It wasn’t exactly “Elvis has left the building” but it could have been “Jeffrey has left Korea.”
It’s hard to believe, but it was exactly one year ago today that I “left” Korea for the “first time.”
That last day in Korea was filled with a lot of emotion—from meeting students from my early morning conversation class at Krispy Kreme and saying good-bye to some of my former colleagues in the morning to racing to take care of last minute packing and other errands and finally, going to the airport with Kyle Devlin and Ken Sherman.
After tendering my resignation at the end of July, everything was coming to head as I prepared to leave Korea. Having lived in Korea from 1990-2006, it was both a bittersweet and sad time to pack up my life and prepare to start another chapter. Just as hard as it is now for me to believe that it’s been one year since I left, it was very hard for me back then to accept that I was leaving, and perhaps not to return for sometime.
However, I think I knew in the back of my mind before I even left that I would probably be back here some day.
Just didn’t think that it would be six months later.
Now, a year has passed.
Looking back—with a considerable amount of second-guessing thrown in for good measure—I don’t think I am any better off now than I was a year ago. I don’t see how my life is any better. Aside from living it up for two months and “shooting my wad” as it were when it came to the pension I cashed in, in the end I am no better off at Woosong than I was at FLI. In fact, I am making just about the same (minus the private gigs I had) I did at FLI but with less vacation time—much less vacation time. So it is all about my quality of life. And at 49, that is pretty darn important especially when you are living and working overseas.
One year later I find myself at another crossroads wondering about what to do next and plotting my next moves.