If I could spend my time, day in, day out, laying on a secluded beach, inbetween rolling mountains and the ocean, no obligations, no constraints, I wonder how long it would take before I became bored and desired something more.
At the end of one of my final classes for this semester, I was approached by a student and thanked for constantly delivering lessons that were not only informative for him, but more importantly, fun. I still haven’t recovered from being given such powerful praise.
Whilst I’m always fully prepared for any criticism that might come my way, I never quite feel comfortable when receiving compliments.
A friend recently mentioned how proud she was of me for coming through all that I have.
Whilst appreciated, I kind of snubbed the praise because I honestly don’t think that I did make it through. …at least not enough of me what once was, to be recognised as what is today.
The simultaneous arrival of illnesses and grief is always going to affect someones personality, but I think that my personal experience did so much damage that I have been drastically altered mentally. This blog post is only my second attempt at a retrospective, so it probably wont be expressed in the clearest of manners.
I think that what I’m trying to say is instead of displaying strength for ‘fighting through’ things, I chose to close all doors and stubbornly wait to see if things would just fix themselves at the same time faking people out by presenting an image as being someone who is actively trying to battle through.
The person that I have evolved/deveolved into doesnt feel as good as ‘version 1 Justin’, but its a close enough aproximation so that only the most astute friends of mine would recognise the difference.
I had to secretly laugh.
I’ve been wondering why students of my primary classes would always start the lesson by asking if they should use a pen or pencil to write their course work.
It suddenly struck me that when I was 7 years old, I was required to do the same thing by my teachers, and became equally as psyched when given the green light to use a pen.
It was also funny that today I found myself barking at a student named Justin, for sticking his finger in my coffee…just like one of my teachers had barked at me as a child, for doing exactly the same thing to his coffee.
So I’ve got a mental block going on.
Something triggered an ever so brief opening of the gate yesterday, which I managed to close before a reaction occurred, but it really got me worrying about things.
I laughed at myself afterwards, although I’m not entirely sure why. I had escaped a potentially serious mental breakdown.
I can’t recall what it was that triggered it, and have no desire to look for answers at this time.
My concerns about not getting to return to China have finally been brought to an end ..Albeit in the affirmative. I won’t be going back. (Not for the time being anyway.)
After initially deciding to leave the UK in 2014, settling roots elsewhere was never an intention of mine. I wanted to be a rover. To spend a year here, a year there, and attempt to avoid the feeling of becoming too comfortable in one place, through fear of it all getting whipped away from me once it was established that I was at peace.
(Although this still ended up happening.… twice in fact.)
Not a single day of my 4 years in Zhejiang Province, went past without me gaining a new experience of some sort. That’s a pretty amazing thing don’t you think? Every day I was exposed to something new, and I was hungry for that ubiquitous assimilation to continue. That was when I let my guard slip and started to feel too settled, which led to my Chinese adventure being halted. Getting told that I must leave a country which I considered my home and loved dearly, and then being informed that I wasn’t in a position to contest the ruling, was something that I have struggled with properly processing…but I believe that those who really know me will understand the effect that it has had on me.
Forward 6 months, I find myself having signed a 12-month contract to teach in Indonesia, beginning in January.
Am I feeling apprehensive about starting again at a new school in a whole new country? No, I know that I can deliver pertinent, pellucid lessons and am personable enough to make friends with most people I meet. The location really isn’t an issue either. I just don’t feel comfortable in the UK anymore, so it really is a case of having a place, any place, to go to, in order to avoid being here…Temporarily of course.
It odiously creeps its way through nations that previously didn’t acknowledge it, slowly corrupting and disabling existing societal infrastructures with its poisonous little message.
Western countries, however, have no such subtlety with the arrival of Christmas.
The inevitable false starters will begin their nonsense in November. Gordy decorations, 80s Xmas ballads getting played everywhere and whistled by colleagues. (You know the types…Hey, maybe you ARE one of those types.)
This all happens before the official expulsion of shortly lived sentiment begins across the nation in earnest, when the 1st of December rolls around.
Now, If you lose track of your calendar, don’t worry. You’ll know what time of the year it is by the asinine smiles painted on the faces around you, and the apparel getting worn in order to show everybody in the world that they are in the ‘holiday spirit’.
It makes me shudder just writing about it.
There is never any invite to become part of the frivolities. No opportunities to decline participation. (Not without being dubbed one of the many traditional disparaging anti-Xmas names.) All there is is an expectancy to assimilate into the collective thought and behaviour processes that get smashed down everyone’s throat.
Spend, spend…Smile, smile…Be nice, be nice…Why? Because it’s CHRISTMAS! That’s a major bone of contention for me.
I get the commercialism side of this time of year, after all, Its the job of shops and businesses to bleed money from people.
But being nice for the sole reason that its Christmas? Have you ever looked at the message that statement is actually pushing? Of course, you haven’t, because Its no fun to pick apart fun, is it?
Well, I once again publicly decry Xmas in all of its forms. I denounce the whole 2-month saga as being deceptive in intention and incredulous in its derivation.
Now, I’m going to eat half of a mince pie and throw the rest away out of protest.
Sometimes, a silent house can be just as stress inducing as an argumentative one.
I was reminded today of a particular piquant incident from my childhood.
At 3 or 4 years old, a group of adolescent gypsies led me away and poured white paint over my head in an effort to make me less black. (or more white…I’m not quite sure which.)
As abhorrent of a thing to do to a child as that sounds, I consider myself as being lucky that they didn’t also give me a kicking, or bashed my head with crowbars, which was a popular past time in South East London during the mid to late 1970s for children of mixed race parentage.
Sometimes I wonder about what people who know me in real life think when they read some of my blogs.