The other day I had a short interview with a company about going off to teach in Japan. Just a preliminary thing before they finalize my application. And it actually freaked me out. Not on the phone, on the phone I was all laughs and amiability. But afterwards all the lying I had just done made me want to vomit. The woman asked if I’d be comfortable teaching kids and I said yes. Little kids. As young as three. I remember Mel and Margaret having to teach little Chinese kids and Caroline talking about the Korean kids and the hellishness of it. And I remember thanking all that was good in the world I didn’t have to do that. And she asked about my energy levels in the class, how I’d feel being all bouncing around silly and shit. “Oh that sounds fun!” Would I be okay with being clean shaven and wearing a suit? “You bet!” Because swearing off ties 5.5 years ago doesn’t mean anything.
Why do I have to lie? Because I know if I tell the truth no one will pay me to go anywhere. And I’ll be stuck here in this place I don’t like. But it’s not like I actively hate anything I do here. Maybe I shouldn’t sell myself off like this. Maybe I should remember how much I didn’t like teaching. Maybe I should go to Japan on my own terms, in a way I don’t have to lie and hate myself for doing all that. Do this the hard way. Like the writing.
I worry though that if I do that I’m falling into the “once in a lifetime” trap. That then going off somewhere on the other side of the world becomes something strange and exciting instead of just part of my life. But if part of my life involves that much deception and self loathing, ech. I don’t want to feel trapped here, that Winnipeg is all I’ll ever know. I need to be different places. Being in China this last time made me feel content, and I’ve been wanting to push on to work in Japan because of that contentment. But I was in China as a travelling layabout. A person without work or schedule. That’s not what teaching would be, no matter how many weeks of vacation I got.
I don’t know. I’m not withdrawing my application but I don’t know if I can go lie my face off as a fake-smiling teacher just to be somewhere else. I already feel like I’m hiding all the time. We’ll see what happens.caroline children interview japan lies maegs melissa once in a lifetime teaching vagabond winnipeg