Just over a year ago I was coming home from Boston. Yes, Boston in late winter. Not the best time to visit, but for a city I love, I’d do anything, especially when that anything meant a job interview.
I had interviewed for a position with JET—teaching English in Japan. It doesn’t come up much on the Internet anymore, but I was a Japanese major in college and have loved the language and culture since before I can remember. As a Japanese major, the number one question I always got was “So, you’re going into international relations or going to teach in Japan, right?” It was an idea I had toyed around with, but never committed to. Between pending graduation and the pressure of trying to find a “real” job, a tanking economy and shifting mindset, and a college relationship, I panicked and abandoned the hobbies and passions that made me me.
For a few years I floated through—I got a masters degree in education, a field for which I really never had a passion; I got a well-paying job as a
mercenary substitute teacher, though it lacked stability and benefits; and I…existed. Nothing I’ve done in the past few years even registers as a blip on my life’s radar.
And then little things began to sprout.
I don’t know what caused it. I didn’t wake up one morning, throw back the sheets, and proclaim to the open window, “Aha! It’s a new day and a new me!” But little green leaves began to poke through, daring to turn into something more. What that something was, is, it’s tough to say.
I started going out with a trusted friend. We went to exciting restaurants, met people at bars, had conversations. We were daring, but not too daring. I enrolled in a front-end development course, going back to something I had always loved (even though the days of hand-coding tables in HTML are long gone). I went to Boston—alone. And for some reason that’s the single comforting and pivotal moment I can pinpoint.
For someone who always is planning. calculating what the next steps are—”Where will I be in a year? Five years?”—Boston made me confront (it always seems to be Boston where these revelations happen, oddly enough) my expectations. Sitting in a jazz club eating sushi in Cambridge I realized I don’t give a damn. Enough with meticulously plotting and hoping that stars align. A destination in mind is different than a to-the-minute itinerary and it’s about damn time I learned to be a little more flexible.
The answers still aren’t all here. I don’t expect them to be, which is perhaps the biggest difference. I’m still working out where I want to go, but every time I talk about it, the future becomes a little more exciting (not necessarily more clear.) So here’s what I know:
- I want to work in tech. Coding and building things is something that gives me unabashed joy and a sense of accomplishment. I am building an editing business to help put myself through classes to be a front-end developer. It’s not where I’d like it to be just yet, but you can see the site I built for my business here: http://www.redinkediting.co.
- Language is my passion, it always has been. From the days of getting booted out of Spanish class bonus games for being the perpetual winner, I’ had a knack for foreign languages, grammar, and nuance. With so much happening with voice technologies these days, I’ve never felt like the words and languages I love have been so important and monumental.
- I still talk about teaching in the present tense and don’t quite know how to talk about who I am, what I do, and what I care about.It can be part of my story, but it can’t be my present identity. My resume needs a revamp, and I’d like to have a better writing portfolio than this blog that’s becoming increasingly outdated.
- Writing is something I enjoy, but I don’t consider myself a writer. I certainly don’t want to “create content”. I’d like to still blog, but I miss having genuine conversations like the blog-world used to be (I still love reading Freckled Italian for this very reason.) My Life as a Teacup and I need to have a serious sit-down here soon.
So, that’s life. It’s a lot to swallow and just writing it out helps me organize my thoughts more than anything. It’s crazy to think about so much change in such a short period of time. Boston always seems to be the culprit…