It has officially been a full year since I packed two suitcases and a backpack and moved across the world. A lot has changed, and a lot hasn't changed, and when I looked back through this blog, I'm glad I kept it up. Around this time last year I wrote a post explaining why I decided to teach ESL in Korea, and I like to think I've fulfilled my goals of being here for a year.
My Happiness. If you haven't noticed an ongoing theme, I was really unhappy towards the end of my senior year. Like sometimes would barely leave my bed for the whole day unhappy, say hurtful or just rude things just because... I had serious FOMO, and I was constantly plagued with this fear that I was constantly being forgotten. For my whole adolescence, I would get really upset at what I perceived was either a) people forgetting about me or b) people purposely seeming like they forgot because they didn't really want me there. Of course, I never explained how much this hurt my feelings. I usually let it build up, turned a bit of an icy shoulder, and then I lashed out much later or at random times. I'd also bury myself in work, using it as a buffer between me and the feeling of being forgotten, which was a gateway to feeling very alone. I can think of a few very specific times that I did this like clockwork.
Anyhow, my goal was to really try and push for my own happiness, and I think I've successfully gotten there. I'm not wildly happy and full of spirited "You can do it!" But I'm not spending all day in bed Facebook stalking all the fun times everyone else seems to be having.
My Career. I remember telling this guy I hated in high school how I was going to be a fabulous New York socialite with a closet full of beautiful shoes and invitations to all the best parties and a powerful job in advertising. Gag me. Call it college happening, but I can think of nothing I want less. I don't want to live in NYC because I hate the cold. I don't want a ton of shoes because I just won't wear them. I don't want to go to parties because no one dances, and I have to be uncomfortable and sober while making small talk for hours. I don't want to be a socialite because... what does that even mean? And while advertising is still on the table, it's going to be for companies I care about not just blanket advertising to the biggest spender.
I frankly don't even know what my career is going to be, and as I told my dad, it's not going to be traditional or familiar. I'm out in the world, I'm seeing new things, and I'm exploring. Right now I frankly don't want anything else. As much as I've always wanted marriage and babies and a cute little castle with a massive garden and an apple orchard in the backyard (hey, dream big, right?), I don't want it right now if it means giving up whatever path I'm on. I've renewed for another year in Korea because there's a lot to still see, and there's a lot more I want to learn as a teacher. I do have some more finite desires, namely a graduate school course in Germany or Ireland (though Germany is looking pretty good right now), a future with linguistics, and working with companies I admire. I'm also interested in the idea of micro loans, so if you know anything about that let me know.
Writing. Speaking of my career, the most important thing to me is writing. The novelist dream will always be there. I've started reading so much more, and it's been wildly therapeutic in a weird way. Good books are good for the soul, no matter what anyone says. And I mean good books, with rich characters, a Roller Coaster of a plot, and this ability to grip something in you and never let go no matter how many years pass. I've been reading those kinds of books lately, and it's been amazing.
I've also started writing again. Nothing big, and never consecutive. Just snippets here and there of observations, imaginations of my favorite characters, and more. But it's something, and it feel good to not sit there wondering how to phrase something.