Daily Journey Journal #117: last real week


This is it, our last week before the new teachers arrive and we say goodbye. Our last full week, our last few days. It all feels quite unreal to me and my students can’t quite believe me when I tell them that we will be going soon. Only nine days left of teaching and twelve days left in Yeosu. It is bittersweet and for that I am thankful. There were points during the last year when I wasn’t sure if I or my students would be sad for our goodbye, and I am so thankful that we have something to be sad for. The love and laughter of the last few months will stay in my heart for all my years to come and though many of my students fear I won’t remember them, I will not easily forget them. May our last days together be filled with wonders.

Daily Journey Journal #100: literary lessons for life

People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that the don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them

~The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho

During high school I was introduced to The Alchemist in a fantastic English class featuring a number of fabulous books about journeys around the world. Many of the titles we read have slipped my mind, but the The Alchemist is not one of them. My first reading of it left me with such an intense sense of peace and hope for the future that it was impossible to forget. The message and storyline were so simple, yet so elegant and beautiful. Every page seemed to contain an important lesson for life, so many lessons in fact, that I could not take them all in during my brief reading. So, I tucked the title away in my memory for future reference.

At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us and our lives become controlled by fate. That is the world’s greatest lie.

While the exact happenings in the story faded, the feeling I had about the book remained, and so a few weeks ago, I picked up the book again. Life had started feeling a little out of balance and internally I was battling myself. I was unsure of the choices I needed to make and feeling unsure of the person I am. I needed some advice, a piece of logic to clear my perspective, a bit of wisdom to shed some light.

Making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him places he had never dreamed of when he made the decision.

In a matter of moments I was wrapped into the gentle pages of the book, its words soothing my worried heart. The lessons I so dearly needed to hear in those moments slid easily from the page, smoothing my anxieties and bringing a ray of faith to my doubts. I am not a religious person and have never found comfort in reading religious texts, but I’ve found that this book offers me the messages and peace that many people gain by reading their texts of faith.

When you want something all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.

I’m almost finished with the story now and once again I am feeling peaceful and calm about the future and who I am. There are still a billion decisions to make, but I feel like I have the sturdy foundation and clear perspective I need to voyage on in pursuit of my own Personal Legend, wherever it may take me.

Your Personal Legend, it’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is. They are not afraid to dream and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them.

Daily Journey Journal #32: happiness check-in

In this moment, as I sit here are the table writing, I am perfectly happy. The kettle in the kitchen is bubbling, the fan humming, my music playing softly. The laughter of my students as they stuffed watermelon into their mouths still echoes in my ears. I can see the juice trailing down their fingers and arms, dripping onto the floor while their smiles, bright and wide, bounce around the school. Pictures of joy, each and every one of them. Today was a beautiful day and I am still basking in the pure happiness of it, the complete happiness of all our lives flowing together in shared memories of watermelon and word games.

On this journey of happiness I am riding on a high. June overall has been a month of happiness. Yes, there have been days of grumpiness, days of exhaustion, days with no patience and days with little laughter. But, those days have been few and the strength of the happy days has outweighed them by far. I am thankful for the adventures and wanders of the month, the shared days of perfection with my students and A, the smiles that found their way into each day. In the next month I am looking forward to more adventures, some of the last we will have in Korea and to more moments like today. Fingers crossed I survive the ever increasing levels of humidity as we slide into July and the bogginess of full-on summer in Korea.

I hope you had/are having a splendid Friday!


Day 19: New Posting Style

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.

~Abba Eban, Israeli diplomat (1915-2002)


No weapon has ever settled a moral problem. It can impose a solution but it cannot guarantee it to be a just one.

~Ernest Hemingway