Eye-Opening Moments Podcast

A String of Bad Luck (and more)

April 09, 2024 Emily Kay Tan Episode 115
A String of Bad Luck (and more)
Eye-Opening Moments Podcast
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Eye-Opening Moments Podcast
A String of Bad Luck (and more)
Apr 09, 2024 Episode 115
Emily Kay Tan

Eye-Opening Moments are real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. In this episode you will hear about A String of Bad Luck and From a Pandemic Trap to a Sanctuary.


Website: https://inspiremereads.com
Books: https://amazon.com/author/emily-kay-tan.2021_

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Eye-Opening Moments are real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. In this episode you will hear about A String of Bad Luck and From a Pandemic Trap to a Sanctuary.


Website: https://inspiremereads.com
Books: https://amazon.com/author/emily-kay-tan.2021_

Support the Show.



Comments or questions welcomed:
Twitter @emilykaytan OR https://inspiremereads.com.
Subscriptions appreciated: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1919670/support

Hello and welcome to episode #115 of Eye-Opening Moments where you’ll hear stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. They are moments that can lift your spirits, give you some food for thought, or move you. For the introspective mind that likes to reflect, discover, and find solutions or meaning in a complex life, this is for you. I’m your host Emily Kay Tan. In this episode, you will hear about A String of Bad Luck and From a Pandemic Trap to a Sanctuary.

A String of Bad Luck
After living abroad for some time, I moved back home to the USA. Nothing was the same as before, and it was as if I moved back to a place that was no longer familiar. It was only a six-year departure, but it might as well have been a lifetime ago. My home was not home anymore. Worse, it seemed like an invisible spirit sprinkled bad luck on me by bringing me a string of bad luck. Was it a prelude to worse things to come? Or were the spirits trying to send me another message? 

Back in the USA, I searched for a job immediately because I wanted to secure a stable income. My friend Selina said, “Why don’t you join me in business? We complement each other in our talents.” She also suggested that I write the book I always wanted to, but I didn’t know what to write about or why I wanted to write! The practical me wanted to hurry and get a job for income. After two months, I secured a well-paying job and was glad.

I never imagined that the job would become a nightmare. I had always found great joy and satisfaction in my teaching career, but now I began disliking it. The teacher, next door to me was highly nosy. She wanted to know which unit or chapter I was on in all the subjects. She even wanted to know the details of the homework I assigned to my students. She was not my supervisor or mentor. We both had over twenty years of experience, so why was she poking her nose where it didn’t belong? She annoyed me, and I couldn’t help but show my displeasure. Then, she began to ask my students instead of me. Why did she need to meddle in my business?

I never had a co-worker so intrusive and meddlesome. She took her invasive stance to the next level by telling the principal that she was having her students read a particular set of chapter books, and I was not asking to borrow her personal set to do the same as she was doing. The principal observed that I was using the new reading curriculum as everyone was supposed to be doing and did not say anything to me. However, since she was at the school for many years, the principal seemed to accept any opinion she had of me. 

She wasn’t happy that I was not working with her, but as my friend Selina said, I could teach and didn’t need the help she wanted to give to make herself feel good. I was doing my job and minding my own business, but she was so frustrated with me that she approached me to state her case. She told me she was very close to the previous teacher and they talked about everything together. She wanted to do the same with me. I let her know that I was busy familiarizing myself with the curriculum, doing my job, and taking care of my kids instead of thinking about talking with her. I let her know that if I needed help, I would ask her. I found myself looking for things to ask her, and it wasn’t easy to come up with questions! 

I never thought I would encounter such a needy teacher. It was uncomfortable thinking that since I did not fulfill her needs, she also needed to find fault with me and talk to other teachers about it. She was like a child who wanted me to be her best friend, and I was not doing what she wanted, so she would badmouth me to anyone who would listen. Her overbearing presence made work so unpleasant that I quit my highest-paying elementary school teaching position. I can only say I chose the wrong school or was unfortunate to encounter such bad luck.

After that one-year ordeal, I decided to pursue a dream I once had. Using the credentials I worked hard to get and teaching a foreign language in high school was exciting because I had never taught high school or a foreign language before. My friends told me teaching high schoolers would be no fun; I wouldn’t hear any of it. I said I needed to see for myself and was enthusiastic about doing something different. 

I moved to another city and started the new job. I thought my passion for the foreign language would make my students love it. I tried many different things to attract or engage them, but nothing worked. I heard they sang a few songs I taught them in other classes and even did the homework assignments I gave them during their other classes. Other teachers told me my students liked my class. The other teachers had no reason to lie about it, but I found it hard to believe that my students enjoyed my class because of what they did. They played games, listened to music, or texted on their cell phones, and I could not take their phones away from them. They would cry that I stole from them or touched their property. They were busy talking to each other if they were not on their phones. When did they do any work? 

I handed out activity sheets for them to do and had them pronounce words. I worked with them individually. They ignored any large group lecture or activity. Even working with them in pairs was ignored. Each student only responded when I worked with them individually. It was frustrating, and the worst part was that they showed no interest. Having taught for over twenty years with great success, I was now experiencing enormous failure. I exhausted every idea I knew to help them learn something. The school and other co-workers told me I did more than any previous teacher, but that was no comfort. I knew I was working at a school with challenging students already tossed out from other schools, but I thought I could still make a difference. I didn’t feel my presence mattered, and I was again not enjoying the job. It was supposed to be my dream job, but it was a nightmare. I quit again. It was so unlike me to give up; I didn’t know who I was anymore. Was it bad luck? Did I have so good a time while abroad that now I needed to have some bad luck to balance the forces in the atmosphere?

