Before I left Malaysia, I was experiencing an internal struggle between sticking with the comfortable familiar versus embarking on the unknown. I thought about whether I was crazy for leaving a decent paying job and living rent-free all because I was unhappy with my work place. I’ve said many times that I love teaching, and I do, but regardless of how much one might love what they do, this is greatly affected by who they do it with and who they do it for. I knew I was doing the right thing because I know how toxic it is to stick to an unfulfilling job for the sake of a paycheck. The exchange is not worth it because it is draining both physically and mentally.
For a time, when my job applications were not turning up any results, the thought of being unemployed of my own volition — in order to save my sanity — seemed like a very reckless decision. This was mostly due to the fact that other people depend on me and it felt like it was a selfish move. I knew it was right, but it felt very wrong.
Then, the time came when I finally got a really good job offer — to my complete and utter relief — and I questioned the decision to leave a country I had grown familiar and comfortable with for something completely different and unknown. I tried to stay, but no doors opened for me so my time there was up anyway, though that didn’t stop me from having my doubts.
I am a creature of habit. I wouldn’t call myself very spontaneous. The thought of moving to another foreign country was sad, exciting, and terrifying all at the same time. Sad to be leaving people behind, exciting to add a new country to my CV and travels, terrifying to be on my own.
After having been here for two weeks now, I’ve become sort of familiar with the area I live and work in. I’m settling into a cosy new studio apartment, I’ve met some really kind locals and colleagues, I’ve enjoyed some wonderful local cuisine, and I honestly quite like it here. Every day has been an adventure and the new job will be challenging, but it’s just what I need to grow as a teacher and as a whole.
I was scared to leave the familiar, but I know now that the unknown can be a really good thing, however terrifying it might seem at first. Once again, I know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.