If you had told me a year ago that I’d be teaching preschool in Thailand, I would have fell on the floor laughing and told you that you were crazy. Heck, if you had mentioned it a few months ago, I would have had the same response. But here I am, living in Bangkok and teaching preschool.
I was chatting this afternoon with my friend Melissa, who works at the same school and has joined the SOL challenge this year, and we were laughing about my day and my super adorable kiddos, when she posed the question, “Would you have ever thought that you’d be here doing this one year ago?” Smiling, I told her there’s no way that thought would have ever entered my mind, but somehow, I know this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. Life is funny that way, isn’t it? You think you’re supposed to do one thing, but there’s a whole other plan out there that you aren’t even aware of, and it turns out, their plan is perfect for you. It’s just what you need. Well, it was just what I needed anyway.
Being in Thailand, at this moment in my life, is so unbelievably, serendipitously perfect. Living in my new-found simplicity (more on that in a later post), surrounded by some pretty amazing people, has allowed me space to heal. Something I thought would take forever to happen has begun so quickly. The layers of hurt and fear and junk that I’ve piled on over the last year and a half have begun to slough off, leaving me feeling lighter, more like me. Things still creep up on me, reminding me of the past and bringing me back to those old feelings, but those incidents are far less frequent than they used to be.
Other than my good friend Lauren, who I knew before I came to Bangkok and who has been my biggest support here, everyone else I’ve met is new. Despite my newness, I have developed fast friendships with a few people, and I couldn’t imagine my time here without them. They encourage me, support me in times of doubt, and spend lots of time with me, chatting about life and exploring this incredible city. I already know I’ll shed more than a few tears when I leave.
And then, there’s the whole teaching preschool thing! Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would be teaching preschool. The fact that I am, and even more, the fact that I’m enjoying it, is huge! I always looked at early childhood teachers with a mix of wonder, respect, and confusion. I mean, who in their right mind chooses to work with little (and I mean little) kids all day! Well, having taken advantage of being in the right place at the right time and accepting this position, I can honestly say I get it. I know why they do it. Three- to four-year-olds are so full of life! They are unapologetically themselves. They say what they think, they question, they explore, and they do what feels good. What a way to live!
I’m savoring this season in my life, taking each day as it comes, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else unfolds on this new adventure I’m on…it’s sure to be a wild ride!
Thanks for sharing your story. I am so happy for you! You are living the experience of a lifetime.
Thank you! I was hesitant at first about sharing, but I love this forum…it allows me to be open and share what’s on my heart and mind. 🙂
Life takes twists and turns and you just have to go with it. Joyful is how you sound in this wondrous place and with those small people. You are the most resilient person I know.
Thank you for your uplifting words Elsie! I appreciate your encouragement and kindness. 🙂
Your joy is infectious! Good for you for celebrating the serendipity and for taking on all those little kids!! 😉
Thanks Anne! I’m in a good place. 🙂
You are an inspiration to me and will always be!!!
Thanks sweet Callie!! You are, too! Miss you loads. Thanks for stopping by!
“Being right where i am supposed to be” -is a wonderful place to be. The fact that you couldn’t even dream of this makes it even more special.
It certainly is!! 🙂
Yeah for new things! I love your words: “I’m savoring this season in my life, taking each day as it comes, and I’m looking forward… ” A mantra for life! Happy to see you on Day 2.
Thanks for stopping by Alice! 🙂 Happy to be here today.
Friend, Your story really touched my heart and in many ways it reminds me of me. Why do we struggle doing the right thing as it should never be difficult in the first place. Let’s make a promise to always do the right thing for others but, foremost, for ourselves. Your life in Thailand didn’t just happen…it was supposed to happen because you made it come to life. Relish every moment and celebrate even the bumps and loop-de-loops. Love, William
Awwww William…I’m so glad you stopped by! I love your spirit and kindness. Thanks for the encouragement along the way. I’ll continue to celebrate life, and you do the same. Hope to see you again one day!
Take care, sweet friend!
I spent several years in Europe and Asia during my former life in the military, and the people were by far the best part of the experience. Enjoy your time overseas–it will help form who you are for the rest of your life, and your students (as well as family) will be better for it!
It definitely changes you and molds you into a different person. Being exposed to so many different perspectives will do that! Where did you live when you were in Asia?
I am so proud of you Jennifer. You are brave and strong. I am so glad you took this opportunity. I am happy you are in a place where you are respected and surrounded by kindness and encouragement. It is amazing what those little people can teach us, we have a lot to learn from them.
Thanks Shags! You were such a big encouragement to me during this transition…I can’t thank you enough! And yes, I am learning from them everyday…they are so loving.
What a fortunate moment for you! And those 3 year olds have a lot to teach us all. Your honesty about pain and healing is refreshing. Excited to hear more about this inner journey.
Teaching in Asia is definitely on my bucket list in the new few years. I was ready to give up teaching when I moved from Australia to Estonia. Now I have found a new drive and passion for the profession. A change of scenery is sometimes needed.