I came here expecting in a way that in an English speaking country I will have some problems with finding a job as an ESL teacher as there are herds of English teacher roaming around the city. I gave it a go and I left my resume in many places around. No response. Nada. Depressing since I know that I'm a good teacher with loads of experience. Depressing since I love teaching. Nobody wants me here. My CELTA, which I was so proud of, is not enough. My experience means nothing. I'm supposed to pay 2000 dollars to get my Canadian qualifications. I don't have 2000 dollars. Depressing. Conclusion: I'm not enough. Of course. It's all my fault - I'm not enough. I'm not enough and what is more I don't know who I am any more.
Then I start working in this terrible Greek tavern where I am verbally abused by drunk customers, paid under the minimum wage, I'm shouted at by the owner... Life sucks.
This job situation made me think how tricky it is to build identity on a career. I was a confident English teacher working in Cambodia with a prospect to have a great job opportunity in Bangkok. In Summer 2011 I felt like the whole world belongs to me based on my job, I dare to think. I got recognized, I got appreciated. I thought I knew where I was going. But then... It was enough to take this away from me and what happened was that I didn't know who I was any more. I wasn't a quite successful English teacher any more. I didn't know who I was. Then I started to think that it is indeed very illusive to build identity on the outside world phenomena. I am inside not outside. No matter what happens the core should be there. I should be the same person whether a teacher or janitor because unexpected happens and I might be forced to do odd things in my life whether ambitious, grand or not they should not influence the core, the I. And the truth is that I can do whatever job if that's what is needed in a situation. I doesn't matter in a short run. I have to think about my career but if there's a twist in it, this twist shouldn't undermine my perception of myself as a capable, knowledgeable human being.
So I'm working on the core now to strengthen it for the future so that next time I don't feel so terribly disappointed with myself when I have to do a job for a period of time which is not exactly my career.