I am thankful for all of the usual things: my FAMILY, my FRIENDS, my LIFE, freedom to be ME, and my HEALTH.
This year, though, I've been thinking about what is different. I'm reflecting on the uniqueness of my situation and am giving thanks to my current experience.
Sure, it's been up and down. I definitely had the "I do not want to be in this situation" mindset far longer than comfortable. Now, though, I am happy with where I am and what I am doing.
Teaching English to Korean kiddos is pretty great. Last night we had a speech contest and the entire time I couldn't help but grin stupidly at the dedication and strength those kids have. I was proud of past and current students who put themselves on stage to speak in a foreign language infront of their parents, peers, and teachers. Let's be honest: my heart was bursting.
Each day, I interact with a unique set of coworkers, Korean and native-English speakers. The situation is special because we are not really there for a shared set of beliefs. Since college, I have worked only in the arena of social justice, etc. My coworkers generally had the same sentiments as me and we were working toward a common goal. Conversely, while most of us are in Korea to travel and teach, we have a range of backgrounds, personalities, and mindsets. Some are here as a means to an end and others are making a life of traveling and teaching.
I am thankful to have met these individuals. I am thankful they are teaching me to be a less judgmental person. I am thankful my job is teaching me to not sweat the small stuff. I am thankful the kids are cute. I am thankful that because of them, I am living in a foreign country and experiencing a new culture.
There is a lot to be thankful for in this world. I am beginning to live my life by this mantra, and it feels pretty damn good.