I don't know if all of my readers know this or remember but last year I quit / got fired from my hagwon.
At that time a lot was happening. I was leaving behind a school that gave me my first experience in Korea, which was haunting. I had to move farther from Seoul, causing rifts in my relationship with my ex. And I had to immediately face a new job. While at the same time being sick as a dog.
Since then I have spent time reflecting on it and trying to find the value from that experience.
But somethings don't change no matter how much your surroundings transform.
And I don't mean to get all mushy here but I am going to be talking about myself.
You see when I worked at the hagwon not only was I having a hard time pleasing the student's parents but I didn't get along too well with my Korean coteachers.
We even had a fight.
I left that situation hoping I would end up teaching with better coteachers. What I didn't realize was that it was really myself that needed to get better.
Because of that experience I ended up not really knowing how to act or treat my new coteachers at my current public school.
Instead of being an open person willing to work on lesson planning and ask questions. I became shut in and independent. Figuring if I don't mess with the system then it won't mess with me.
Intertwined with this was also my nature to allow my mood to affect the way I do my job.
So when you combine all these things at some point life isn't going to be heading in the way you want.
Recently I have been feeling burned out and wondering what my purpose is here in Korea. But unfortunately I was feeling bitter too. Starting to blame Korea and Koreans for my lousy house. I started to feel like I needed some retribution from my Korean coworkers and coteacheres. In other words I was becoming resentful.
I tend to show my heart on my sleeve, and so my coteacher started to sense all this. Her reaction to cope with this was to give up on me.
But the other day we had a falling out and today she approached me saying she was angry at me. I knew the reason and I knew my responsibility, so later I on I told her we should spend some time to talk about.
And we did.
From 4:00 - 6:35 today we talked and talked.
She was angry and said some things. But I knew it was coming.
However, she is a patient woman and forgiving. She also believes in other people.
I shared a lot with her. More than I have with any person I have met in Korea. Although I know it was helpful to our relationship, it frightens me a little. But I have to trust other people more...by that I mean Korean people.
She shared a lot too with me, and told me how she believes that we should not blame things on the outside for our problems and attitude. That we have to look inside and makes changes from within.
All this time I have been waiting to hear about my contract. While at the same time I have been forgetting about the job.
My sight has been returned to the task at hand. And now I know that I need to focus on the job and not the conclusion of my contract, for that will come.
Sorry to share such intimate information. I don't even know if you guys read this far.
So I want to add one more thing. I feel that I came to Korea for a purpose. I think that the isolation and being engulfed in an alien culture helps one examine who they are and 'why' they are. I know this isn't true for every expat here. But for me living here sometimes feels like I am stumbling around in the dark while at the same time surrounded by a room full of mirrors.
Because of that uncanny situation I end up at times learning more about myself.
Well these are all just words. Only actions can tell us the results. Thanks for reading this sentimental blah blah stuff.