Welcome to China.
My experience of being an intern in that first 90 days was so incredibly hectic I can’t even begin to explain. But I loved it. It felt like the chaos that was my external world, finally matched my internal chaos.
I was finally home, adventuring, where I belonged.
As the months turned into years, I started building a life, carving out a place in my new career, developing bonds with people who became like family.
I got used to being illiterate, feigning ignorance as a laowai, not questioning what I was eating because I would either like it or not.
I loved working with kids, I loved the imagination and creativity I got to bring to work, I loved playing games and singing and being a big kid again.
I didn’t love the pressure that came from parents/ a company that didn’t value me/ the international office politics.
After teaching for a few years I realised that I’m just not cut out for a permanent TEFL lifestyle.
And still, I stayed.
As I began feeling the effects of professional burn out, I did as many others do. I drank. I smoked. I played video games and found ways to escape.
When I look back on the person that I was, I feel awful about the person I allowed myself to become. I was bitchy, bitter and jaded. I hated everyone and everything, especially new people, and heaven forbid you weren’t on my team.
And yet still, some eejit decided to ask me to marry him and then planned the whole wedding while I made plans to escape the industry and take some time off for personal and professional development.
Love you Miele x.
What, that’s it?! That’s how the story ends? Happily ever after??
No way Hosay! For Part Three in the epic saga, click here.