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Non-fiction

“Walter wants to start a new business?”

“Yeah.”

“What kind?”

“Liquor.”

“Why?”

“He wants to make more money.”

“How do you know that?”

“He told me.”

This is what my new student told me today, that a character in a play spoke to him.

I’ve started teaching part-time again. A US boarding school student is in Korea for spring break, and I was asked to teach him two books over the next two and half weeks. Short-term privates somehow always turn out to be the best, unfortunately; when they end after that brief, predetermined period, I get sad. I get sad just like a child who wishes the fun didn’t have to stop.

I was startled as soon as he started speaking to me for the first time. There was a nervous air about him; he spoke quickly and voiced every small concern that occurred to him or bothered him or entertained him. He even muttered predicted problems as he worked.

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Every time I have a discouraging job interview, I re-play the most depressing bits over and over in my head until I get home, eat an unhealthy meal, browse the internet, and think about which movie or TV show to watch for the rest of the night.

But I never get to watching anything, because at some point, some unexplainable force compels me to work. Do work of any kind. Produce things, complete tasks. So I reply to emails, send out more cover letters, and schedule more interviews.

And then I write. I write like my life depends on it, because this is why I left my job. I quit because I wanted to write more, and I’m not gonna let that decision go to waste. I write because it calms me and stirs me at the same time.

I write to be okay. I write to be okay with the fact that I’ve sent out 54 applications and only had 4 interviews. I write to be okay with how little I’ve saved up over the past two and half years. I write to forget about the numbers, realize my mistakes, and recognize that I’m doing the best I can.

I write because no matter how many people refuse to give me a chance, I’m never going to give up.

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