Us crazy teachers – I’ll miss you guys!
I only have a few days left until I return home to America. As I get ready to leave Taiwan – shipping luggage, writing cards, cleaning the dorm – I reflect on everything that’s happened these eleven months. I could never have imagined how I would change and grow during this time.
It was a mostly happy experience, with few low-points. But they did happen. Sometimes it was tough. I remember a few times I got really angry or frustrated or down-right depressed. It wasn’t often, but it made me realize how much of life is a product of our own attitudes. There were plenty other situations I could have gotten bent out of shape over, but for the sake of my own sanity, I sought out the good things in them. I think I’ve learned a great deal about myself – about the extent of my character; selflessness, willingness to sacrifice, integrity, work-ethic, patience, love, ability to deal with stress and anger. I feel much more confident in new situations, and have had to stretch myself and put myself out there a lot. It takes courage just to live a daily life in a foreign country, so I can only hope my confidence will be that much greater at home. I want to stand firmly on my principles, get along with people, and have an optimistic outlook even when things look bleak. Thanks Taiwan, for teaching me so much. Especially my co-workers – through them, I have learned much about diligence and hard work, as well as kindness. Thank you all so much.
Living in Taiwan taught me to be grateful for the small things. How many of you Americans or Europeans take for granted the ability to read store signs? Labels? Websites about your town? Having more than one burner? Having a dryer? Having A/C? Knowing when people are talking about you?
These are just a few of the things I took for granted before coming here. I think this experience, above anything else, will make me appreciate what I have available in America.
I was not at all eager to return home until a few weeks ago. I really thought I’d hate living at home again. But as I prepare, I find myself more and more anxious to start my new life there. It will be new, but some things will be familiar, and those are the things I’m looking forward to. I know if I stayed in Asia longer, it would become all familiar too, and if I could learn the language, so many things would change. That’s my hope for Korea. But right now, I feel very American, and I can’t wait to be back.