A “not so little,” little intro… Click here to jump down to the meat!
I believe there is a point in time in your life where you see yourself inching closer to becoming that venerated role of “the adult.” Perhaps the inching is a lot slower at times, and sometimes it can feel like you are being hurled face-first into the deep, dark pit of “adulthood” without a safety net or your favorite stuffed animal to back you up. Right now, I think I’m somewhere in the in-between. No deep, dark pit. Definitely not moving too slowly right now either, though… although perhaps moving towards becoming a responsible adult will never feel “slow” to me.
Work has been one of those subjects that has brought me a lot of grief in the past. It hasn’t all been laziness (although I’d be lying through my teeth if I said that there wasn’t an ounce of that inside of me), as I know that I grew up in a kind of “alternative” way. No, no cults or hippies involved, but rather, I was one of those “sick kids” that spent most of their childhood just working towards completing the difficult endeavor of surviving and keeping their head above the water. So childhood wasn’t a cakewalk for me (what does that even mean, by the way…?), to be sure, but I also know that many other people have had it more difficult than I have, and I’m grateful for all of those who were beside me through it and how my parents worked so hard to help me get better. It’s sometimes difficult for me to reconcile those two sets of notions: validating that things were hard while also understanding that I’ve been blessed and things could have been harder; harsh reality mixing with gratitude and hope. I think it’s easy to flip from one side or the other, and I tend to try and use my words like an eraser, thinking that by just talking about the good and not admitting to the bad that it will actually remove it—or, by addressing the bad so casually that I make it seem like it’s not that big of a deal.
Here’s an extra thought, though: it doesn’t remove the ick and it doesn’t make it smaller. And it’s important to recognize and acknowledge it. However, I’ve been thinking more lately that it’s less about periodically telling myself to be more positive because of a, b, c, or superficially reminding myself that I’m okay where I am (Although, I promise, I’m not looking down on the self-pep talk.), but rather, it’s more important to pay attention to where I allow myself to live, the ground in which I allow my thoughts to grow out of, what side I’ve committed my mind to, and my permanent residence. I believe that attitude and perspective depends on where you have built your house; it depends on which side you will choose to live and spend most of your time. Will it be on the foundation of ick (on the disappointment, the frustration, the sickness, the despair)? Or, will you build your house on hope and gratitude, and live inside of that house, while also occasionally inviting the ick inside so you guys can have a cup of tea and a good talk? Everything that you do, everything you think, the very way that you think will spring forth from the base in which you build your house. To be honest, I think I’ve tried to build two houses over the course of my life, and constantly do house swaps depending on who I am with. But, I believe that I’ve started living in my hope house a lot more nowadays, and I pray, that one day I’ll be able to tear down my sick house.
I feel like in some ways I grew up quicker than normal intellectually but at the same time was stunted socially. Perhaps this is a common feeling among other “sick kids.” This, of course, took its toll on my checking off the boxes of social milestones in a “normal” (What is this normal, you speak of?) manner. Thus… we get to the idea of woooooork. As an already introverted kid who spent most of my time in my room through my teens due to sickness, when I started getting better, I didn’t get this work thing. I mean… first things first, I had to leave my room?! Craziness! And secondly, I had to speak with people?! Whaaaat?! Then again, that was just my impression of work. Wonderfully, this has changed as I’ve been able to see that there are many companies and jobs that will treat kindly my introverted nature and will fully capitalize on my desire to work while wearing pajamas (Because why wouldn’t they? It’s a win-win situation.), but at the time, that was what stuck out at me.
Granted, I also had a bad relationship with money. Or rather, I just had a lack of relationship with money. Money and I didn’t really know each other very well. Money had just always been there, and there wasn’t really anything that I had to do to maintain that dynamic (ah, naïveté… ah, privilege). This was, of course, 100% due to my father’s diligent, hard work, and I am extremely grateful for that now. Although, it wasn’t necessarily that I wasn’t grateful for it when I was a kid; I just wasn’t aware of it. Likewise, I had some icky feelings associated with money due to some personal relationships. So basically, there was just a lot of bad blood, misunderstanding, and immaturity to help me step into my young adult years. Oh, I don’t spy disaster at all. Nope, not at all.
