Well, I am more sure now. Poetry and writing are number one. It is the one thing that can keep me whole, sane, mindful. Everything else falls away, eventually. What I mean by poetry is very broad however. I don't just mean the books I read and the words that I place on the page. I mean the positioning of my mind. Poetry is just one practice that engages me, brings together my mind and body (at least for a while), makes me feel less self-conscious by plugging me into something much bigger than my self. For others there might be other practices, other ways of connecting.
I am also more sure that what I do for a job matters A LOT!
Maybe job matters even more than location. Not because of career or money, but because I can't compartmentalize my life. But I also need healthy holy shots of community. To talk to other artists and writers.
Everything feeds into everything. I need to create an environment that is stimulating. I am obsessive. I have given up trying to be someone else. Someone less obsessive. Someone sensible with a career, retirement, life insurance, a car, a house, 2.5 children. I don't in any way judge others that find happiness in those things. But I need something else.
I also don't want to float around without purpose, without an achor.
That has been my dilemma for the last four years as I wondered around Asia, Poland, and now London. London has not been easy at all, but it has helped me to resee what matters.
Steve Willey and Alex Davies work their asses off to create an amazing reading series and community (aptly named Openned). See www.openned.com
There are also some really exciting younger and youngish poets in London and the UK (see www.pastsimple.org).
And this matters to me A LOT!!!
But I also need an environment from day to day to stimulates and challenges me. I have been teaching job searching skills and how to click a mouse and a lot of basic English for the last 9 months in London. I have been teaching really basic ESL and some slightly advanced grammar and speaking for the last three years.
I admire those dedicated ESOL faculty that do this day in and day out for many many years. I believe in it.
But I cannot. I am crashing again.
Crashing like Korea, like Poland.
So I have an interview, via Skype, for Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. The interview will take place in 45 minutes.
I haven't slept much for the last two weeks. I have been staring at the ceiling all night.
I need some serious stimulation and challenge!!!
So maybe this will help. If I can get the job.
The university seems very good from what I can tell. Bilkent University has a lot of international faculty and I would be teaching English 101, 102 and maybe some philosophy. Content based instruction means I am not teaching ESL (grammar and speaking etc.) from a textbook. There is a subject. Also a free flat near or on-campus. A library with plenty of English books and the opportunity to start paying my student loans in America and perhaps save around $9,000 per year for two years. I could restore my credit in America and renew my expired Green Card.
I don't know if I can even get the job at Bilkent University. But I do know I want to return to university teaching. I want to learn again. I want to research and study and be challenged. Not a retreat from the so-called "real world." I want to teach the 18 year old freshman some existentialism. I want to hear them. To listen. To learn.
I have tried being:
a dishwasher, a cook, a telemarketer (4 years), a construction worker, a marketing executive (2 months), a cement mixer, an EFL teacher, a kind er garden teacher, a robot, a clerk, a filer, a database entry, a fish and chip and so on.
I want my mind on fire.
I am no good at the blah life.