Much to the disappointment of some and the excitement of others, it's official - I've agreed to renew my contract and sign on for a second year of teaching. You can't please everyone
If you would have asked me a month ago weather or not I was going to renew my contract I would have, with at least some certainty, told you no, one year's enough. In fact, I did tell people that, my mom, friends, grandma and Sara during her multiple attempts to persuade me to stay. So then, what changed?
Four days into my brothers visit I found myself lying awake at 6am pondering the decision. I literally woke up at 5:30 am, in a motel room in Busan, in a brief moment of panic followed by shock, as I realized that I'm not ready to leave Korea. As I lay there tossing and turning for the next hour contemplating the decision, and compiling pro's and con's lists in my head - it hit me. I can't leave yet, my time here is not done.
Conveniently enough the next day when I returned to school my co-teacher asked me very nonchalantly, "so will you stay here next year?" Shit, it's real, I have to decide - "ugh, er, umm I don't know" was all I could manage to mumble. She didn't have much reaction but just said "Okay well we have to know by next Friday." thanks...
I think I sat at my desk for close to a half hour staring at the paperwork wondering what I should do. I think the whole time my heart knew what I wanted and what I would eventually decide, it was just afraid to let my mind know it. Needing to talk it out with someone I made my way upstairs to find some of my favorite students, lucky me they were all gathered in the 2nd floor lounge. As I entered they greeted me and asked "Teacher, how are you??" when I responded with a moan/grunt combination they knew something was up. As soon as the word leave came out of my mouth the room was filled with an uproar - no teacher you can't leave, no you stay here forever, stay for 10 years, teacher I love you! Again, I think the place I sought guidance sheds light to what my heart knew all along. Sure, I could've called or texted my mom to talk about it - but I sought guidance from my favorite students, the ones I knew would beg me to stay.
I got home, where my brother was waiting for me (kind of convenient he was visiting at this time) flopped onto my bed with a groan followed with "Fuck, I think i'm staying another year". He proceded to laugh at me but as we discussed it I could tell he knew what I knew - I was indeed going to stay. I broke it to my mom the next day via Skype, which went pretty well - I should've known she'd support whatever I decided - did I ever mention I have an amazing family who believes in me and supports the decisions I make, no matter how hard it might make things for them.
Okay so, why am I staying in Korea? To be brief....
1. My students are amazing and I had mini panic attacks at the thought of leaving them
2. I have the ability to travel to amazing places within and around Korea - after deciding to stay i'm continually realizing all the things I still want to see and do here.
3. I don't feel like i'm working and yet there's money deposited into my bank account every month.
4. The kimchi - it's all about the kimchi (jokes aside, I would miss the food)
5. My co-teachers, principal and other staff members look out for me like family.
6. I've gathered a pretty swell group of friends here and lucky me - they're almost all staying..
7. Home will still be home one year from now
8. Buksam, this little farm town stole my heart <3
9. I had one hell of a year, with better bearings and foundation the next year can only be better
10. One of my favorites, which was addressed by my (dare I pick) favorite student, 이장희:
"Teacher, what will you do if you go home"And it's as simple as that...on the bright side, now I have another year to figure out an answer.
"umm I don't know"
"Okay, well then you stay here."
|signed, sealed, delivered|