One of the many perks of living in Japan is the closeness to other Asian countries and the possibility to travel them.
For our week off from school this February, a colleague and I decided to go ‘someplace warm’ to escape the bleakness and the common cold. Only about 5 hours flight time away, yet 20 degrees warmer, the Philippines seemed like a good idea.
And a good idea it was! The warm breeze, the palm trees and the crystal clear water made my anxiety about work and my health issues seem far, far, far away.
I could breathe. I stopped coughing. I also stopped worrying about deadlines, parent-teacher conferences and all the pressure I let people put on me every day. I slept more. I ate healthier. I read an ENTIRE BOOK. I never wanted to leave and go back to the stressful life where everyone pulls at me until I break (again).
I once read that you should ‘create a life you don’t need a holiday from’. Loving this holiday and the fact that I was far away from the life I created in Japan – does that mean I failed?
But maybe it also means that I’m simply not done learning, changing, adapting. Adapting to ’Life on the other side of the world’, in a profession that results in burn out more often than any other job.
Maybe I need to cut myself some slack. Maybe I just need more time, better strategies and most of all: The ability to just not give a damn.
I’ll try (again). Maybe one day, I’ll be a tad closer to every day teaching life being paradise.
And if not, I can still pursue a career in pottery.
(Under a palm tree, of course.)