So, I figured I’d do a blog post, however brief, to update you and to belatedly mark my one year anniversary of living in Korea.
As many of you know, two years ago, this wasn’t in the cards. I was still working on getting moved out of Lawton and back to OKC, and struggling to find a future after many of my bigger plans for life had been almost irreparably damaged due to some unfortunate circumstances. However, when the opportunity in Korea came up, it opened up many doors that I had thought were closed to me. I am about to start my first semester of grad school at Nazarene Theological Seminary (online), and the only reason I’m able to afford it is due to my job here in Korea, which pays me a good monthly salary as well as provides for my medical insurance, rent, and utilities. I’ve been able to travel to Thailand (one item off of my bucket list) and in a situation where I will be able to travel to other countries in the region without incurring the otherwise massive expense that I would be facing if I were coming from the USA. I have a good possibility of landing a job as a professor at KNU at some point relatively soon (though I may have to finish my master’s degree first), and that would give me some job experience that is likely to help me land a job as a professor (my long-term goal for ideal employment/profession). I am making friends from all over the world and have been able to be part of a wonderful and loving community of friends while living in Korea (I also had this kind of community in OKC and while I miss that community terribly, I’m so glad to have become a part of this one). I’ve been hiking on some amazing trails, and I have even more to choose from whenever I want to go again. Compared to even a year ago, I’m more emotionally and relationally healthy than I was, and (as I have been stating) I am moving towards some of my long term life goals. It hasn’t come without cost and frustrations, but overall those have been or will be worth it in the long run. So, I’m happy to say that I’ve survived one year in Korea, I’ve renewed my contract for another year, and depending on how I’m doing with grad school, I may stick around for another 6 months after that. I’m currently in the middle of attempting to prioritize what my future is going to look like, and as to whether or not I should return to the USA for a few semesters of grad school where I get to attend in person, and how I should prioritize my desire for better and deeper relationships while spending this time learning. For those of you who are praying folk, I would appreciate your prayers as I seek wisdom and guidance on these matters.
For those of you who have been following along in my Korean adventures, the only real updates I have for you since my last update is that I’ve now celebrated yet another birthday abroad! I was blessed to be able to get together with my friends and celebrate on not one, but two separate occasions, and it was wonderful. I also attended the Boryeong Mud Festival (which is why this blog post is a little later than the one year mark) at Daecheon Beach and got predictably muddy. There were obstacle courses, mud wrestling pits, and stations where you could just cover/paint yourself with mud, and it was wonderful. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures to mark these events, as I did not take my camera with me and at least one of those events (the mud festival) was not very gadget friendly. Should I find any pictures posted on social media, I’ll do my best to give y’all access to them.
Anyways, this is the update and the marker! Here’s to one more year!