Third Time is a Charm – Back to Korea

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Why Korea, Again?

I actually, cannot believe that I am back in Korea; it’s such a bittersweet feeling. I went through an emotional transition in April and May. I felt like I had lost my direction in life. Everyone around me was either in a serious dating situation, engagement, getting married and/or having babies. I wanted what I could not have, or perhaps what God felt like I was not ready for. Growing up, I pictured my life so differently and of course, just like many of us, life does not always go as planned. I thought that by age 27, I would be married, with 2-3 children, a decent house and a chocolate husband. And the next time I travelled I hoped it would be for those ‘bae-cations’ everyone speaks of: that’s this generation’s term for vacationing with your significant other/’bae’.

Here I am, 27 years old, and I have none of the above.

It seemed then, like I was only dreaming, not living. It was such a hard reality to accept, but nonetheless, I had no choice but to accept it…because after all, it was my reality. Moreover once reality set in, I was able to look at my life and start planning on a future with or without those daydreams but more importantly, with my personal goals at the forefront instead of waiting for life to happen – I had to “get busy living or get busy dying.” (- yes, that quote’s from  The Shawkshank Redemption lol, excellent film).

So, The Million Dollar Question : ‘Why Korea?’

I had applied to teach in the UAE, with MOE, as it was my dream to live and teach in the UAE. I wanted the money and to live the glamorous lifestyle. I studied like crazy and prayed even harder, but God always knows best. I was very confident that I had gotten the job because my interview and test went well, but the competition was maybe too high? Because I did not end up being one of the lucky, chosen few. After, I felt really depressed. I felt like a failure, but I knew I had to snap out of it quickly, as it was effecting everyone around me. I became very negative and lost all confidence in myself. I started to chase after a relationship that I caused to end, because of my major trust and insecurity issues. I was so focused on all the wrong things that I didn’t even realize I had pushed him too far. He was already checked out, but I was still chasing and it was just too late.  I was so desperate and eager to get married because I wanted to have kids to prove to myself and everyone that I was not a failure, but the only problem was: I was going about it all, the wrong way. I knew this was not how I wanted to live. I also knew that I was better than the pity party I threw myself, almost every day for 2 months. It was time to snap out of it and to get back into the swing of things.

Korea Quickly Became My New Plan

As a back-up after applying for jobs in the UAE I made sure to look at jobs in Korea, too. It was a safe option due to my two years of prior experience and the transition back into Korea wouldn’t be difficult as I had survived the cultural shock back in 2014.

I decided to go with the offer from Gyeongsangnam-do Office of Education because I wanted to be placed close to Busan, which is the second largest city in South Korea. My first 2 years in Korea was in the Jeollabuk-do province, so this time around I wanted to be in a completely different province. I did have a few doubts while going through the documentation process again, but I just knew my decision eventually would make sense. I left my home, Canada on July 1st and as much as it has been a hard transition, I know I would have been in a great pool of regret had I declined the offer.

 

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Reflection

I will make the most of my year, here in Yangsan, as I can only stay a year this time around, because I start grad school in 2018.  I have always believed that God has a bigger plan for me than I have for myself.  I want to complain less, regain my self-confidence and spread positive energy. We should never compare our life journey to others. We are all exactly where God wants us to be. The reason why I am in a better place than I was 2 months ago, is because of my mental shift. I am honestly trying to be more positive and to see the glass ‘half full’.

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My Goals

  • Firstly, I plan on improving my Korean – I’ve already enrolled and met up with my language exchange buddy!
  • I want to get into writing a lot more (blogging! YAY!) and getting back into regular reading. I am currently reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly  and can’t wait to start Exponential Living by Sheri Riley.
  • I also want to save a lot more this time around, as I didn’t manage my money very well my first 2 years here. Gotta to start saving for grad school and life back in Canada.
  • I want to get back to working out, hydration and just healthy living outside and in…
  • I’m focused also on learning to forgive and love myself through my triumphs and failures.
  • Finally, I plan on living in the moment and appreciating life more. I will definitely explore other parts of Korea and I will try to stay far away from Seoul. I love Seoul, but my first two years in Korea were basically spent all in Seoul.

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My advice to everyone in a funk is to push yourself to change your environment because fear and negativity will only dig you in a deeper hole. I feel very blessed that I could change my environment drastically by travelling – I know how lucky I am to have that option. But a reminder to myself and you – nobody is responsible for your happiness but you. Nobody wants a party pooper or a downer around them all the time.

Pick up your crown from the floor girlfriend, and go grab life by the horns!

 

Sincerely yours,

Meya

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