Being around kids
Teaching English in Japan got tedious because I was teaching the basics over and over multiple times a week. But I enjoyed teaching children. Sure, there were some kids who were hard to control. But they were usually the fun ones.
There were a few times where I got to play with kids outside of a teacher role at barbecues and parties. Friends of mine who were also there were surprised and complimented me for being so good with children. When I’m around them, my demeanor changes from a shy, socially awkward adult self to that of a fun-loving child.
I miss being around youth after leaving Japan. Taking improv classes recently has been the closest thing that gets back into that fun state around other people. I’m forced to be more open, so I take advantage and try to make up funny scenarios to act out. I’m not really sure what it is that changes. A non-(self)judgmental environment?