It’s been almost a year since I packed it all in and decided to leave Korea.
One year ago I was wondering what the hell was going to happen next; pondering and plotting my moves looking ahead, but already looking back.
I’ve spent a lot of time looking back.
Some might call it waxing nostalgic.
Others might call it reflective mental calisthenics.
Everything still seems so crystal clear.
Then again, some things are just as murky as they were a year ago.
When I decided to leave Korea last year after having taught at Yonsei’s Foreign Language Institute for nearly 14 years, I had convinced myself that leaving Korea—for the moment—was the best thing for me to do. I was looking at my departure like some sabbatical even though I had nothing lined up. And when it came time for me to leave, I left quietly, not raising too much of a fuss and leaving the door just in case I decided a few months down the road that I wanted to come back. I just didn’t expect to leave it as wide opened as I did.
And here I am, one year later and back in Korea again and trying to make a go at it for a second time and sadly, not doing too good of a job at it. Sometimes it is really hard not to think about what you once had and what you don’t have now. The bigger question, the one which has hounded me and haunted me since I did come back here was what did I expect to gain that I hadn’t gained already? I had my shot, I did okay and I should have moved on. Instead, it seems like I am some aging ballplayer wanting one more shot, one more taste of glory, one more day in the sun.
Maybe I should have left well enough alone.
Maybe I should have shut the door after all.