You may or may not have heard the news: MY PARENTS ARE COMING TO THAILAND.
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.
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 me – I 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.”
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.
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?