Chanthaburi, Thailand was a place that left me exasperated by the end of everyday because of the mistreatment not only at my school, but also around the entire town. The grotesque stares from Thai people which was soul-crushing, the boss who threatened to fire me at any given time because she was power hungry, the colleague who made up stories of him being with university students to make me jealous (46 year old irishman with 3 teeth) among so many other things that culminated over the 5 month period.
There was a lady by the name of Tina in the deep south of Thailand who told me, “hey, I’ve been seeing your Facebook posts lately about not liking your job. You should come down here! There are plenty of jobs!” Thailand 4 years ago was just slightly acceptable to accepting African Americans as teachers versus the next-to-none nowadays.
So, one day I booked a minivan trip (3 hour ride with strangers) to Bangkok and took a flight from there to Nakhon Si Thammarat. My friend, who I met for the first time, was at the airport to pick me up. After getting settled in, we visited a man who apparently was the one with all the “power” in the province. He greeted me with open arms and said, “So AJ (nickname), you need a job? Ok.” He got on his phone and made a call to his wife who I later spoke to.
The conversation was put like this, “ok, when can you move here? October 10th? We will see you then.”
I had to tip-toe my way out of the school and Chanthaburi because the parents plead for me to stay there long term.
I wouldn’t have gotten paid for 60 days and my savings account was depleting. I wanted to do traveling but I had only 1000$ USD left in my name, so I needed to hurry and get out of the school who paid me 66$ less because I was African American versus the two other caucasian teachers (from America and Ireland).
After experiencing the large increase in the new province in terms of salary, I was content, but then the racism began to burrow down on me like a 100 lb weight. When I was approaching the last months of Nakhon Si Thammarat, I hit rock bottom in courage, self-esteem, and self confidence.
I recall applying for 60 jobs one morning and got one reply from a gentleman who’s school was in a remote town near the historical Ayutthaya. Well, I took another leap.
The school, being right in the middle of a marsh, had some of the worst energy I’ve ever experienced in my life. By that time, I knew what was good and what wasn’t in this country; therefore, after 3 job interviews that plummeted viciously whereas I walked out of one because they didn’t call my name. Conversely, whilst enduring all that pain, I continued to fight and ultimately got a job in Bangkok.
4 years on…my life has changed completely after the transgressions. That leap of faith. A lot of people would say on twitter, “why are you still here then?” Ignore senseless questions like that. These people, just like some of the colleagues I’ve worked with in the present and past, will try demoralize you and make you believe that you’re just a speck in the world.
I’m not here for a wife, a girlfriend, or to retire….I’m here to become the best version of myself and changed the lives of thousands all over the world.
Look what has happened to me in spite of the rejections, the no’s, the people not talking to me, the racial comments, the job prospects asking if I’m black…..how was I able to change it around?
After taking all those leaps, I reached a plateau in which I was very content with my life, but still didn’t have a life purpose statement. I was shooting blanks in life hoping to hit something, but wasn’t.
Then I picked up a book that changed my life. I’m telling you to take that leap. To do research. Find out the life purpose and what you’re really after. What legacy do you want to leave in life?
It all comes with taking the gigantic leap.