Friday, March 14, 2003

I've been busy.

Given my unemployed status for the past four months and six days, that's saying a lot. I'm getting royaly sick of not working. Never thought I'd say that, but the days have a tendency to run into themselves and if it wasn't for school on Wednesday nights, I'd lose track of my days. My last class for this semester was held last night and I've signed up for my very last class.....period, beginning in April. After that, I am gradumakated.

About a week ago, I made a decision. Sell the house or risk foreclosure. I called a local realtor, filled out some preliminary paperwork, and just today signed the sales agreement on my first offer. The guy is from Massachusetts, loved my place and didn't even counter offer. Now it's a waiting game. If everything goes hunky dorie, I'll have to be out of here in five or six weeks. Great! Only problem is my head is spinning. Somebody stop the earth and let me off!

I've lived here for nine years. This coming April ninth will be ten years. It's gonna take a while for things to soak in. This house is part of me......hell, it's Jimsworld. Wanda recently told me something her dad had said to her a ways back, something about having to move on and leaving the house he had lived in for so long, with all it's ghosts and memories. That got me thinking about this place and it's's memories both good and bad. So, I guess he's right. Things change. Sometimes you have to move on.

I haven't blogged here in quite a while as I've been busy completing my presentation for my last class and entertaining revolving door realtors. It's always been in the back of my mind, so tonight I decided to write down what's been happening. I initially began this blog more than a year ago last November, to keep a record of my going's on so my pals around the globe could see what I've been up to. It has evolved to sort of a platform so-to-speak, to air my laundry and speak my peace, something my good friend Annie says a Malaysian would never do in public. Ah....well, so much for our individualist culture.

Tonight, I think this blogging is more for me, than for my readers. My head is mixed up and I feel detached, confused. I probably need rest, but I couldn't sleep if I tried. In addition to my idea to sell my house, I also got the idea to inquire about overseas jobs. At first I saw a couple openings while doing a search of Federal job sites and suddenly a small voice came to mind, one that spoke to me while I was in China last March.....if you read my journal of my Beijing trip, you will remember the pretty little Chinese lady who sat with me one bright sunny day and asked if she could practice her English.

I remember her telling me about the number of jobs in Beijing, open to Americans, teaching English as a second language. "I don't have those qualifications," I told her. To which she responded, "Of course you do! You are an American!" It seems that if you have a degree and speak English, you qualify. So, I went on another Google search...

I was amazed at the number of University websites and websites for private schools. I whipped up a standard letter of inquiry, put together a condensed resumé and began e-mailing some of these institutions....

The response was amazing.

Everyday, several times a day, my e-mail box fills up with responses from Universities all over China. Some of which I never contacted but they got my resumé and letter forwarded to them from another institution. As I am writing this, three more offers have come in from Jiangxi province, Guangdong province and Heilongjiang, province. It is almost overwhelming but definitely exciting. Most of you who know me, know that one of my greatest loves is culture and travel. Just the prospect of traveling to China with the goal of teaching over there and having the opportunity to attend classes in Mandarin, is a dream that makes my heart flutter.

Most, if not all of these Universities and institutions supply the work visa, travel expenses, living expenses and health insurance to name a few. The salary is nothing to get rich on, but you can definitely live comfortably on it. Several Universities and private schools in Hubei province want me NOW, as is, whether I have no experience or not. Contracts vary, from six months to five years, but standard is a year with the possibility of renewal.


I've decided to just focus on selling the house right now and getting packed up and out of here by May. Wanda and I are going to drive up to Toronto to meet my pal Sasha from Taipei, Taiwan who is currently traveling and studying across Canada, sometime in May and then my schooling is all done in June. God only knows where I will end up and I can say I DO NOT like that feeling. I've promised Wanda that I will not do anything regarding this China thing, until at least September. Plenty of time to think.

I welcome all of your suggestions but then I think I know what they will be. I've gotten myself to a good place in my life where I'm sober, clean and happy and have the best friends around the world that anybody could ask for. I've always gone on the pretense that change is good, but realistically I have found that at first, it sucks. What sucks about it typically is jostling out of that rut we all get ourselves into at times. That familiarity. Familiarity is good, but after a while it brainwashes you into thinking that that's all there is.

Well, enough for now. I feel better already just having written all this down. Things actually feel pretty good. My realtor turned out to be the mother of an old friend whom I haven't seen in a long time. I'm going to save myself from foreclosure. I'm going to walk away with a sizable amount of money in hand to pay off some of these damn bills. I have friends who support me. I have a woman who loves me for me, not somebody she wants me to be. My cats still let me pet them. I, the son of parents who only made it to eighth grade, am going to finally graduate with my bachelors degree.

Life is better than I thought....



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