“Walter wants to start a new business?”


“What kind?”



“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.