A Status Report

As you know I have tried in this blog to be upbeat and to accentuate the positive aspects of this experience. That may be why I haven't written in a while.

My tenure at KidsClub had been difficult from the beginning. There were many reasons for this, some of them my fault, some of them not. Long story short, I have moved on. After a bit of soul-searching I decided to try again in a better school and, putting to use the hard-won lessons I have learned, make a fresh start. After a few stressful weeks I found a new job with a new apartment, both of them much, much better than what I had before. One of my problems with the previous place was that they required so much administrative work that there was little time to do anything else. In my new job I go to work, teach, and go home. It is wonderful. I have signed on for another year and it is my intention to come home for a week around Thanksgiving.

I bought an ugly, second-hand scooter to get to work. I teach in two locations now so having my own transportation will make getting around much easier. I am wearing my helmet.

Spring has been something to witness here. The cherry blossoms exploded in early April and then the greenery. It is still cool but the hot, wet summer is just around the corner. From my apartment here on the eleventh floor I can see the mountains to the north and west. Through the rain they look like they are wearing an old, dusty green work-coat, dark green and darker yet in the creases. The rotary is lit up with neon advertising Thai massage and love-motels. I have made new friends in my new neighborhood and found new favorite haunts and eateries. This neighborhood never rests. I have engineered a combination of sleep sounds to drown everything out: crickets for the squeaking roof ventilators, ocean for the booming trucks, rain for the unmuffled delivery scooters, a creek for the rest. It works sometimes.

It is an overused truism that what does not kill you makes you stronger. Facing homelessness and unemployment a world away from home would cause a more stable person than I to have panic attacks, and I passed some uneasy nights in the last month. It was very gratifying, however, to be able to hold it together, take inventory of my assets, and find myself of value not only to others but to myself. That may seem like an overly dramatic recounting, but, believe me, there were moments when I had to reassure myself that I was not a complete failure and that I had something to offer. And I know it must have been this way because of how I feel now: nearly weightless. Where there had been a dread and hopelessness there is now anticipation and light. It takes a long, hard night to make one appreciate the warmth of a good sunrise.