Noncommital Words


…we think…

…we’re gonna try…


Lately, my words have commitment issues. My sentences have one foot in and one foot out the door. They are into one night stands…not really up for sticking around the morning after.

I find this happens when asked about our plans for next year. Being in the international teaching circuit, contracts usually circulate every two years. Ours is up next June and teachers are buzzing about whether they are staying in their current positions at the school or moving on to job fairs to seek their next place of employment.

For anyone who is in this field, it is thrilling and nerve-wracking all at once. So, when asked about plans, the common answers are:

1. I’m staying here.


2. We’re recruiting.


3. We’re moving to Laos and are leaving our teaching careers which take care of visa issues, housing, and medical insurance (not to mention a steady salary) to start a business and plant roots in an impoverished  but beautiful country.

I don’t really say #3. Why? Because it’s scary. Instead, I say:

Well, we’re looking to move to Laos and see if we can start something there. We always have teaching to fall back on if it doesn’t work out.

What I’ve noticed is that people sense the nervous energy…the non commitment in my words. Eyes glaze. Polite nodding. And an occasional: “Hmm, is it that easy to open up a business in a communist country?”

Fair enough. I feel I’m getting back what I put out there. What would happen if I shouted or enthusiastically stated what I really feel?

I’m not planning on teaching because I am itching to create something new. We’re moving to Laos to do that.

In this way, I am relaying how I feel without predicting a future that is truly uncertain.

And my words can be more faithful.

                                                                                                                 photo credit

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