black literature, courage, dream, dreambig, ecuador, esl, esl teaching, expats, expats in Ecuador, female literature, hisashiburi, japan, jet, jet programme, kochi, kochi-ken, literature, nankoku, stixs, teaching abroad, yolo
Last Friday night, I sat with a group of female Ecuadorian college students during ceramics class. One talkative woman was thoroughly impressed with my life — an unmarried woman traveling the world alone.
I have never felt my life–me doing me–was something special. I know I have chosen an unconventional lifestyle, especially for a first generation college graduate who felt the pressure to be the MLK dream. But I just wanted to be happy in life and seeing the world, you know using my Soc degree, was something that I knew would make me happy and it did.
While I was unemployed in L.A. last year, I investigated a career in telehealth. The health guy knew one thing instantly about me — I wasn’t the medical professional type; but, he was kind enough to allow me to help him organize his office for a day to earn some cash. After talking with me, he asked, “What do you really want to do?” He said I was unfocused and asked me this question several times. Finally I said, “I’m not unfocused; I’m realistic. My writing hasn’t been produced/published, and I need a real job/career. I will self-publish on the side.”
Instantly he realized I was quitting on my writing dreams, quitting on myself, so he said, “Maybe you just haven’t found your story to tell.”
It stuck me, his words. So I have been thinking for the past few months, What is the story that I should tell? Is it really not my witty tale of an Ecuadorian searching for God after being molested by a priest? Is it really not the tale of two Korean-American expats playing mind games at night in a red light district of Seoul? Is it not the coming-of-age story of a young man finding courage & wisdom from his grandfather’s ghost? These are some of ideas that I had hope would produce the next great American novel; as for now, they keep me afloat in the sea of life.
But listening to that young Ecuadorian lady say that she wanted to follow in my footsteps, and she even gave me thumbs up on a life well traveled, I thought I am encouraging her to live out her vision for her life simply by living my vision for my life. Thus, maybe my story to tell is my story.
Now, I am embarking on writing about my five-year-break-from life. This topic brought me back to my first blog, Up in the STixs. I love the blog’s description (I forgot how free I felt when I first came abroad):
What do you do when you’re 25, single, and not ready to deal…you move to Nankoku, of course. A year in the life of a JET ALT. ** the stixs – rural/small city areas of japan **
I realized last Friday that my story is a story worthy of telling to help other young females find the courage to follow their inner voices and see the world beyond their parents’ scope. Ojala que escriba la cuenta complete este ano.