Saturday, November 19, 2005

Saturday night at DaVinci, thoughts of Seattle and a few (hopefully) wise conclusions

1 week, 2 days, 12 hours and counting: Seattle here I come!
Tonight looks like it will be another fun Saturday night. Last weekend, I met up with a Canadian friend, Brenda, whom I met at my YMCA class some months ago. She invited me over for a pre-club hors-d'ouvres party with some of her fellow Canadian friends, and we all ended up having a blast. I not only felt welcomed among these Canadian folk, but I learned quite a bit about their early mishaps and difficulties in Korea~ which much like my own, were experienced first-hand and met with uncertainty. It felt genuinely good to speak English fluently, without having to define what I've said or speak slowly (which normally is the case among my co-workers, boss, the students I teach or other Korean acquaintences). And as a matter of fact, this is exactly what I've been missing here in Korea: like-minded friends with whom to travel and share experiences with. Bingo! As if I didn't realize what the missing piece of the equation was all along.
You see, I came to Korea with the intention to not only earn a decent wage~like most teachers coming here probably do: I came here learn a bit of culture, language and perhaps a bit about myself in the meantime. Even at 27, I still have yet so much to learn; and I don't see myself settling down like many of my peers do and have done at my age. They've gotten married, settled with probably a half-dozen kids, and their careers have already come and gone. Nevertheless, I've always been a bit gung-ho about the decisions I make; and I believed that to really immerse myself in this culture, right here, right now, I had to isolate myself from other foreigners. So this isolation was not like a punishment, of course, nor was it intended per se; the first month I was here, I just felt jaded after meeting so many other foreigners like myself, who spent many-a-nights drinking, spending alot of money in clubs, feeling like they were wasting their time, and miserable in various Hagwon-teaching situations. I didn't want to hear it, and it felt repeticious. I didn't want to end up in some miserable cycle just because everyone else was doing it.
Until, of course, I finally woke up and realized how much time I had wasted. What was I doing? Where have I been? Why does everything seem out of control, out of my hands? My outlook and my purpose here had changed, and much of my life felt out of control. So I dusted off the ashes from my clothes and my eyelids, and persuaded myself to move onward and upward from the blast. I didn't realize that I had been, metaphorically, living in my own little time-bomb of sorts; until the very day it went off, and I finally saw what was really happening to me.

It's rather strange when you finally see what's going on around you--objectively, instead of narrow-mindedly, like many of us all do without thinking. We go through our days, making choices either consciously or subconsciously, and without further ado, everything chaotic becomes so clear to us. This is precisely what happened to me. I was living in a dream world, and that dream world had to end. I had to take responsibility for my actions, and make the most logical decisions I thought possible. This must be apart of growing up; this must be apart of what it finally means to be an adult~ when you make choices and you must live with those decisions. Whether good or bad, the outcome, hopefully, produces desired results; moreover, it's the actual progress that I've always believed, is the most important of all.

So I sit here at DaVinci, right at the North gate of KyungPook Nat'l University, killing time before I meet Brenda and her gang of Canadian friends again. I really feel like I've made progress here~ and after nearly 5 months of being here in Korea, you'd think I would have already. But I have to admit that I feel pretty good overall: recent happenings, I believe, have brought my boss and I closer together; my co-workers and I are getting along ALOT better, since recently letting our guards down and talking about work-related problems and general 'abrasive' feelings that made us feel uncomfortable in one-another's presence; and last, my trip to Seattle, I think, will give me just the right amount of down-time and family spending to feel good about myself, and essentially rejuvenate, recharge and re-oil the rig (ah! me!) to head full-charge and on-course... being a teacher, once again, in little Daegu :)

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