As I’m sitting in the Chiang Mai airport waiting to board my flight to Phuket, where I’ll be taken to my final placement, Phang Nga, it’s hard not to feel an overwhelming sense of gratefulness. Grateful for this past month in Chiang Mai, grateful for the people I’ve met, grateful for friends and family at home who support me, and mostly, grateful that I finally feel like I know what I’m doing (kind of).
Nine months ago I was approaching graduation and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. A few months later, I was accepted into my program to teach English in Thailand, but I still had no idea what I wanted to do. It merely seemed like a stepping stone until I could figure out what I actually wanted to do with my future.
Now, a month into my life as a teacher in Thailand, I feel more content than I think I have in quite some time. In one month I’ve had to learn the ins and outs of teaching, how to write lesson plans, presenting lesson plans in front of my peers (public speaking, I hate you), give my first actual lesson as a teacher to Thai students, and try to figure out the best time to Facetime with a 14-hour time difference (probably the hardest part of this month). It’s been quite some time since I’ve actually felt like I was good at something. Not good in the sense that I got an A on a paper or a test, but good in the sense that what I’m doing actually matters to someone. In high school I was on a competitive cheer team, and while it was only cheerleading, I felt like it mattered (glory days, am I right?). I felt like my spot on that team mattered, not only to me, but to the girls standing next to me and the people in the stands. Now, five years later, I finally feel like what I’m doing matters again. It matters to me, to the students, to their parents, and to their futures, that I am good at what I do. And I honestly think I am (guess we’ll find out when I start teaching on Tuesday, fingers crossed).
So, sitting in this airport, I’m grateful. Grateful that nine months ago, I was completely lost. Grateful that I had the opportunity to come to Thailand. Grateful for my future students. And most of all, grateful for the Lord’s great plan for my life.