What event would you say has altered your life the most, and why? (If you're answer is moving to China, then tell us about event #2!)
Births,& marriages aside ...
My younger son, Isaac, was in a fatal head-on car collision with his mother (my first wife), and his half-sister. Someone in the other car was killed. The tow trucks and ambulances arrived. The fire brigade had to use the "jaws of life" to cut through the mangled vehicles to get the bodies out. Isaac was lucky not to have his left leg severed completely below the knee. He also sustained two breaks in his right arm, and seatbelt burns across his torso. His mother received a broken ankle and broken ribs. His half sister: a split liver and facial bruising. The ambulances took each casualty to a different hospital.
I was preparing to go to work when I received a phone call from one of the hospitals. The nurse introduced herself and said, "I think you should sit down". She wasn't aware that Isaac's mother and I were divorced, because she was referring to my ex-wife as "your wife" (she had remarried), and my step-daughter as "your daughter". The nurse told me of the injuries to each, and then went quiet. I thought she must have been saving the worst news for last. I braced myself, & asked "What about the other two?". I was expecting to hear that my older son, Samuel, and my daughter, Libby, were dead. The nurse replied, "What other two?". There wasn't anyone else in the car. I confirmed that. The nurse then said, " Isaac is in shock. He is very distressed, and has insisted that he must talk to you".
Isaac was put on the phone and he said very matter-of-factly, "Dad! I've been in accident, and I wanted to make sure that you know". I drove straight over to the hospital, and didn't sleep or eat for the next three days. I must say that it's a great method for weight loss.
Much later on, after most of the trauma was over and he was out of hospital, I discussed this with Isaac. He said, "Remember, Dad, you've always told me that if I have a problem, you want to know. I knew that nobody else would've contacted you." [That's a good son!]
Isaac had always been slow in learning to read and write. This had been attributed to Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.), which I didn't believe anyway. His eyesight & hearing wasn't the best. Anyhow,Isaac also reminded me of something else that I had previously impressed on him. And that was, " You haven't got A.D.D. ! You've D.A.D.!" He looked at me a bit surprised when I said, "I'm proud of you!"
So, how did this alter my life ? I realised that I had no deep feeling, except human compassion, for any of the other injured.
Two or three years later, Isaac became too busy with his own life to spend any more time with me. What was left for me? I'd been living in a city in a part of the world that I hated for the last ten years or so, just to be near my children. You hear people say that their children grow quickly. It doesn't happened gradually. You glimpse it one day, and then they're gone. Time for me to get on with my own life. Within a year or so, I left the country.
Now and then, I get emails from my children. They're happy. So am I. They always knew that I wouldn't hang around if I wasn't wanted or needed. They're welcome to visit me.
There's no emotional baggage or unresolved issues.
I have my eye on living / teaching in South America (Costa Rica, Venezuela, & Argentina).
I am sure this isnt much of a concern to you (as it isnt to me when I visit third world countries) but Venezuela is at the midst of a civil uprising with a tremendous amount of political instability. A lot of people are fleeing the country because no one knows what it is going to happen next. This means weekly protests, picketing, paros (the country stops working so the government will meet their demands), etc etc.. This all equals = Wocca doesnt get to work as often as he wants to.
Argentina seems to slowly be getting back of track but the country is practically bankrupt. My mom just got back from a visit to Buenos Aires and she said the Argentina today is nothing like the way it was a decade ago. Corrupt politians have once more cleaned up the volts. This means = Wocca cant get paid because the country has no money (unless you join a private institution that caters to the few wealthy people left in the country).
Costa Rica is a beautiful paraside with more retired americans than you care to count. I dont know if this is me, but everyone I speak with is getting a condo in Costa Rica near the coast. I hear it is easy to get a girl.
How about Peru? I hear there are pretty girls there, more like up to your standards, hahahaha.
have you ever misjudged someone, how and why ?
That's very broad, Raven.
I've misjudged people and situations.I'm definitely not going to try and blame anyone else for my imperfections. At the same time, I don't harbour guilt. We should all learn from our mistakes, and move on. Through knowledge and experience, our sense of judgement improves.
How & why? I'll apply these to myself. We often judge others by their actions, and ourselves by our motives. I've judged myself by what I perceive to have been my own personal motives when in fact my actions, in hindsight, haven't always matched the ideals I thought I was subscribing to at the time.
If you really need to know more, then see what you can find out about
Would you say that you are a religous person or a spiritual person Wocca?
Wocca, that's really... I was going to say heartbreaking, but you seem to have made your peace with it and have found your own happiness. All I can say is thank you for sharing that with us.
I felt I wanted to respond to that but anything I said sounded lame...
I dont know about the rest of you, but Wocca is becoming more real than ever to me. I love seeing the human side of people when the most intimate feelings are shared with others for no other reason than to learn from one another. I think it teaches us how to thrive, how to overcome, and how to lead better lives through the successes and shortcomings of those around us. I am taking a little bit from each one of you so thank you for sharing so much in the forums!
I felt I wanted to respond to that but anything I said sounded lame...
Hey E, I know exactly what you want to say...I had a hard time putting it into words so I came up with...well, you can see it...it does want to bring a tear to your eyes, doesnt it?
"... Venezuela is at the midst of a civil uprising with a tremendous amount of political instability. A lot of people are fleeing the country because no one knows what it is going to happen next..."
WOCCA: Anything can happen before I eventually get there. And if I was there (or in Argentina), I'd be there for the lifestyle rather than the income. I do have a Venezuelan friend that keeps inviting me to stay with her in Caracas. She's the deputy-principal of a school.
In India, I didn't get paid much. It was just local currency. I had no living costs. Accommodation was supplied. So was cooked meals, and servants. I left with a wad of Indian money which went a long way when I travelled in other parts of that country and Nepal. I usually have a reserve of $US dollars.
[/quote=areinstein]"...Argentina seems to slowly be getting back of track but the country is practically bankrupt..."[/quote]
WOCCA: I'd be in the same boat as everyone else then. Hopefully, all these negative aspects would keep other westerners away. I could enjoy a simple existence. I have an Argentinian friend in Buenos Aires. I think she's a corporate lawyer. She should be able to point me in the right direction.
There are usually recruitment & placement agencies qualified and experienced foreign teachers can go through to arrange work contracts before actually arriving in any particular country .One reason that I might stay longer in China (until July 2007), is just to look better on "paper". I'm becoming a much more marketable commodity all the time.
[/quote=areinstein]"...Costa Rica is a beautiful paraside with more retired americans than you care to count. I dont know if this is me, but everyone I speak with is getting a condo in Costa Rica near the coast. I hear it is easy to get a girl..."[/quote]
WOCCA: Sounds great, but way out of my price range.
[/quote=areinstein]"...How about Peru? I hear there are pretty girls there, more like up to your standards, hahahaha. [/quote]
WOCCA: Thanks for the tip, Anne.
WOCCA: I'd be in the same boat as everyone else then. Hopefully, all these negative aspects would keep other westerners away. I could enjoy a simple existence.
I should have known better that this would be your response. I am playing devil's advocate because I find myself answering those very same questions and arguments whenever I start with my "third world country talk", (as my friends put it) at our occassional gatherings. I think in the end the answer is very simple...I enjoy a simple existence...