Why leave this land that has so many wonders and where I have discovered a culture rich in beauty and taste?
My time in Korea, for the most part, was focused on a certain set of tracks. Those led by the fact that I was dating a Korean and we were getting serious. I thought that my life was headed down towards marriage and forming a family in Korea. It was something I was willing to accept and go through with, coming with the price of leaving America and my family behind. Intertwined with this was my love for the country, exploring and being involved in the art scene. But then last year these tracks suddenly stopped, I broke up with my boyfriend. Since I was heading down those tracks I tried to keep the momentum going, hoping I would find a new lover along the way. However, it seemed as hard as I tried life just wasn't going to deal me those cards.
Around the beginning of this last summer, as I found myself defeated again, I sat back and asked myself, "Where am I going in Korea? What am I doing here?" I began to see that trying to continue the personal path I was on before was becoming fruitless, yet my energy and love towards teaching had never waned. I also considered what is left for me here in Korea, both professionally and personally.
(my Public School classroom in 2008)
Professionally I could continue to find good schools to work at and build up my reputation and salary, perhaps getting a University teaching gig. But then I understood that this could last for only so long. Without a Master's degree I would eventually be up against the competition of those who have earned such title. Combine this with having already moved four times in Korea and have gone from one school to the next, I felt tired with the feeling of having to do this over and over. Yet I felt the passion for teaching in me and knew that making a career out this would be not only possible but best for my life.
I came to the conclusion through research and discussion to go back home and pursue a Master's Degree in TESOL. I realized that I would like to try to serve the immigrants and students who need English back home, then to keep pumping it out over here. Like a flower bursting into bloom this idea of mine started from a seed and grew into a new life goal.
Therefore my decision to leave Korea stemmed off the personal and grew into the professional. Throughout the beginning of when I was going back-and-forth on whether to stay in Korea or not, I truly did have a hard time coming to the idea that I would be leaving this country. It's not just that I'm leaving a comfortable way of life, it's that I will be saying goodbye to friends and relationships that I have cared about over the years here.
More so than anything I have experienced or gained here in Korea is that I will miss my students. So the decision to leave is even harder knowing I won't be here to see them grow up. All I can wish for is that they remember me.
Certainly I want to write more about what I'm going to miss and look back on the fond memories I have, so keep an eye out for that. But I hope what I wrote today show's you how I came to the conclusion of leaving my 4 year life in Korea. For the most part I am excited about my new journey ahead and can't wait to see how what I have learned here shapes me in the year's to come. If you have any questions about all this please do ask.
All right, thank you for reading.