Sunday, February 14, 2010

We had a lot of surprise snow last week. We'd gotten so many false predictions that I stopped paying attention to the forecast. Then it snowed off and on for about three days. It was very pretty, but the air was too warm for much accumulation. Probably that was for the best.


I'm really torn about what I'm going to do when I go home this summer. I've considered a number of possible jobs-- tutor, TA, copy-editing assistant-- but none of them has really caught my interest. If I'm honest with myself, the idea of settling back into a regular job and niche at home is a little depressing. I also feel like it's a little silly to leave a proven, steady source of income and step back into the uncertainty of the US job market right now.

At the same time, the part of me that sounds like my mother says that I should get started making a "real career" for myself. I'm 26 now, which is a bit too old to be acting like an indecisive college student. Maybe I should be "making connections," meeting people, building a resume that American employers would be able to relate to.

But 26 is really young, too, and I want to travel more.

I miss my family and friends, and seeing them more often is a big reason to go home. How often would I see them, though? They have their own lives. I might not even be able to get a job close to home. Then what? I'm also terrified of ending up in another stifling cycle-- barely treading water, watching my free time slip by in an exhausted daze while I struggle to put gas in my car. The year before I came to Korea was, in some ways, my most miserable ever. It was certainly the most hopeless and frustrating. I never want to return to that, and I'd do a lot to avoid it.

I've been thinking a lot about Japan in the last week or so. I'm reading Speed Tribes right now, which has renewed my interest in returning to the places I saw there this summer. Tokyo, in particular, captured my interest, and I'd love to see more of it. I'm not sure about living in Japan, though-- it's hideously expensive, and I'd just be staying afloat (if not losing money. Still, it would be an adventure, and I'm not ready to give up on those.

I do want to spend some time as a person before I go back to being an alien, though. When I went home for Christmas this year, I couldn't get over the simple miracle of being able to speak in my own language to anyone I met without coming across rude. I want to eat familiar foods, use a dryer, have a social circle of more than a handful of people. I need to spend some time reconnecting with home before I start in on a new kind of "away." I'm just having a hard time visualizing how it's going to go.


  1. I also feel like it's a little silly to leave a proven, steady source of income and step back into the uncertainty of the US job market right now.

    Do not go back to the US if you don't have to, at least for the next two years until normal job creation is going on. Otherwise you could easily be stuck in a depressed job/pay trajectory that could last your entire career.

  2. I've since decided to stay in Korea for the time being. I plan to move to Seoul-- right now I'm a few minutes outside the city-- and am hoping that will provide the change I'm looking for. Thanks!

  3. Korea looks so different with snow ^^ I visited Korea this summer, so I sweating the whole time.... The US job market is so bad right now...It's unbelievable. I actually envy that you're living abroad, I feel so "stuck" in the states these days. Especially because traveling isn't as easy or cheap as it used to be :(

  4. You should come visit again-- though the snow is pretty rare, and the winter weather is insanely cold. Why don't you try teaching abroad, as well?