Tuesday, 23 August 2011

I feel like two-face: a bunch of jumbled thoughts

I'm still in a bit of a whirlwind here. Apologies for those that have been trying to get a hold of me.

I think this adjustment will take longer for me than most. I generally take longer to absorb things, I've noticed. My (sometimes naive) emotional honesty has been guiding me for so long, and I think that my situation here calls for finding a new method: Blending my inclination toward the outright validity of my sentiments with a thicker skin. This is a big lesson that I'm here to learn.

I've been solely following my sentiments for so long. Now, I am finding that it's crucial to develop a balance in my situation here; to be able to control when these sentiments take me over, to watch myself and guide myself through my feelings, not be pulled around by the feelings.

I don't know if I'm fully ready to relay my experience from these past few weeks. It's been tumultuous, exciting, emotional, heart-wrenching, heart-swelling, confusing, and flabbergasting all at the same time. The practice will be to find a common thread between all these things. What is the common undertone in me for each one of these states? Where is my mind? Where are my emotions? And why are they leading me as if I am wearing a workhorse harness, following the lead of my thoughts and ideas?

What comes to mind is the realization that I don't need to be taken away with whatever stream I'm lead to. Finding a way to let go, and not invest my heart so deeply into things... This is so opposite of what I've been doing. I am so used to immersing my heart fearlessly and fully into all things, but this can lead to severe heart break, insurmountable expectations, and vulnerability.

I feel confused as to which is the path that will serve me the most, which is the path towards growth. I have heard (and felt) numerous times that the way to a passionate and fruitful life is to live with depth of feeling, to be unabashed and honest with feeling, to be vulnerable, dive deeply into life, love deeply and hurt deeply, to try and fall (hard), and heal deeply...

(something inside of me says that with large ups come large downs. The key is not to be thrown so high into the air and catapulted high speed back toward the ground with the ups and downs, but to take a step back from them and choose which waves to ride, and when to get off. Conscious propelling. )

With this 'teaching kindergarten for the first time' thing, I feel like it will be next to impossible to keep sanity if I wear my heart on my sleeve like I've been working toward most of my adult life.

Maybe this is the lesson, of growing up, gaining maturity, wisdom...
Living passionately but wisely, so as to minimize the vulnerable underbelly showing, to only show it when it is valid and purposeful, to be able to control my intention with doing it, rather than to spew emotions in every moment of high intensity, to shed the ultra-sensitivity to life.

Is this deadening my sense of feeling?
I am afraid of that, but, deep down, I don't think that's the case. It's probably just a big dose of "It's time to grow up, Lachelle."

I think the key is to balance between acknowledging this deeper, sensitive part of myself, but not getting to lost in that. shed that skin once in a while, and just relax, enjoy, care-less, have fun.

I think back home,  I was on to something with this. I felt like I was on a fruitful path with friends, with my personality development, my spiritual development, social development, and just cutting loose and having a good time, not feeling the need to control things, finding a peace in being pulled by the flow, having the time and emotional capacity to follow my creative passions.

Here, I am endowed with this whole new responsibility of teaching a bunch of 4 year olds how to immerse themselves into a school environment which I have not even immersed myself into yet. The culture in school is totally different here; these kids are spoiled (rightfully so, I am teaching in the richest part of Seoul). We had a birthday party for 2 of the kids on Tuesday and the parents decorated the whole room with elaborate things, balloons, sprinkled with gifts, party favors, everything, 2 huge 3D cakes, and camera flashes, posing their child in a mound of gifts. It was all a big show. I mean, yes, birthday parties are important, but this was just an overwhelming dose of what it is to be teaching here in Korea, I think. They are 4. And they need to be running around with their fingers up their nose and singing songs and peeing themselves right now, not sitting down to learn phonics and complete math booklets.

The good parts of my day, (the times that I believe that I do a great job teaching the kids in a fun way and it is noticeable) I am so exhausted. It's like, the input for about 5 minutes of "awesome ecstasy learning" equates with 8 hours of trial and error,  mental and emotional stamina, bumps and bruises from falling off the wagon countless times, and my voice going hoarse from talking too much.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Actually, there is no doubt that I am. (And what's so wrong with that, Lachelle??? --oh, just the fact that you're half way insane right about now!!)

I often think that I'm not sure if I'm cut out to teach in this situation. These are the thoughts that rise up in my mind. I don't know if I have the skills to transfer the knowledge of how to write and sound out the letters of the alphabet using the means that I have. I am not sure how to make it fun and palatable for 4 year olds. I don't know if I have the patience to work with their short attention spans. I am not sure I have the energy to keep up with them, and to fuel a day full of high intensity learning!

A little part deep down inside me is yelling "You don't need to! They have the energy! You can just channel it!" But... this is where I get stumped and overwhelmed. These little bodies are so precious, but they switched into high gear. The high intensity is both alarming and inspiring at the same time.

Perhaps it's my standard, my idea of what education looks like, which is what's getting in the way.
I still have a lot of thinking to do about this, and about everything.
I feel a bit frozen in my experience; even though the world is going on around me, and it never stops, I feel like I haven't had a chance to chew what has been thrown at me. I come home from each day and buzz out listening to music and laying on the couch. Mentally exhausted, with no desire to even go out or speak with anybody, because I don't even think I can form the words to explain everything I'm feeling all at once.

With this new responsibility and learning curve, I haven't felt like I've had the time or the mental or emotional energy to pursue the things which feed me, that I was able to back home (my documentary project, yoga, art, exploration, etc.)
Is this what growing up is about? To become a selfless servant for a large chunk of the day?
What a skill, to be able to balance a meaningful, exhausting full time position with your own life's passions. I guess this is the challenge of all working class adults.

It's strange, because back at home, I worked 3 part time jobs and was able to find a lot of time between them to pursue the things that I thought were key to my developmental path. Here, I have one full time job, but it is completely foreign territory, literally and figuratively. Granted, it's much more involved and intense than working at a kennel, delivering pizza, and substitute teaching.

Regardless, I feel like if I can't find the time to fill my own well, I'm not sure how I'll be able to survive. I can only hope that within a month, hopefully earlier, that I will feel stable enough in my situation and what I'm doing that I'll be able to find guiltless, free time for these passions of mine.

I am so bent up with the responsibility to do my best job for these kids, that I would give up my own personal endeavors for their cause. Obviously this is not the best path, I know this logically, but I don't know another way, I don't know when to say "enough is enough". As most people probably know by now, I have perfectionistic qualities. I don't like to admit it, but they are there. I have got to shed these somehow, for the life of me! But how? It's not as easy as it sounds. I guess, "practise makes perfect"! ha ha.

Any advice, common relations, observations, or comments would be highly appreciated!

I'm so back and forth about this whole thing.

I know this circumstance has the capacity to change me wholly forever, but I am not sure if I'm mature enough to take it on. Maybe I bit off a bit more than I could chew with this situation. Maybe not.
Leaving the situation is not the answer, and I would regret it in the long run. The thought of going home now doesn't solve the puzzle....

To speculate isn't really useful. It is what it is, I guess, and each day is a new one, to boil it down simply.

One day at a time.

1 comment:

  1. Just remember that it's only a job :)
    The kids will learn naturally. Your only job is to teach them to listen to you, sit in their chairs a little bit, and follow some system. You kind of can't mess them up.
    Save some energy to explore and have fun. How about a hike on Saturday?