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What Now? Part II

You may or may not have heard the news: MY PARENTS ARE COMING TO THAILAND.

Mind. Blown.

I know it may sound totally normal and not weird at all but considering my parents’ past vacation/international travel experiences (of which they have had very few in the last 20-something years) this is a big deal.

My parents
My parents doin stuff without me. Soon to be, “My parents doin stuff WITH me!”

I already emailed them some packing tips and where-we-should-go-when-they’re-here info. I’m really excited. I keep finding myself standing somewhere – in the food court in the mall or on a street corner waiting for a bus – and imagining my parents there with me at that moment. It’s going to be so strange to combine my worlds.

But forget how it will affect meI think Asia is going to rock their respective faces off. I’m not sure because I’ve lived here now for over half a year and have lost all perspective on what is normal/not normal, but I think things are pretty different over here…Right?

What I’m really here to address today, though, is the forthcoming proverbial crossroads I will be facing in approximately 2 months.

I need to decide what to do now.

I’m not re-signing my contract at school, so come March 31st, I will be, yet again, unemployed.

Hmm…All of this feels really familiar. I think I’m right back where I started in May after graduation, except geographically of course. (Same same but different?) I remember I was so excited to graduate and filled with hope looking at all of my choices and “opportunities.” Then as crunch-time came along and I actually had to make a choice, I completely panicked. I lost any semblance of togetherness and direction and motivation and decision-making skills and just kinda sat on it all and waited for a good reason to do something.

That good reason never came, so I just said, “Okay, well I guess I’ll teach in Thailand then.”

Casual convos with The Future. Just before graduation, I was still feeling optimistic.
Casual convos with The Future. “Go teach English in Thailand!” “Okay but why?” “What do you mean, ‘why?’ Why NOT???”

Here I am again, with nothing and the potential to pursue everything. That Vacuous Place.

Teaching has exhausted and disillusioned me. The reality of a full-time job, no matter how much you enjoy what you’re doing there, makes me feel sad and hopeless – and also confused because how the shit did we, humanity, create a system for ourselves so perfectly constructed to make us miserable?? I’m ready to be free. I want my time back for myself.

I’m still not sure what “free” even means. It feels like I’m standing yet again at the precipice of a huge meltdown not unlike the one I struggled through right after graduation. Why oh why does the feeling of having no plans and simultaneously all the opportunities in the world make me feel so awful?? I want to be able to just enjoy the spontaneous backpacker thing for at least a few months, but in doing that, I won’t be making any plans. I WANT to do it that way, without plans. I want to conquer my anxiety about The Future.

Introspective water/clouds/feet picture
Introspective water/clouds/feet picture

Which brings me to:

What Now? Part II: I want to volunteer or work exchange somewhere for a little while. I want to see the north and northeast regions of Thailand and other countries in SE Asia like Cambodia and Vietnam. I want to go to India. I want to live somewhere beautiful for a while. The stars, the sky, the sea, the sand…I want to breathe clean air and watch the sunset. I want to slow it all down because for the past half a year I feel like I’ve been living to work. I just want to live. Not completely without “purpose” (hence the volunteering) just without a full-time job sucking up my precious moments of life.

(Have I transitioned into full-blown hippie yet?)

This time will be my second experience with That Vacuous Place, so to speak; I should be able to arm myself with the mental tools necessary to trade panic for peace.

So, my comrades; my readers; to all the backpackers, travelers, full-time workers: what’s the secret? What now?

5 comments

  1. Anna says:

    I had an absolutely amazing experience volunteering in Georgia. You won’t find pristine beaches or crystal clear waters, and it’s still a developing country so the culture shock can be intense, but it’s one of the most incredible countries I’ve ever been to. If you think you might be interested google Teach and Learn Georgia for details. Good luck!

    • mishvo says:

      Hi Anna! Thanks for the tip. I would LOVE to go to Georgia actually, but I think I’m gonna stay away from teaching English for a little while haha. My friend actually showed me this cool website called workaway and I might use it to work exchange on a Thai island and then maybe in India? Who knows, who knows.

  2. amhow says:

    The secret to working full time is the movie “Groundhog Day”. Have you seen that movie? Also, why do I keep recommending Billy Murray movies to you? I’m not even some huge fan of his.

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