20 days, 20 paths, and 5 realizations

       20 days. It seems like such a small little drop of time. What can happen in that tiny ripple? Some people might profess that life does not move that quickly. Others have mentioned that nothing in life is permanent and things ebb and flow like water. Both beautiful words to be sure. But what do they actually mean? It is a simple answer really.

Your life is your choice.

     Go read that line again. Good. Now read it one more time. Get it really stuck in your mind, chew on it, wring it out until all those wonderful memories that you have tucked away inside come rising to the surface. But do not let them sink back down. Instead I want you to remember that insignificant choice you made that inevitably altered the direction you were going. It can be a simple decision, choosing what kind of car to buy, or a more complex decision, like choosing a career. Those questions are often based in materialistic need in the present, but they can lead to non-materialistic consequences. Asking yourself questions like that lead to the most difficult decisions; ones that do not involve material possessions. The ones that sit in the corners of our hearts and minds, consuming our thoughts and subtly dictating our decisions. Think on it.

Do you accept that high salary and move to a place that denies who you are, working a job that doesn't satisfy you?

Do you make a short term compromise to delay a long term consequence? Afterwards, do you compromise the compromise?

Do you stay in a relationship that is failing in hopes that it can be saved, despite red flags that show otherwise, just to not deal with the emotional pain of ending it?

     But Jesse, you might say, those are not insignificant choices! In saying that you are incorrect. One of the hardest skills to master in life is listening to your own heart. A tiny thought becomes an insignificant choice that leads to a major change. It is the 'Butterfly Effect' on life. The moment of doubt, an inkling of a second guess…that is your heart saying a major change is coming. I will not pursue convincing you that I am correct, you have either experienced this or you have not. Simply allow my words to set the stage for the next few paragraphs.

     So what can happen in 20 days? All of the above. Within that time period, I grew rather tired of the inconsistencies of Thailand's educational system and the managerial aspects involving such organizations. Thus, I began to look elsewhere. In the past week, I have had four different interviews in three different countries. Japan, South Korea and China. All have expressed interest in my experiences as an educator and all have stated that they tell would be willing to hire me as a teacher. It feels good to be in demand, but at the same time..what am I giving up to do these things? How is my life going to change? What do I give up and what do I receive in return? The wonderful Aaron Carpenter said something that rings true:

Everyone thinks they know what is best for you. Only you know what is truly best for you. Open the curtain and let yourself live. 

Oh how those words ring out. Obviously I'm going through a moment in life that is difficult and will significantly impact my life and ideally help me grow as a person. I've given a lot of thought into where I'm heading with life and I've come to five realizations that, while cliche, definitely shine with just as much truth as Aaron's quote up there. Many are from conversations I've had with loved ones in my life.

     OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA paraphrase from a certain man in life that has knocked sense into me more then once, on stage and off. Do not, under any circumstance, go against who you are. Regret is a strong emotion and lying to yourself for the sake of another's happiness is a great way to start down the rocky slopes of a life crisis. Be happy with who you are and embrace the people that embrace you for it.

     DSC_2950     Stop allowing everyone else to tell you what is right for you. As Uncle Grubby said... "Do what you love and the rest will fall into place.". If climbing the waterfall makes you happy and you are the only one who wants to climb the waterfall, then you are the only one climbing the waterfall and the others can just watch. Be happy with you.

     DSC_3264Treat the problem, not the symptoms. Stop being so focused on unhappiness and figure out why you are unhappy in the first place.

DSC_3293Do you know where that road leads? You know, the one that you pass everyday and have yet to go down? Take a drive, take a walk, run, bike, skip, whatever you want. Just go down that road. I did. I found a turtle hatchery that is not on the map, what will you find?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou cannot make someone else happy if you are not happy yourself. If that means going down the river alone for awhile, that is what you have to do. This is true for careers, relationships, school..pretty much anything. That's from my mommy. Yep, I still call her mommy…or momma loch.

Think about it. Rant over.