When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher. But Mama told me I did not have the patience to be a teacher, so I changed my ambition. I gave a vague answer, “I want to be in the field of arts.”
When I was in elementary school, I looked forward to college; I would take Fine Arts as my course. I used to draw a lot anyway, so maybe that was for me.
When I became a high schooler, I realized how ordinary my drawings were. There were many students who were so much better than me. Still, that didn’t stop me from drawing. I didn’t know how I started, but I made comics when I was in high school. Through that hobby, I realized how limited my drawing skills were. I couldn’t give movement to my characters. Little did I know, that was already honing me for something else.
I only started to read real books (read: non-textbooks) when I was a sophomore. And the change seeped in from there; I figured I wanted to write stories.
I was accepted to the Creative Writing program in the State University. Like a blown-up version of high school, the university opened my eyes to how badly I wrote. During workshops, there were always comments about how bad my English grammar was and how much it was a nuisance to the piece. I was not one to quit, especially since I know my mother paid a lot for my education; and holy cow, this was a school I really wanted to study in! Luckily, I finished the course in four years with little improvement in the basics (English grammar), much humility with a pinch of self-deprecation, and much love for intangible things (language, wisdom, what-ifs).
A month after graduation, carrying the thought that I was shy and timid, I got accepted to an office-based job. The work only entailed communicating with the clients through a comments section. Hence, I thought that was perfect for someone who was trying to build her confidence from scratch. But when the company claimed to be on the rocks, the employees were given the chance to quit. Without much thought, I resigned. Afterward, I became a bum for three months – a bum who gave birth to Paintings and Musings.
Come December of 2013, another job was offered to me. And the next thing I know, I was already a teacher.
Today, January 22, my contract at the Academy ends. Endo in local slang. However, at the back of my mind I told myself I don’t want to leave. I see this job as something I want to do for a really long time. It doesn’t pay much especially because most students are already back in Korea. Still, I want to stay here and wait for them until Summer Break (June) or Winter Break (December).
Dear Manager, may I stay? I don’t think it’s the end of my career as a teacher yet.
It seems weird. I used to think that I don’t have enough patience to be a teacher, yet I want to stay here and wait for something indefinite.
Just recently, Mama told me that sometimes we are given a task that we normally wouldn’t do. That’s when we learn that we can push boundaries. If we endure beyond what we think our limit is, we push our goals further. And right now, working at the Academy for me is not the end yet.