I think it’s easy to say that we, as humans, enjoy being comfortable. We like knowing where life is going to lead us. We like knowing what we’re going to do tomorrow and the next day. We like knowing that there is a roof above our heads and food in our bellies. We like knowing that the bed we sleep in at night is familiar and, well, comfortable.
We don’t like when we’re out of our so-called comfort zones, even though we’re told it can lead to great things. We don’t like it because it’s difficult and why make something difficult when it could be easy? Why flip your world upside down when you really don’t have to?
Because of the huge motivating question of: “What if?”
What if you have the most memorable experience of your life? What if you find your passion or your purpose in life? What if you find the place of your dreams? What if? What if? What if? It’s going to be hard, but what if it isn’t? You’re not going to like it, but what if you do? You’ll be giving up comfort and security, but what if it doesn’t matter?
Sure, your lack-lustre job allows you to pay for the car that you drive and save for the house you want and gives you enough time in your day to binge-watch the latest Netflix show so you have something to talk about with your coworkers. Those all sound like compromises to me, but you should never compromise on making the best life for yourself.
So how did I end up moving to China to teach Drama and English to children? Never in my lifetime had I thought about teaching children in China, or teaching children in any country for that matter. I have no experience working with children, especially with children who don’t understand a damn thing I’m saying. But here we are, three weeks later. I still have no idea what I’m doing and I suspect I won’t for at least a little while longer.
I always considered myself to be a traveller of sorts but I had only really ever visited different parts of Europe, Canada, and the United States. Asia always felt like a far away land that never really interested me.
So how did this all come to pass? Well, Rose, god bless her heart, applied to this job posting for teachers in China on a whim it felt like to me. For a one year contract I might add. She had a friend from her school days who had done this a couple years ago with the same company and the friend had good things to say about it. Two interviews later and it looked as though she was a lock for the position.
Where does that leave me? Life at the time was simple and easy. I had a good job with benefits, great coworkers and great bosses. I had minimal debt, a fully paid off car that never gave me any trouble and I was living in a condo with Rose downtown in my home city. What more could I ask for? How about some excitement and some discomfort all at once? I could stay behind at my 9-5 or I could apply for one of the positions myself. Sometimes when certain opportunities present themselves, you just have to ride the wave and see what happens. Obviously, I chose the latter and they ended up hiring both of us. They actually prefer hiring friends and couples together so that the culture shock isn’t so bad, but more on that later.
I have my whole life to settle down and look for an easy existence. Right now, is the time to try new and terrifying things and maybe find things out about myself along the way. It also allows me to travel more. Maybe not in the way I had originally planned, but at this stage in life all travel is good travel.
All this hasn’t happened without its fair share of freaking out but I’m happy that I chose the path that I have because it’s sure to make one hell of story when it’s all said and done.
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