Saturday, November 12, 2011

And then the unthinkable happened...

...I became homesick.

This is a new experience for me. Prior to the past few weeks, whenever I've used the word 'homesick' it's been followed by words such as 'for Kyrgyzstan.' (And I would totally return to Kyrgyzstan in a heartbeat if I could find a way to make it financially viable. Plane tickets are just too cost-prohibitive to make popping over to Central Asia an option whenever I feel the need for some mountains and a yurt.) The thing is, I've spent a lot of time living overseas, and I've never felt homesick. I've been in situations before where I've wanted to leave - but not because I wanted to return home. In fact, when I left the US in the summer of 2010, I was completely convinced that I'd never return.

And yet now I'm homesick.

Part of it is that I am not satisfied with my job. It's not a bad job (and the salary is excellent), but I have discovered that I am simply not cut out for corporate life. Chasing the almighty dollar (or won in this case) really just isn't enough to motivate me. I miss having a job that I can feel passionate about... and I really, really miss teaching. As such, I've decided to apply to graduate school programs for TESOL, and will be leaving Korea at the end of my six month trial contract. It's up at the beginning of March, and I've already told my employers that I won't be seeking to extend it. (They've been very nice and understanding about it.) My last day of work is March 5, 2012... but right now, that feels like an eternity away.

Still, I'm homesick. I miss my family and friends, my cats, dogs, and horses. I want to be working on the old house. I want to be straightening everything out with the cat rescue. Essentially, I want to do everything that I'd intended to do when I returned to the US in 2008. And being older and wiser, well, let's just say that I will never, EVER be manipulated into the kind of abhorrent situations I found myself in back in 2009.

Homesickness is a new and strange feeling for me. I know that it would be best dealt with by going out and getting involved in life here in Seoul... but after a full day's work in Corporate Korea, I don't feel like doing much other than crawling under the sheets with my Kindle. That's certainly how I've spent this weekend. That and working on grad school applications...

10 comments:

G said...

I'm not homesick, but I'm ICLOM-sick! I really wish you were still here!

You should come down and spend Christmas weekend with us. In the meantime, find a cool event/festival in Seoul or elsewhere in Korea, and we'll meet you there :)

Anonymity said...

Man, I wish Christmas and New Years were not on Sundays! It's a looooong wait until Seollal for some time off. I'll try and come down for Christmas though... I miss Daegu!

Anonymous said...

Sorry that you're homesick. It's hard! I hope that you feel better soon, and March will be here before you know it! I'll be excited for you to be back for a bit. Where are you applying for grad school? -M

Anonymity said...

UGA, UCF, ASU (Arizona), and WSU (Washington). Maybe IU-Bloomington. (They have a good program, but I don't know if I could live in Indiana...)

Anonymous said...

You can live anywhere that accepts you. Arizona and Washington would be a good deal of fun though as would UGA. Go to Gs for Christmas, you do not want to be alone :-) C

Foreigner Joy said...

Well it was good knowing you had a good time here. I hope the best for you after you go. :)

Anonymity said...

Well, I've still got four more months on the contract, so unless anything drastic or horrific happens between now and March 5th, I'll still be in Seoul for a while...

John from Daejeon said...

You might want to check out Woosong University in Daejeon. They offer a discounted TESOL M.A. program for those who work at the school while in the program.

I know it doesn't help with the homesick part, but it could save you a lot of money over the long haul.

Good luck.

Anonymity said...

Yeah, it definitely wouldn't help the homesickness... I also hesitate to become a student in the Korean educational system - despite the fact that I've worked in said system, it seems rather scary from the students' perspective! I'd also want to be very careful before signing up for any overseas grad school program, to make sure that the degree would be accepted back home. I haven't looked into this program specifically, but I know that not all overseas degrees are accepted back in the US. Still, given the frustrations I'm facing in terms of GS applications (that'll be its own post pretty soon), this may very well be an option. And Korea is the Hotel California; you can check out, but you can never really leave for good.

John from Daejeon said...

They are advertising again at Dave's ESL:

"Teaching Opportunities at Woosong University and Colleges in Daejeon, Korea

Posted By: Woosong University and Colleges
Date: Thursday, 24 November 2011, at 9:21 a.m."

http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/korea/index.cgi?read=50417

It might not hurt just to get some information from them.