The journey of our eventual move keeps trucking along. This week has seen a significant upsurge in selling off furniture and belongings. I’ve been selling board games on eBay; I sent one out this morning with two more going out tomorrow. We have a person coming over to purchase a coffee table and couch. It’s feeling nice to see things emptying out. Once pretty much everything is clear, then we have some house flippers interested in buying the place. I have no problem pitting them against each other and see what the best bid we can get is. We get these mailers every week, and we’d much rather do this than go through the realtor situation.
Here’s my Spotify playlist for the week:
Despite having the move to look forward to, my head is also in a weird space. Foremost is the civil instability roiling over right now in cities around the United States. I live in a rural Southern area, so I don’t see it close-up often, but it upsets me greatly how police around the country seem to be wantonly murdering people. There are blatant attacks on Black communities, but then you have the outright slaughter of Adam Toledo, a Mexican-American child in Chicago. If they aren’t murdering people, they are severely injuring them. A viral video made the rounds online this weekend of an elderly white woman with dementia being slammed to the ground and have her arm broken by these fascists. As I write this, the verdict in the murder of George Floyd is expected to come in, and the nation is bracing itself. The police seem geared up to just go full authoritarian in the wake of the decision (though they haven’t necessarily been holding back). The federal government, governors, and mayors are being revealed as powerless, and one has to wonder if there was a soft coup post-9/11 as police budgets bloated and essentially became domestic occupying forces.
On a more personal note, I have some real difficulty mustering up the energy to applying to teaching positions at some international schools where we are moving. We have a friend in our destination country who has been exceptionally helpful in giving me and my wife guidance. However, having taught in this state’s schools (ranked one of the worst in the nation), I have trauma regarding the job. It’s two-fold. First, I am hesitant & deeply mistrustful of school administration at this point. The last school was the best teaching experience, but in the wake of COVID, I started to see the absolute failure and impotence of leadership at the core of things. I will absolutely not tolerate working for an administration that doesn’t align close to my personal values anymore.
Second, I worry that I am not prepared to teach in an environment like one of these international schools because I have taught in this state for a decade. I perceive the standards as being much higher, and I worry I am not up to snuff. This probably has a lot to do with growing up having many confidence problems, exacerbated by parents that simply demeaned me as I grew up. I am in a much healthier place than I used to be, and my anxiety is something I rarely experience now. However, I still feel inadequate when it comes to how good a teacher I am outside of the bubble I have worked in. I think on the scale for my state, I’m pretty good, not great. Outside of that sphere, I think I might not even seem decent. I know there’s a significant divide between perception and reality when you have these sorts of neuroses.
All I know is that I have to get out of the United States. We have started watching some ex-pat YouTubers from our country of destination, and I am more excited than ever to get there. The work-life balance sounds so much better. There’s such an egalitarian philosophy in the culture that I know I will experience some deep culture shock. I fully expect to feel “homesickness” but know it is psychological deceit. Any grief would be mourning a fictional construct of America in my head, not the bald-faced reality of the horror show it has become and is worsening into each day. I’ve told myself it will be okay to be emotional for a while after we arrive, both tears of sadness and joy. In many ways, I know I will have to go through a cultural deprogramming to flush the toxic labor ideology this nation has infused into me my whole life. I think it’s unfortunate that Americans have come to accept so little and to believe they deserve almost nothing when it comes to assistance. But that speaks to the effectiveness of the U.S.A.’s propaganda. It’s one of the most effective in the world.
I know I am looking forward to that moment where the plane lands, and I know I am in a new, better place.