I didn’t want to teach anymore. I loved it for over twenty years, but now I love it no more. Perhaps it was time to do something else after teaching for a quarter of a century. I decided to take a year off, take some classes, and figure out what to do next. In one year, I traveled to Bhutan on a spiritual journey, jetted to China twice to sharpen my language skills, took writing classes, and took a Shaolin martial arts class in town. As wonderful as it all seemed, I was no closer to identifying my next career move. And then the global pandemic hit. I was jobless for eight months, and now I didn’t know how much longer I could go jobless. How long was the pandemic going to last? No one knew for sure. Bad luck seemed to be following me. 

I quit my excellent, high-paying job because of a most annoying co-worker. I left my dream job because it became a nightmare. Now, I had no job; I would be in dire straits if I didn’t hurry and get another one. I was in financial trouble, jobless, and careerless. On top of it all was the pandemic. I endured bad luck for three years; how would I continue to survive? 

Thinking it was all bad luck would not help or save me. Perhaps I had had a long and successful career, and it was time I experienced something different to strike a balance somewhere. Maybe the spirits were trying to tell me to do something else. I began writing about my adversities and found solace in writing. I also began podcasting and found my voice that had fallen silent. Out of the pandemic, I became a writer and podcaster. They are new passions I enjoy. 

Whether we think we have good luck or bad luck, important to remember is that we make our luck. We choose it and proceed accordingly. Thinking I had a string of bad luck did not help me. However, fighting to get out of it, I learned I would tolerate less than before because I had enjoyed paradise previously while abroad. Maybe the spirits were balancing my good and bad times because if you have one, the other would be around the corner. However, I will still choose to fight myself out of a string of bad luck. Choose your luck

 From a Pandemic Trap to a Sanctuary
It happened while volunteering in Bhutan as an English Literature teacher at a high school. After two weeks of teaching, the principal suddenly called me to inform me that the school was closing because Bhutan had its first case of the COVID-19 virus. I wondered why it had to close when one tourist came and was already in quarantine near the airport. I didn’t realize the severity of the situation or the pandemic until I could not get a flight out of Bhutan. The airline canceled one flight after another. Trapped in Bhutan, I was told it was a blessing in disguise because I was safe where I was. I had nothing to do and nowhere to go. What was I supposed to do? 

I stared out my hotel window. All I could see was one short row of buildings from one window by my bed and mountain ranges from a window diagonal to the first. My mind seemed empty, with no thoughts. I walked outside in the cold, crispy air. Pandemic or not, no one was around. All I could do was enjoy the nearby brook with flowing water over many rocks and pebbles. There was a short, small bridge. I got on it to look at my surroundings from about ten feet high. Surrounded by nature and the quiet sounds of the wind and water in the brook, I had no worries, anxieties, or thoughts. Having no thoughts bouncing in my head was the strangest feeling. Back in the USA, my mind was always full of ideas and often too many thoughts running rampant. How did I suddenly have no thoughts in my head during a worldwide crisis?!

After a short walk, I returned to my hotel room and began writing short stories that I might include in my future books. To my surprise, I wrote one story after another with only a few pauses while writing them. Perhaps I was mesmerized by the flowing water I saw in the brook. Though there were many rocks and pebbles, they did not stop water from flowing freely over and in between them. My pen seemed to lead my hand to write seamlessly. It was unexplainable magic and a writer’s dream come true. Stopping myself in my tracks, I turned on my laptop to type. My fingers moved to form words I didn’t know were coming. I was witnessing something miraculous. It was as if my fingers were moving automatically without any directions from me. It was as if I had found my sanctuary during this pandemic!

After two weeks, I got a flight back home. The pandemic was raging, with panicking people hoarding supplies and news of the spread of the virus killing more and more people. Reports from the news suggested people stay home and only go out if necessary for food or medication. Some people were angry, distressed, or claustrophobic, creating more problems, crime, or violence. There was no good news each time I listened to the news, and the pandemic seemed to worsen.

The world outside my home seemed to be in chaos. Inside my abode, it was a quiet retreat for me. My sanctuary was peaceful and quiet. I wrote more stories and shared them with friends over the phone. Friends and acquaintances said they were inspired and moved to tears. It shocked me to know that my challenges and misery could touch others. Soon, I discovered a purpose for all my stories. It gave me the motivation to write more. The world outside seemed chaotic, but in my humble abode, I found a peaceful existence that led me to a passion for writing.

Though homebound, I did not feel trapped indoors. I enjoyed the refuge to let my fingers gracefully dance to make words into stories. As I relished in the miracle of revelations and solving problems while writing, I found writing to be my oasis. Lesson learned: Regardless of what happens around us, finding our own piece of paradise, wherever it may be, is essential.

Key Takeaways:
Though I thought I had a string of bad luck, I decided I choose my luck and got out of my rut.

Though I was trapped in a pandemic and had to stay at home, I discovered a passion for writing and enjoyed my stay at home.

Next week, you will hear about two new real-life stories called They Stole From Me and About the Unexpected. If you enjoyed this episode of Eye-Opening Moments, please share it with others, support the show by clicking on the link in the description, or go to www.inspiremereads.com and leave a message. Thank you for listening!

 

Introduction
A String of Bad Luck
From a Pandemic Trap to a Sanctuary
Key Takeaways