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.

 

Advertisements

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.

What if? If only life offered a total do-over!

Ever had the inclination to totally redo your life. To take different paths- do things differently. It’s a bit worrying that I have these sentiments at such a young age. It’s also a bit worrying that I am having a mid life crisis and I am not even 45! I’m 21, I’ve finished University just come back from my travels and just a little bit lost! Okay well not a little A LOT! I have no idea in which direction my life is going, no idea where to go and what to do. You could say my life is at a crossroads- do I get off my lazy butt and start trying to looks for jobs and apply or do I continue my lazy life waiting till something hits me over the head and draw me into some amazing new life with a great job and exciting opportunities.

Thinking about it now I had some uber cool opportunities at uni- the choice to do loads of work experience (while I did some there were perks to being a student!), the choice to study abroad- that’s a real disappointment! I would have liked to have done that but then I wouldn’t have discovered rock climbing and met so many cool people through the club- I wouldn’t have been appointed Treasurer of the club and I would have not had the opportunities I had at that time. Alternatively I could have been lying on a beach in Malta or trying to converse in French in Belgium!

Though the “what ifs” stretch a lot farther to school days- what if I had been more prepared and organised the two week work experience to France, what if I actually followed my interests and did what I wanted to do! What do I even actually want to do? I don’t know! I didn’t know then and I don’t know now! I am still as lost as I was four years ago when I decided what course I would be doing! What if I chose different universities, what if I could have done better? So many what ifs, so many thoughts of what my life could have been like. I would be a different person perhaps I am not sure- I’m quite stubborn and not very susceptible to change as a person though I do crave change in life.

I like it when I go somewhere different. I like travelling to different places as well as to the same countries- thats great too but I prefer discovering new things. I like trying different kinds of food. I think I would like change in a job- trying different companies or even trying my hand at different types of jobs. Because the truth is I don’t think I would be satisfied in just one job. I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with life- because I crave change and I am sure it is pretty much the same for a lot of people out there. The world is no longer the same place where people would stay in their jobs for 10 or 20 years. Well that’s what I’ve read, so I am just going on what’s being said.

If I could I would take the chance to have a do-over! A repeat of my life it would be so good! But then again thinking about it logically completely redoing things in the past sounds a little boring because let’s face it I have past that point in life. I’ve past the point where I want to go back to studying in school- past the point of just doing work. I don’t think I am past the point of wanting to be a kid because being a child was amazing! I could do what I want- there was this kind of innocence- no responsibilities, no care in the world! Just fun and games, but then again I kind of like some responsibilities. I am a kid at heart and I had a wonderful childhood! I was in no hurry to grow up fast like a lot of kids do nowadays. Today, children are much more mature, much more aware. When I was a child I was not very aware of things- I was carefree and happy! I would love to go back to that innocence! The good old days, but then again my life is at that point where I am at the crossroads.

I’m stuck in limbo not really doing anything, not making a choice, not really living because I am just so bored! Is it possible to be bored with life so soon? Or perhaps I am just bored of the now- I need constant energy and drive to keep myself busy. To stop me from thinking because let’s be honest thinking is a dangerous thing. It can frustrate you and make you nit pick about everything! I think that’s just it! I’ve been thinking too much and it’s time to get busy again. Carry on with life but you can’t just pick up where you left off 4 months ago. Why? because everything is different now and I hate that. I hate the memories that torture me, I hate the life I’ve become where I wake up try to find a job, or go out to visit a friend and then go to bed late. I hate the person who I discovered I really am over my travels. I hate me and that is just not a good thing to discover. Meeting with my friends makes me realise how I never get a word in- I just listen- I don’t talk. But that’s ok I like it when others talk non-stop because it fills the silence. I can’t talk for Britain that’s for sure. But then it makes me think I don’t like who I am anymore.

Everyone is moving on with their life. They are moving forward, getting jobs, going back to university, learning, training, travelling and there is me falling behind unsure what to do. Unsure of myself and my life but craving something to give me that burst of confidence. I just need that hope. That is the problem when people you love die, they leave behind a whole series of unpredictable events which can affect you in the most subtle ways possible. Living in a house with negative and sad energy can definitely affect your mood and the shadow of their life left behind leaves you wanting to run and make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes and you don’t feel half as lonely as they did. It’s a race against time to escape my thoughts, my fears and just jump! Like I did out the plane when I went skydiving- one of the best experiences of my life.

Well it’s time for a change! It’s time to make that choice now. Time to make the plunge and hope not to hit nothingness. A total do over is out of the question- no such thing! I can’t let myself keep regretting. It’s time to act, so must go try now! Wish me luck!

