Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Your Path in Life



Teaching You

The last digit of pi is 5, if you're a math atheist.


I apologize for not writing sooner but I have been preparing for my brother's arrival. How many times have you heard your parents say: "Do your homework, go to school, get good grades, go to college, get a good job, make money..."? Well, that's excellent advice... if you were born more than forty years ago.

Look at the world we live in today - people becoming millionaires overnight due to internet businesses or truly novel ideas, actors getting paid tens of millions of dollars to perform in terrible movies... ask yourself, when has hard work ever amounted to anything in the modern age? Now, I will admit, there are some truly hardworking people, ingenious people, who started with nothing and worked their way up from the bottom. And I have respect for that, but does everyone? If you essentially have the choice to go the standard route - school, college, work - knowing you will end up in a decent but unextraordinary job, or finding your own path in life, one which leads you to prosperity albeit by different ways, which would you choose?

Maybe coming Japan was just a way of putting off "real life"... maybe it was. But many people's destinies lie in foreign countries; their paths lead them here. You can't exactly leave college, start working the 9 to 5, and expect to be happy 100% of the time. It just doesn't work. Are you "successful"? Maybe. Are you financial stable? Yes. Are you complete? I sure hope not.

Sometimes I feel like I don't have a stable job awaiting me in my future. My life has essentially been nothing but temporary positions, between school and now after college. Has it been this way for everyone? Are some people just fated to work nothing but contract positions until they retire? Do you admire those hardworking people who are the quintessential "rags to riches" stories, or do you feel they are foolish by choosing the road more traveled?

Why come to this country? Because you can. Because you are someone in a unique position, who has the choice to travel, explore, discover the world. I don't want to leave that position, and that's why although I may be financially secure, I may be well-traveled, I may even be cultured, but I'll never be in a stable job. Bouncing from place to place without ties, friends scattered across the world, family awaiting my return... this is what I signed up for.

I'm not aware if I've posted this yet, but I have a degree in aerospace engineering, yet I am in Japan right now, teaching English, exploring life. And what does teaching English have to do with engineering? Not a thing. Nor is it my chosen career path. With my goals in mind I may never be satisified until I've climbed the tallest mountain, appreciated the truest beauty, fought the strongest of the strong, and learned from the wisest of them all. Somewhere, along this journey, I hope I find my place...

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."


Recent news - Japan's Princess Kiko has had a baby boy, ending the controversy over whether a female heir could ever succeed to the throne. I would talk in depth about the Japanese monarchy but I really don't care; not because it's Japan, just because monarchies across the world hold nothing but diplomatic power. I should be going to Onomichi and returning to Sanzoku for another exceptional meal this weekend. I feel like I've become a magnet for Texas weather in Japan: experiencing all four seasons inside of a week. In this case, spring, summer, and fall. No winter as of yet. It must be me; the rainy season is officially over, and yet we still see cloudy and typhoonish days like today. Regardless, that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning red. Gambatte.

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