Recently I watched an interesting Youtube video that was about the advice an older person would give to their 20 something self. He compared this life stage as akin to running a series of experiments to answer 3 questions rather then trying to get the most prestige or money. Those 3 questions are:
1. Who I am
2. What matters to me
3. What am I good at or capable of being good at.
Below is my response to these 3 questions through the lense of being a TEFL teacher.
Who I am?
Toughest of the 3 questions. As I’ve previously talked about, in the 2 or so months I’ve decided to stick it out, I’m a free spirit that has a difficult time conforming to all but the most basic laws. I feel limited, depressed and frustrated by a rigidly organized organization. I feel powerless under the Thai school system, and its led me to conclude that personal ventures via entrepreneurship or other vessels are more suited for my temperament. This means other vessels are more suited for my temperament. This means a long, hard, lonely road ahead, and I’m willing to accept that.
What Matters to Me?
People are ultimately what matter to me. Before I came to Thailand, I had already said that life was about people not “stuff” as everything we know of is derived from people. That has been further reinforced as a schoolteacher. As I’ve become more familiar with these kids, I’ve become more concerned about their well-being, especially with a flu that is afflicting so many of them. And I am feeling protective over many of them. Even as a schoolteacher when I’ve had to be an @sshole at times, it hasn’t taken the “nice guy” out of me, I’ve just adapted and learned how to switch it off. Nor do I want this world to beat the kindness out of me, that would mean admitting defeat.
As a side note, I suppose part of that protectiveness is because of repressed aggression from my adolescence that I still struggle to control at times.
What am I good at/or capable of being good at?
Last May I wasn’t sure what I was good at and right now I still have much to learn about my capabilities. I have fairly decently homed my ability to speak in front of others though. If I’m given a topic to share knowledge with in front of others, no problem. I’m also not afraid of trying new things as I’ve previously talked about, most recently with a whistle.
With enough time and effort, I can become good at anything. Time and effort, I can become good at anything. Time is finite though, so the question becomes: What skills do I need to become good at to acquire the life I want to live.
Life Updates: I’m glad I stuck it out in the teaching gig, its taught me I’m not a good employee, but I’m sick of everything. Teaching it feels like I’m on my last legs, Muay Thai as well. I’m just running through the motions with that now. I’ve been working on the rear teep and blocking elbows but I’m still counting down the training sessions till my membership expires.
Kingston S. Lim
February 4, 2020