Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teacher Joseph

For just over a week now I have been a full time teacher here in Taiwan.  I teach from kindergarten up to the Canadian equivalent of grade 3 or 4, and work from 9:00AM until 6:30PM Monday to Friday. When I am not working I am recovering from the day or week. I will not be paid until the 15th of next month, and am hungry, anxious and perpetually tired.  I've even had to do the unthinkable, borrow money from a friend, damaging my pride. Having said that... I am truly happy! 

I am enjoy being a teacher.  I love everyone of my students and, despite never having taught before, I am quickly getting the hang of it. Walking into a class full of kids shouting "good morning Teacher Joseph!" never fails to bring a smile to my face. I am working a genuinely fulfilling job, and I am lucky to have it. 

After I finish settling into this job I will start looking for a supplementary one. Working two or three nights a week might be necessary for me financially, and I think i can handle the hours. The adventure I am on is not done yet and I hope to pocket a bit before coming home. 

I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin, nor more sure of the direction I want my life to take, it is truly exiting. Before coming home I hope to see a few more countries this side of the world, and start prepping for some big steps I plan to take in the near future. As for now, I am still hungry, penny less, and unsure what tomorrow will bring.  However, no longer am I scared, I am exited. Better yet I am happy!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I Once Dreamed 24 Frames Per Second

I have wanted to work in the film industry as a movie director since childhood.  Throughout high school I made several short films, even taking home a couple awards for my efforts.  After graduating I continued to work on screenplays but nothing ever seemed to come of it.  Instead I picked up jobs I was good at but had little passion for, working as a cook, serving tables, bar tending, decorating for events.

These jobs served me well at the time for they offered decent wages, were low risk, when I got bored new work was easy to find and I was surrounded by people I found to be interesting. There was also never a shortage of parties, drinks, loud music and fun. I became a master escapist and found solace in people who had forgotten what they wanted. 

However, I believe there is more to my lack of success then my habit of escapism. Success was and continues to be a scary prospect.  It means hard work and taking huge risks with no guarantees.  It is no wonder I never succeeded in film, I don't think I wanted to.

I would often project what I perceived to be societies opinions onto myself, "no one supports my decisions,"  "my family doesn't understand what I need" or "no one believes I can succeed in or make money if I pursue film." These statements now seem to be more my own ideas then those of anyone else. Perhaps society provided the seeds, but I allowed them to germinate.

Am I a different person now? am I willing to take risks and work hard?  We shall find out over the coming months. I am however hopeful; this time I am armed with more experience, less fear and a plan I think will work well for me.

Promise me you'll always remember: 

You're braver than you believe, 

and stronger than you seem, 

and smarter than you think.

Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Two weeks ago I turned 25; it makes me wonder if this trip and what I am going through is some form of quarter life crisis.  My life is not where I thought it would be. I am unemployed, single, homeless, broke, and half way around the world. I have not completed all the schooling I've planned nor do I have any promising employment opportunities. This may sound like the worst case scenario for many but in truth, I see it as a gift.

It feels to me that I have been allowed an incredible opportunity.  The opportunity to reevaluate my life, my dreams and the direction I want to take. I am in the perfect state of mind to make what are arguably life's most important decisions. With nothing to influence me but myself.

As I have little to lose I have little to fear. The stage is set to ask big questions and discover truths. My own truths, not those imposed on me by society. The truth according to Joseph. Inevitably societal influence will play a role in any decision I make, this is impossible to avoid.  However, to the best of my ability, it is time to start living my life.

Six days have passed since Singapore airport and things are quickly looking up.  I am living in Taichung, Taiwan, with a good friend of mine, Andy.

Andy and I: