My alarm rings at 530 sharp. I hit snooze four times. I get up, noticing the snow on my car. Shoot. I’m going to be late. Open my phone. Call an Uber. Arrive at work for 630 in the morning. Teach some classes. Have some amazing moments with my students (the best part of my job). 20 minute lunch break. I grade papers and inhale my salad. Lunch ends. Keep teaching until about 3pm. Meet with my coteachers until 4pm. Do some paperwork and make my parent phone calls until 6pm. Call the uber, since my car seems to be consistently buried in two feet of snow. Eat a protein bar. Go to yoga or kickboxing from 7-830. Consider public transit. Call another Uber. Home at 9pm, exhausted.
Repeat 5x, weekly. Find another job to cover fun money. Go out with friends once or twice a week.
This was my life consistently in the United States.
I watch so many people work diligently and enthusiastically to make a better life for themselves. I watch countless friends, relatives and acquaintances spend hours at jobs they may not actually like to simply make ends meet. But the question remains: Is there another way?
Since about the age of sixteen, I participated in this system. I saved up money to pay for college. I worked three jobs while taking 20 credits worth of classes. I then graduated and continued to work three jobs while attending Boston University for my Master’s Degree. Upon graduating with my Master’s, I continued to work two-three jobs to sustain an unsustainable lifestyle. My rent for a bedroom was $850 a month. My bills exceeded $1500 a month. Sure, I made great money, but much of it was covering living expenses.
In February 2018, I decided to try something different. Sure I would still work, the hours necessary, but I wanted to do it in my own time. I still wanted to provide others with access to new experiences and opportunities (this is why I have a Master’s in Special Education), but I wanted to have enough time to experience life. And, when I say experience life, I mean experience life in vibrant color.
So, I quit my full-time job as a teacher, kept my flexible job (still working with kids, yay!) in the United States, and booked a one-way ticket to Indonesia. However, the question remains:
Is there another way?
I still have no idea, but I’m going to find out.