Instead I find myself pouring over open jobs for NC, assessing the employment situation for my home state and going through my PRAXIS books, wondering what else I need to review in preparation for next year. The good news is that elementary school teachers (the field I want to go into) are in demand, more than in previous years. Before now, I cringed at the thought of going home because I didn't know yet what I wanted to do. Now, I am ready for the day when I can close the book on my time in Korea and start the next chapter in my life.
I can't guarantee it will be easy or without struggle. I can't say if things will go the way I want them. I can't guarantee that I won't have a moment or two where I want to escape to a foreign country. But I made the decision before I returned this year that it would be my last in Korea, and I'm sticking to that, no matter what awaits me at home. Having given Korea a good chunk of my life, I'm ready to appreciate where I came from so much more.
Through everything, and even with this past year's situation being less than ideal, Korea has taught me a lot about myself. It's taught me the value of human relationships. I know that having lived as a foreigner in a country where many avenues of life are difficult to get into, I will never again look at those who come to the US for a new life the same way again. Language, laws, religion, politics, health care, social status, education--all of these issues carry new meaning for me. Talk about a real eye-opening experience.
Even with the uncertainty surrounding the 2012 Presidential Election and what may happen in the following months, I know that no matter the outcome, I will do my best to find a way to live back home. I owe it to myself to give it a fighting chance. I've been putting "real life" off as long as I have been living in Korea; now is the time for me to get back into the swing of things, whatever the future brings.
“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese