Korea Month 6: Calm Before the Storm

This has felt like the longest month I’ve had in my time here. Because I haven’t had to teach any regular classes this entire month, the days have been very slowly, but happily, and peacefully passing by. It’s incredible how the constant stress and tension of the regular semester schedule makes the weeks fly by.

I’ve written about this month a lot in other posts so I’ll try not to repeat myself too much.

This month basically went like this. English Camp > Singapore > Desk Warming. I officially start school again on the 28th so that means I’ve got 7 more days of relaxing and preparing.

The biggest thing about this month is that it marks 6 months for me in Korea.

 

Before I got here, I had a lot of expectations for what my Korean life would look like after six months. But now that I’ve reached that milestone I realize that some of those expectation were a bit too high, and some were a bit too low.

The longer I’m here the more of the big picture I get to see.

When I passed the three-month mark I remember feeling pretty settled. Like I had a routine that I could follow for a certain amount of guaranteed sanity. But now I six months I can see that that routine was a life raft that I was clinging to just to keep my head above the water.

I’ve not struggled too much during my time here, I got very lucky with my school and kids and entire situation. But living in a new country is always an adjustment and every month it seems that there are new ways in which I find myself more comfortable living here.

So now six months in, that routine is one that I no longer have to cling to.

 

I think the other thing to note though, is that six months is quite a long time to not see your family and friends. And I’ve still got at least another six months to go until I plan to go back to America to visit.

That’s a really long time. And I’m starting to feel it.

It’s hard because the amount that my life here becomes more enriching, more meaningful, and more comfortable is inversely proportionate to the amount that I miss my family.

But I’m counting down the days already until I get to see my little sister in Hong Kong so things aren’t too bad.

 

 

Most of this month has been really chill, and has given me a chance to get away from the craziness of work and really consider what my life looks like here, what I’ve accomplished, what I still have yet to accomplish, and what I need to strive for in the 6 months to follow.

So because I’ve written this month to death in a bunch of my other posts I thought I’d take the time to write down some goals that I have the next six months here.

1. Be a more serious teacher.

The way that I mean that, is take myself more seriously. I let the kids get away with a lot which I really shouldn’t because at the end of the day I care that they enjoy using English in my class. But in order for them to really learn, and really respect me, I think I need to be more strict. And that scares me, because “strict” is not in my teaching repertoire as of yet.

2. Force myself to speak more Korean.

That’s pretty self-explanatory. But even when I’m uncomfortable or don’t know exactly how to say something, I need to try anyway.

3. Get out of my comfort zone and start trying to met people again.

I’ve gotten lazy with this. I’ve been saying that I’m going to go to play Volleyball and I never do it. I need to be more intentional with the people in my church. And it would be nice to find some kind of Korean language study group or language exchange event. So it’s time to just bite the bullet and do those things. It’s been six months not. Any excuses of “still adjusting” or “figuring things out” are now invalid.

4. See more of Korea.

I’ve been to Seoul more times than I can count and had the opportunity to travel out of the country twice in the past six months. But I really have not seem much or Korea itself. When I came to Korea to visit last year I went to Busan and Gyeongju but those are the only other places I’ve really been.

It’s time to change that. And at the top of my list are; Daecheon Beach, Daegu, Yeosu, and Jeju.

 

So there’s my very all-over-the-place six month update. This month has basically been the calm before the storm. Things are good here in Korea and I hope things are good where ever you read this from!

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