Thursday, July 15, 2010
The first thing I do when I get home is get out of my work clothes. I usually get home just after 5pm. It's now 9:07pm and I've only just settled down from 4 hours ago.
Today was the second last day at my school. Tomorrow, after 3 years of teaching at the same school, I say goodbye to teachers, colleagues, friends and people who have become my family since living in Korea.
I'm really so blessed to have people in my life who care and love me the way they do.
However. And I say this with a capital H. There has been a person in my life who has drained me emotionally and spiritually for the past few months. Because I see this person on a daily basis, I can't avoid them.
Sometimes I try to work out my stress and frustrations at the gym, but I just keep seeing their face in my head when I'm on the treadmill. One day I even cut my gym time to go home and watch TV to get my mind off this person because I kept picturing their face.
I really feel so drained right now. My whole body aches and my head is throbbing. I know my mother is going to lecture me after reading this about why I got myself worked up the way I did, but it was just in the heat of the moment.
My day (till 4pm) was emotional. I said goodbye to 6th graders who I've taught since 4th grade. After lunch, my Kindergarten class gave me a farewell party. We were all smiles, but when I left, they walked me out with their little arms stretched forward screaming "Bye bye teacher", I broke into tears.
I'll choke up and maybe have a tear brimming my eyelids, but I don't cry. Today, the tears really came down. I went to the admin office and was welcomed with the usual warmth and love from my friends there. I went upstairs to Mrs Ham, one of the few people who have been consistent in my life here. I went upstairs to find another teacher who I've known. She told me that she's so sad I'm leaving. We also formed a special friendship, spent a lot of time talking and watching movies together.
Every morning this week, when I've arrived at my desk, there have been letters for me from students. This is what it feels like to be loved and appreciated.
This analogy just came to me as I was writing this.
I'm yet to meet someone who does not like butterflies. They're beautiful and gentle. They cause no harm, right?
What about mosquitoes? Do you like them? I don't! Especially in the dead of night when the only place it decides to annoy me is RIGHT by my ear. I wake up with bites after it's feasted on my flesh. Greedy for my blood. Who knows what it does after it's eaten me? I imagine it going somewhere to lie on its back, full of blood. But satisfied that it's bitten me. Even the mental image of this gives me the creeps.
I think our lives are made up of butterflies and mosquitoes. There are people who bring joy to us. Even if they just hover around, we know they're there. They are the colourful butterflies who sometimes, we don't know why our lives are happier with them, but they just ARE.
The mosquitoes in our life suck our blood. Maybe not literally the liquid running through our veins, but they suck our energy.
My life is full of butterflies. My family (parents & brother), colleagues and my students (sometimes!) But I have a mosquito. A monster size mosquito who I'm really so tired of thinking and talking about. This person has upset and angered me to the point where I had no idea that I was capable of feeling such contempt and to curse and swear the way I have in the last few days.
What boils my blood even more is that this person is completely different around others. I've seen their behavior and tone of voice change within a split second. That takes skills. I can't stand false people. But I'm afraid I've become just like them. As much as this person upsets me, I've still worn a smile everyday and spoken to them with kindness and respect - just to keep the peace. If I'd told them exactly how I felt... ha! Well, I don't think I'd even be writing this now.
In a month or two, it will be like wasted energy that I won't get back. I'll probably kick myself for getting worked up as I did, but...like I said, it was just in the moment.
Anyway, that's all for now. My thoughts are all over the place and not on track. I have to thank the butterflies in my life who listen and give me advice. They hail from all over the world.
Tonight, thank you Mummy, Angelina, Ken and Cliff.