How I Got Here

How I Got Here


In November, 98 the elections were over and I had to find a new job. This took awhile, mostly because I didn’t really know what I wanted. The whole political season took alot out of me.  I later said I lost half my soul but I think it was really just my self confidence and direction. After I worked a couple of temp jobs I tried to join the army, something I had wanted to do for a while but because of a childhood illness I was still on medication for I was turned down.  Then I tried to get into UA’s Master of Business Administration program, but didn’t get that either.  By this time I had finally found a full time job at a bank, though it wasn’t really what I wanted to do anymore.

At this point making money, which had once been my goal, ceased to be important.  Something inside me just clicked and I realized what a little thing it was.  Most of all, I realized the business world just wasn’t me.  I thought I could make myself fit into it but I just wasn’t happy there.  The following month I recived several invitations to apply to other schools but I threw most away without even reading them. Finally, after much prayer and meditation I decided I was best suited for teaching.  I would go back for my masters and PhD in History.  But first there’s something else I have to do.  My life has mostly been confided to the space between Vina and Tuscaloosa, AL.   I’ve decided to find a teaching position in China.  While I have always tried to educate myself through books and film there’s alot you can’t learn without living it personally. And also, growing up in America, let’s face it, were all pretty fat.  I don’t just mean body fat, our minds get fat too. We’re content to sit and have our minds indulged by anything we can.  I’ve been thinking latlely that the only real way to step out of our own little personal universes into the real world is to experience something so far out of our comfort zone that our minds are pulled out of the natural and we gain a new, more objective perspective on the world and our place in it.  I refer to this as an extreme experience.  There are different ways I’ve know of people to experience this.  War is the first that comes to mind.  Look at how much the WW2 generation accomplished after surviving the Great Depression, then the war.

Often it is a sort of turning point.  People may become broken by it, or their character is forever changed for the better.  Maybe this is why so many are afraid to step outside there little worlds, the fear that they won’t make it.  I know that life in China is difficult, more so for foreigners, but I’m going to give it a try.  The experience is worth more than the trouble.

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