Reflecting on Korea
Almost a month has gone by since I returned from Korea. I can’t say the transition from being fully employed and self-sufficient to the complete opposite has been easy. The reverse culture shock hasn’t been as intimidating as I previously believed, though I would say the most difficult is allowing for the time change and not being in regular contact with friends in the ROK.
Reflecting on the time I spent in Korea, it seems there are several people who believe I absolutely hated my time there. I don’t see how the idea is conceivable that I would have hated every single day of the fourteen months I spent there. There shouldn’t be a need to explain that everyone has their ups and downs when it comes to the routine of daily life; it should be expected. From my perspective, I find that drudgery, as much as we may all rant about it at some point, to be paramount in fully appreciating all the positive things that occur the rest of the time. I mentioned this in passing in January’s “Accomplishing 2012”:
I’ve embraced where I live and have called it home for a year, including all the different cultural habits that can be annoying or frustrating. Everything together makes this experience memorable and worth while.
The thought of returning to Korea at some point in the future has been on my mind in some capacity since November 2012. Considering I have received numerous rejection letters from the MFA programs I applied to, I have a rather wide window for future possibilities. I would like to return to Korea this year, do the things I didn’t previously set aside time for, continue growing as an individual as well as an educator, extending the reach of my comfort level and rediscovering what the world has in store for me. To put it simply, I loved my life in Korea because of how it made me grow and change. If I didn’t, I would never have bought or proudly worn an “I <3 Korea” shirt.