’s a stupid way of thinking and the truth is everyone fails at something at some point in their life. I keep running away from most things in my life because I am scared. I won’t willing walk into a bad neighbourhood unless I have to because I am scared I’ll be attacked or surrounded by a gang. But this is silly because you can be attacked anywhere! I know this but I am still wary. I won’t work abroad because I will know absolutely no one and I will be completely by myself. But I have already conquered this and it did not end so well. I ended up hating the American camp experience. It is different I suppose if you are working abroad with more freedom in a different environment. I won’t find a job because I am scared I’ll be rejected. This is also silly because if you don’t try you will never know what could have been yours! I won’t go on a date because I am scared it will all go wrong. What can I say I am just a very cautious person. I don’t want to get hurt like my friends. Only a date though right so its harmless? Well I have no idea! I’ve been on 1 or 2 dates before and they’ve never really been successful because either we start a debate and I get angry at the guys answers or the guy just doesn’t call me back.

Last night I had a nightmarish dream where I was on a date with this guy I liked whom I met but hardly know. So we are not really friends as we don’t know much about each other but anyway we are at this cafe just talking and then suddenly he stands up and his accent changes- he starts to talk funny in a different accent which surprises me and then he stands up and moves to the side. I start to lose sight of him and so I lean closer round the corner to look at him and he hugs me. Instantly I feel repelled inside. I want to run because I don’t like this closeness and even though I’m attracted to him I am scared and somehow can’t seem to connect with guys any closer than friends. I wake up and I realise that I am far too scared or maybe I am not ready for this kind of thing whatever it is. But I am 21 and I’ve never had a boyfriend. I can go abroad and live alone, I can do so many other things but somehow I can’t seem to get close to people who want to have a relationship with me. Don’t get me wrong I have a lot of close friends- most of whom are girls- though a few guy friends.

I am in love with an idea (as are all girls I believe). The idea of falling in love and meeting Prince Charming. The idea of having a blissful relationship but the truth is there is no such thing as Prince Charming and I shouldn’t expect so much from the guy. I see happy couples and people getting engaged and I want that just like anyone out there. I don’t want to be alone. But somehow I hold back- guys ask me out and I say no. I just can’t seem to get over it. I AM TERRIFIED! I am just scared of what life has to offer. But I shouldn’t be and I have no idea why I am scared. This guy well he’s real and he asked to meet up again now that I am back from America. I don’t know what to do. Obviously I will meet up with him, but I am scared because I don’t know what he wants and normally I make it very clear what I am looking for. Maybe it is because I like him so much I want things to work out but at the same time I don’t know what kind of guy he is- I don’t know if he is a player, if he is looking for something serious or casual or whatever. I know what I want I think. But fear always gets in the way. I can easily jump out of a plane no worries. I can go rock climbing and all that and I can risk my life in some dangerous activity but when it comes to dating and all that I just can’t seem to commit. I just can’t seem to go further and I feel repulsed in a way to be touched by someone I hardly know. I know that one little date hardly gives them permission to touch me, but after a while if we become closer then there is reason to.

There’s just too much that time cannot erase. There is so much that holds us back (well holds me back at least). Some people may not understand because I sure don’t understand myself. But then we are complex being and no one is the same. I hope that I can discover what I want in life and I hope I can get rid of these fears because they all sound stupid! But psychology and life experiences sometimes dictate your feelings which in turn dictate the outcome. Life’s not fair. But I will try, but sometimes you just can’t help the fear.