a bit of affirmation

It's amazing how a complete stranger can make you feel so good about your life in a 10 minute conversation. This morning when someone sat down next to me on the bus, I ignored him/her as I usually do and continued studying my Japanese book. The woman who had sat down next to me noticed what I was reading and asked me if I was going to Japan. The conversation started there and we talked about teaching in Japan, the grad program at WWU that she was doing in environmental ed., what it's like to be working at a job and realize that you need to get out and do something else, rather than be at that job for the rest of your life. She told me that I really had my act together, and that it was so great that I knew exactly what I wanted to do with teaching in Japan and possibly TESL certification. Now, I know she doesn't know me at all, she doesn't know that probably more than anything I want to eventually teach college-level creative writing and publish something (anything!), but that I keep trying to convince myself that other jobs would be better because they are easier to attain and promise a more stable salary (and because I'm terrified of grad-school creative writing programs). She doesn't know anything about teaching abroad or about what it's taken me and my husband to get to this point. But her enthusiastic smile encouraging me that she thought it was great that I was doing something brave, something I really wanted to do , and making it happen made me feel better than anything has in a long time.

So, I take back what I said about the girls on the bus. Some of them are OK.


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