Leavin’ on a Jet Plane

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If you’re not a friend of mine on Facebook (and why aren’t you!?) you may not be aware that I today decided not to pursue a new position here in Korea once my current one ends in a few weeks time. My love for Korea certainly hasn’t diminished and it will be hard to leave behind the good friends – both old and new – that I have on this tiny little peninsula.

For a while now I have been unhappy. Not in the ‘Oh my, life is not awesome’ sense – but in a fundamental sense that I’ve come to find is the norm. Waking up in the morning is harder than it should be, I’ve lost interest in most all of my hobbies (as evidenced by the lack of writing here), and I find that I bounce too often between being happy with things and being either teary eyed or feeling urutterly devoid of hope. For too long I’ve sought to ‘solve’ this problem of being unhappy with a girl, and it’s not fair to the girls or to me that I keep seeking answers in a place I won’t find them. A relationship isn’t a patch you put on something that’s broken, and I need to break that habit.

It’s not just relationships or being unhappy that motivate my decision. I am passionate about writing and yet I continue to go to drastic lengths to avoid really doing it. Despite wanting nothing more than to be a writer – I’ve never submitted a novel to a publisher. I’ve never entered a writing competition or even attempted to find work in the field I am interested in. I take dead end jobs or I jet off around the world, and that’s a lot of fun, but it’s getting me no closer to being the person I want to be. For my whole life I’ve opted to take the easiest possible option, and it’s time that I tried something hard.

Some of my favorite kids at Storia. 2009.
Farewelling Gwangju in 2008. No surprise that I'm still friends with a lot of these fine people.

Over the next week I’m going to put up a blog a day about the seven things that I thing make Korea such a great place to be. I’ve touched on similar topics before. I am not leaving because I hate Korea or because my heart is broken or because I’m sick of working. I love teaching and I love so much about this country. I’m sure within a month or two of being home I’ll be itching to come back. But I’ll fight that urge. I need to figure out exactly who I am and what it is I want from life. And if that does prove to be teaching abroad, then I’ll be both physically, mentally, and emotionally healthier when I get back to it.

Right before I came to Korea back in 2007, I found a weird Christmas decoration with the Korean flag on it. I took it as some sign that I was on the right course, and I kept it amongst my belongings over the next two years.

When I came back this year I didn’t have it with me and, to be honest, I am pretty sure it’s long lost. And maybe that’s a sign too. Korea was the place for me at one point in my life, and as easy as it would be if it was always the place, maybe that’s just not the case anymore.

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