It’s been about a month since I posted anything here and I just wanted to check in and say that I’m still alive!
The first year that I was in Korea every single thing I did I was doing it for the first time. It was scary and exciting and there was so much going on in my head that writing about it all here was an incredible way for me to process everything.
But these days it’s just my life. It’s just my regular old boring life. And it’s a really good one. Of course there are still things to process but for the most part I am completely settled here. I’m perfectly comfortable with where I am right now. And I think, better than the amazing highs from my first year, this kind of easy contentment is much healthier.
I’m going home in exactly 15 days and I cannot wait for a chance to be with my family and back in the warmth (both literal and figurative) and familiarity of my hometown. Last time going home felt like the somehow significant end of the marathon that was my first year in Korea, but this time it just feels like a vacation. And a much-needed one at that.
When I come back this time to start the new school year here, I know what to expect. I know what it’s like transitioning into a new schedule. It’s not easy but I’m not worried.
And with the start of the new school year comes the start of my “last times” doing things here. This will be my last first day of school with my kids, my last time to eat 붕어빵 in the cold, my last time to see the cherry blossoms in springtime. I’m sure I will feel sad when I actually leave, but right now thinking about the year ahead of me I am just thankful.
In some ways three years is a long time. It will be long enough to have watched my original grade 1 students graduate middle school and become adults before my eyes. It is long enough that, when the time comes, I will be very ready to leave and move on to something new.
But it really not so long. As much as Korea and my job here is my whole world right now it’s strange to think that in time it will just be a memory. In the past the thought of that scared me. I was afraid of forgetting all the details and feelings. But they are so much a part of me now that I’m not so worried about it anymore. The memories will fade and the feelings will dull but Korea will always have a particular place in my heart that I know isn’t going anywhere.
The coming year is going to be a year of figuring out what comes next. A lot of the reason that I haven’t written much on this blog recently is that I have gotten pretty serious about my Korean. I’m at a point where I’m not good enough to actually do anything with it yet but the thought has occurred to me that if I could somehow make a career with this skill, that could be incredibly rewarding.
I love being a teacher. But I think what I love more than the actual teaching is the language, the communication. Being a language teacher allows me to do that so I know I could be happy doing something like this forever. But I’ve started to think about other options. Options that would probably be much harder but I think might be more rewarding for me in the long run.
Anyway, I’m still alive. I’m doing really well, and I miss writing here. I’m heading up to Seoul for the weekend and planning to make a blog post out of it because I miss taking pictures and I think it’s going to be a really good weekend.
As always hope you’re doing well. Thanks for reading 🙂