It's a funny thing. When you're an English teacher in a small neighborhood in a city outside of the big city where you encounter another foreigner approximately once every six months, it's much easier to keep a blog. When you're attending one of only a handful of language schools in the city where most other foreigners in Korea also dwell, you tend to get a bit more finicky about your privacy. Which is the exact opposite of what I expected to happen, once I stopped being a teacher. But there you have it.

I'm also really, really busy. Much busier than I expected to be. That's mostly because the crunch time is now. Everything I've been doing for the past few months has led up to this two week period. But it's weird -- now that it's here, it feels like everything is much more in hand than I expected it to be.

What I can say is that I am, at the moment, sitting at the double desk in my little "office", Busan on the other side working on his programming (he's finally given up the company life for good and begun free lancing for real -- which isn't to say he won't be in and out of offices -- he's just going to be in and out now, rather than simply... in). I'm about to finish up my "study plan", which is the last thing I have to do for my scholarship/grad school application, which isn't due in for another two weeks. I've begun pre-studying for my final exams at language school already, which also aren't for another two weeks, as they fall directly after my birthday, and nobody wants to cram on their birthday (although I probably will, anyway).

I got some of the best grades in my class for the midterms, despite turning the interview portion of my entrance exam into a plea to be placed in a higher level than the interviewing instructor thought I'd be capable of handling (my scores on the written exam evidently backed me up sufficiently enough to grant my request), and my speaking is, as I suspected, quickly catching up to my fellow classmates.  The point of this is not to brag, because after five years in this country, I'm really more relieved than proud (my classmates have only been here for about a year and a half), but instead to kind of remind myself that in general, in life, I tend to somehow rise to the occasion. It's something that I need to remember now, as what's out in front of me is intimidating. But I think people in general tend to meet the expectations they are confronted with. And at some point, it becomes your job to set your own expectations for yourself.

The last couple of days, as I fill out this application, which also requires writing to my old professors for letters of reference, which in turn has led to a lot of catching up and remembering my time in New York, I've been thinking a lot about how it was before I left my hometown.

It might sound stupid to a lot of people, but coming from the background and the place that I did, taking off for art school in New York at eighteen was fucking ridiculous. My family has always supported and believed in me, but I faced more than a few doubtful conversations before I left. Some people (who I love and respect even now) even went so far as to say that they'd bet the farm I'd be back in my hometown before the year was up. Not that they didn't respect me for trying.

But I didn't go back.

It's not much different now. I can see the doubt in the eyes of a lot of people when they ask me what I'm planning to do and I answer. The truth now is the same as it was then -- I don't have a fucking clue if I'm going to make it or not. And I don't have any kind of drive to "prove them wrong". They could be right. Who fucking knows? But fuck it, I'll try anyway. It's better than not trying. That's all I know for sure.

I've got Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. And the stakes are not as high as they were before -- I also have the ability and the privilege of being able to bow out at any time and go back to making money. Decent money. I'm going to be alright.

But for now, as I get ready to hand in this ridiculous dream plan of an application, I'm just trying to remember that more ludicrous plans of mine have panned out in the past. And you only get one go round. I may be getting older, but I'm not quite old enough to throw in the towel on moving forward just yet.

Today, I'm just enjoying the moment. The hard part (for this year) is almost over. B and I are not where we want to be yet, but we are exactly where we wanted to be right now. This year started off rough, but it's a beautiful day and we're here in our beautiful apartment working side by side on moving forward. That means I'm lucky.

1 comment:

Go Away With Jae said...

Good to have you back, Liz. You've been missed!