TEACHING SAVED MY LIFE

A useful broken-heart, witty mental disorders, powerful vulnerabilities, and tedious grade sheets; what do all these have in common? –Me.


Recently, I shared my first major setback in the professional life and its greatest consolation prize. It was a brief story; straight-to-the-point leaving all the dramatic parts behind. I will also skip all dramatic parts in this story. But I will take the opportunity to share a bit of my take on life’s emotional dramas (And you should listen because I am a certified sober drama-queen!)

Emotional episodes come and go, no matter how excruciating the process it ends. Every attack turns to a wound and no matter how painful the wound, sooner or later it then becomes a scar. And a scar no matter how ugly becomes just another powerful reminder of loss and likewise victory. But I wonder whether it’s truly necessary in the first place –to go through such emotional phase. But if not, then will one truly know oneself? The self is someone very hard to know indeed. But recently I found a fraction of a probable answer to my wonder. Brené Brown’s TED talk, “the power of vulnerability” shed some great light. She shared not only her discovery of how letting emotions flow becomes an essential part of belongingness but as well her personal struggle due to her own discovery. (I strongly suggest that you check her TED talk out so you’ll be more awesome and for my point to make some sense!)

I will not talk about my dramatic moments as promised but I’d like to share the good things about it. This is basically the rainbow after the rain. Two things happened during the excruciating process of my awful dramatic phase, which all I am truly grateful for. First, it filtered true friendships and led me to authentic people; and second, I learned to truly accept my vulnerabilities.

I have never publicly disclosed any of my vulnerabilities except for few people I truly trust, only recently that I started to share openly. The reason is the desire to raise awareness; to motivate and inspire others; to gain better understanding of myself through dialogue and to perhaps experience a deeper sense of belongingness.

Before I won the best consolation prize from my first major setback I had to endure awful dramatic phases and resist self-destruction. During the time I failed my first attempt of establishing a design firm I also got my heart terribly broken. So I was both broke and broken. Struggling financially and emotionally at the same time is something –based on my own experience— I would call a near-death experience! It was almost impossible! It was my dark ages and I never thought it would be darker until I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and depression.

This definitely burdened my already burdened financial state. But then again the obstacle is the way! Understanding my real biological and mental well-being ended the greater burden –my self-destruction. Finally, my self-renovation began!

But before all these great self-discoveries paved the way, it was my entry to the academe that sustained me. Teaching saved my life. The little piece that kept me hanging onto life was being a teacher. To prepare lessons, grade sheets, and other tedious paper works and the constant attempt to truly teach things that actually matter to (more or less) forty students in one classroom from all walks of life can be very stressful. (It’s basically a superhero job done by completely normal people.) But the calling of a teacher –to be a person who actually makes a difference and change people’s lives for the better—is something I can’t possibly turn down. This very calling brought me up.

Being a teacher did not solve my problems nor heal any of my pain, but it gave a meaning to all of my hardships.

 


Next on S//S:

I am a licensed and registered Architect but I work at a Drug Store: My unorthodox job description and the timely lessons on Leadership I get everyday.

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