But actually, it’s been okay. That’s mainly to do with how God has worked in my life (and man, did we have work to do) and the husband He gave me (awww). Getting healthy, getting married, and moving to Japan really changed my perspective of work. And while I’ve had ups and downs with it, I can say that I genuinely appreciate it in a way that my 15-year-old self probably would have gotten angry at me for, all the while calling me a “sell-out” or something (down, aggressive 15-year-old Allie; down, girl). I genuinely appreciate incoming cash flow; I genuinely appreciate my own work that goes into it, and I have a deeper appreciation of the way that people have supported me financially in the past and those who are financially supporting me now. I appreciate each opportunity (Although not each opportunity is for me, I have learned… discernment in that area is still coming in slowly.). I see you, adulthood. I see you. To add to that, I genuinely find joy at the idea of working these days. It’s not something that I “have” to do, but something that I am able to do, and am able to send up my thanks for a body that can now DO THINGS. All of the things. Well, many of the things. I probably don’t want to do all of the things.
I have found that I enjoy finding things that I enjoy doing. Granted, sometimes I work just for the cash (zero shame), and sometimes, my passion and joys blend together so perfectly with my basic need for finances. And that gets me all kinds of excited. Which leads us to…
DUM DUM DUUUUUUM!!! You know, the actual point of this post. It only took, like, six full paragraphs, but we got there.
I started working at an online language-teaching platform called Verbalplanet.
I’m loving this, guys, because I love me some language and I love teaching and talking with other language learners. There is something seriously beautiful and sincere to me about those who will intentionally sign up for practicing their language skills. I am the girl who will hunt down every free app and website so I don’t have to be committed to a program, so I really appreciate those who are far more diligent than I am in their studies. To be able to walk beside those people and help them in whatever capacity they need in their language journey, I am significantly pumped. Likewise, this program is designed so that people from all over the world are able to sign up and get tutoring. This is crazy awesome, because it gives me the opportunity to be able to get to know more about different cultures, while also being able to meet people where they are and hopefully teach them in a way that will satisfy what they are looking for.
The classes are all centered around the student. If they are wanting just a casual speaking partner, let’s do some chatting. If they are wanting some help with an upcoming interview, let’s get our professional on. If they are looking for grammar help, help with writing in English, pronunciation… aaaaaaanything, I will aim to be able to meet them there. How cool is that? So loose-y goosey. Me likey likey.
Also, I get to offer the first lesson FOR FREE! Yay free things! After that, if students decide they like the way I do my teaching jazz and would like to stick with me, I can set them up with a discount. Yay less money!
If you are interested, here is how it works:
- Sign up for a Skype account here, if you don’t already have one.
- Sign up as a student with an account on http://verbalplanet.com/.
- Find my profile (written in both English and Japanese) here: Verbalplanet.
- You can either click the “Check Availability” or “Book now.” You can also click “Book trial.”
4. That’s it! You will be booked and we can do all of the talking.
While I will only be teaching English, I have opted to put in that I do speak Japanese, so hopefully, that will create a little cushion for those who are native Japanese-speakers who are interested in speaking English.
As I mention in my profile, my background is super wide when it comes to the English-related services that I can and get to offer. Along with conversation practice and the like, I also am heavily based in academic writing editing. If you are looking for help with college application essays, college or high school papers, or even creative writing, let’s have a talk about it. Maybe I can help.
So, to wrap this up, while I may not feel like an adult most days, some days I feel “closer” to that goal than others. Today, as I am writing a blog on my own website about my current role as an online English teacher, I am getting those adulting vibes, and it’s feeling pretty good. For those that have been tuning in to my blog to help study their English (Are you out there??), I hope to see you at Verbalplanet, as well. It’s all in the TSH fam.
If there are those who are interested in hearing about my experience with Verbalplanet, let me know in the comments. Perhaps I will write another post about it in the near future once I have a little more experience under my belt.