Learning to drive

So today I had my driving test (first time) and I failed! 😦 I was sad but I didn’t cry, I knew I failed! I won’t go into details because to be honest it is pretty depressing. No one likes to fail, but sometimes in life it happens. Not every can always be a winner, despite some people claiming never to lose (I don’t believe it- its all lies!) They say that good drivers pass second time round, but I have to admit it was a blow to my ego! Learning to drive is actually a very difficult task! I love driving, though people seem to forget that they once were a learner driver. They were in my shoes, and although it may have been easier years ago because you didn’t have to do independent driving and remember all these questions and just generally do more. But everyone whether it was years ago or recently was a learner once in there life! I learn to drive in London which is tricky because it is ALWAYS busy! Never is there a boring moment- whether it is a child/pedestrian running across the road, a crazy driver trying to squeeze through a tight space or take your right of way or even one who overtakes you when you stop at a zebra crossing. Driving is full of chaos, challenges and sometimes problems. But life too is full of twists and turns! Though some people I swear have death wishes!! They just cross expecting a car to stop. I am not blaming pedestrians only! Car drivers too must be weary, but it is not always their fault! Some drivers too have death wishes in which a collision may occur anytime with the amount of speeding I’ve seen as a pedestrian! They zoom past thinking they look cool. No you look like a crazy idiot!!! SLOW DOWN!

Anyway I kind of wish I could redo this day. If I could I would go back in time and correct my mistakes! I would do things differently and perhaps life would turn out differently. How much of a change would it have made to my future? Well for one thing I wouldn’t have to splash out of an extra £200 on lessons, hiring instructors car and redoing the test (£62) wow everything is expensive nowadays! But since when did driving become less of a skill? The government are increasing prices for people to take tests, to encourage them to take public transport, but driving is a skill. And frankly the public transport in London is pretty crap! I’m sorry but how many times have I heard “The train is cancelled due to a signal failure.” Or “I am sorry the train is cancelled/delayed due to a broken down train at ……station.” How does one broken down train affect all journeys???? I don’t care how- I want it fixed asap so I can travel and get to where I want! “We are sorry for the delay to your journey” yes clearly- that is the most annoying because you know its not true and the monotonous voice it is delivered in really makes you want to hit someone. Not only that its repetitiveness really grates on me because they really aren’t sorry and they’re not in my shoes, I have places to be. But really? Come on you can’t keep up these problems for the Olympics! If this was Japan, they would have apologised profusely if the train was delayed by 1 or 2 minutes!

Anyway I detoured! Back to the topic, learning to drive people don’t realise that it is difficult, so if you are one of those drivers who are in a rush and like to overtake a learner driver, that’s fine (as long as it is done safely) but don’t come right up my car’s bottom because my instructor sure won’t appreciate that and she’ll only make me go slower to piss you off! 😉 hehe I have a funny instructor! She does not take any crap! Pretty funny but people can be rude- I am learner yes give me time- I make mistakes I am not perfect. But everyone makes mistakes even non-learner drivers. I am learning and like little children I fall down. Don’t crush me so I can’t pick myself up- be considerate and patient. I know we all live busy lives, but one or two minutes won’t kill you. Most adults don’t bully children who are learning so don’t bully learner drivers! It is hard and I try to be optimistic, but I know that it won’t be a while till I take my driving test again as I am going exploring for some time and I won’t be back so soon. I just hope I don’t forget and lose the progress that I’ve made in the past couple of weeks. Maybe it was for the best- I’ll never know (Though no one thinks it is for the best!) Who knows what the future holds! (I sure hope I don’t have to take it more than 2 times!) It is very scary, nerve-wracking and tough! Everyone before was saying how ohh 40 minutes is not that long at all! It is fine and goes quickly. Well today I added an extra 10 minutes because I stupidly went the wrong way so I ended up doing 2 extra roundabouts and my exam lasted more than 1 hour!  I was wondering why on earth it felt soo long! I hope next time will go better! I just wish everything was not so expensive and I really wished I was one of the lucky people who passed first time! My examiner was very nice too, such a shame and a waste I made one bad decision! That’s all it takes one bad decision and it could cost you a life, a big F or destruction. (Don’t worry I did not kill/injure anyone!) I just failed!

Anyway just wanted to share my sad news. No not blaming anyone for my failure- that was all my fault. But I am asking people to please please be more considerate to learners, because it is tough! And you were in my shoes once!!!