To my beloved readers,
So we’ve arrived to that dreaded post. You know the one. The one where I tell you that I’m leaving Chile. We knew it would happen eventually…
After lots and lots (and lots) of thinking, I’ve come to the decision that this will be my last school year in Chile. It’s been a difficult decision to make, one that has involved many mixed emotions. There have been tears, there has been confusion. But I know in my heart that it’s time for me to move on.
Chile has been a very special place to me. Maybe I didn’t fall in love with Chile in the way that I fell in love with Barcelona. But Chile has played a crucial role in my existence. Chile was the setting that I fled to in search of following my dreams. Chile was the setting where I truly, and undoubtedly discovered who I am as a person. Chile was the setting where I struggled, grew and learned. I am not the same person I was when I arrived to Chile 3 years ago, and I am so thankful for that.
Many people tell me “you’re so brave to move to a country where you don’t know anybody”. While that may be true, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that it takes more than bravery. It takes a profound amount of strength. I have been in tremendously “low” places in Chile, with no one but myself to rely on. Sure, I have friends here. But at the end of the day, it’s all on me. You are 100% alone, on your own. For most people that is scary. For me, it started off as scary. But over time, I have truly learned to appreciate and love the solitude.
So why am I leaving?
I’m leaving for many reasons. One being that I simply feel that I have accomplished what I set out to do here in Chile. Another being that after 3 years, I’m noticing that everything is starting to repeat itself over and over again. I’m also not in favor of the direction I see my school moving towards. So as they say, quit while you’re ahead.
As I mentioned before, I wouldn’t tell you that I am in love with Chile and that I’m Chile’s number 1 fan. This was hard for me to come to terms with, because when you relocate your entire life, you think falling in love with your new home is a given. I’ve come to realize that it’s not. Chile is a beautiful country with even more beautiful people. But it’s not an easy place for a foreigner to live. Systems don’t function and customer service is severely-lacking. I’ve lived by the mantra:
“Be soft. Do not let them make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness." -Kurt Vonnegut
–I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been driven to tears out of pure frustration or how many times I've repeated those words in my head. My heart is telling me that I’ve had a beautiful journey and it’s time for me to close this chapter and begin another one.
So what is my next chapter?
Ideally, my five year plan would be to go home and spend some time with my family. I thoroughly understand and am eternally grateful for their unconditional support. My living abroad has not been easy for them and I fully acknowledge that. I would like to be home anywhere between 6 months to a year maximum. I’d love to spend this time working as a long-term substitute teacher.
Afterwards, I want to move to Barcelona and work as an international teacher. Similar to what I did here in Chile. After a few years there, I want to return home and pursue my Master’s degree in ESL (English as a Second Language). This is a very loose plan. Who knows if I’ll find a job, if I’ll like it etc. They say when you make plans, God laughs. So, let’s just wait and see what my future has in store.
And for those that are wondering, NotYourAverageTeacher will continue until my time is up in Chile. I plan to continue my blog while in Barcelona, so don’t forget about me!
Below you’ll find some words written by others who have captured and transcribed my exact thoughts and emotions better than I ever could have: