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Closing A Long Chapter

So, I mentioned that I didn’t tell anybody what I was doing, right? You might be wondering why. It’s a long story but it’s also a simple answer. I didn’t want to run the risk of anybody trying to cast doubt or any sort of negativity on my happy development. Trust me; it happens a lot in my company of communities especially the black community. That’s also a long story.


Anyway, after completing all the necessary steps, I began telling people about my decision to teach abroad. I confess I gave a small glimpse of my plan to my brothers because…well…they are my brothers. My grandma figured it out because she holds on to everybody’s government information for safekeeping. It’s a grandma thing. Now, both my brothers and grandma was beyond happy for me.


My youngest brother was the happiest and even wanted to tag along only to be reminded about his family. That was a hilarious conversation. My older brothers made sure I was steadfast in my decision because, as I said before, there were a lot of people who were trying to discourage me from going. And I do mean a lot. “Crabs In A Barrel” is a big problem in my community. They just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to be dissuaded.


However, grandma was not worried. In fact, she was surprised that it didn’t happen sooner. I also wanted to make sure that no one got in my way. You know…that way most grandmas know how.

First, she made sure that I had everything I needed for my trip. We went clothes shopping and I ordered a few more pairs of pants and jeans. She also helped with my savings. But, which was most important to me, she made a family dinner occasion to celebrate my departure. Only the supportive ones were only to attend. Her rules, not mine.



My friends were abundant in size and it was quite a task to say “Goodbye” to them all. There were gatherings after gatherings because I have so many circles of friends. I had my gay village friends, work friends, bar friends, college friends, high school friends, church friends, NYCC friends and that’s just to name a few. Suffice it to say, I consume more alcohol in the last month of my time than in my entire life. There were also a lot of tears coming from me, too.


As you may have guessed, I had a lot of people who were not happy for me. The reasons varied but the reactions were all the same. Almost all of them made an effort to either discourage me from going or, even worse, devalue my accomplish. It’s normal for me, believe it or not. But a quick retort and a block button usually fixes all of that. I’ve never been one for letting negativity get to me. My stance is “If you’re not progressing then you have no right to question mine.”


The night before my departure was the most emotional for me and my youngest brother. We have been tight since birth and it was the first time that we were going to be apart. Like, really apart. A state away was normal but never more than that. It was a bit much for us and we had to drink a lot to come to terms with it. Same with my elder cousin except we played a heft ton of video games instead of drinking. We didn’t sleep, either. We couldn’t. We were too wired and full of emotions.

On a side note, though, my brother did ask me one question that contributed to my lack of sleep: “Justin, don’t you hate flying?”


If you have any questions about OWEN Education or Chongqing/China, feel free to contact me

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