So as I mentioned before, I would explain exactly why my hiatus was so long and what has been happening in my life over the last number of months since I posted last.
Well, let me tell you a story of my time in Korea; be prepared it’s a long read…*deep breath*
At the beginning of the year towards the end of January, start of February, I traveled to South Korea to start my new job as an English teacher in a private school (hagwon). The travel time was insanely long and I had never trekked an airport by myself before, so it was a rather lonely experience. Once I got there, it was still basically winter and freezing cold; good thing I wore my heavy jumper!
I arrived about a week or two before I started work so I could settle in and get the jet-lag and medical tests over and done with, as well as meet with the other foreigners in the city. My medical tests were all clear (except the hearing test, obviously) and I got settled into my little apartment and started working. The kids were so cute, and super nervous around me in the beginning. I mean, I am a stranger as well as a foreigner, of course they were going to be nervous and shy around me in the beginning. But thanks to my co-teachers, I was able to settle in quickly and learn how to use the school’s learning system as well as get to know all of my students (since I was literally teaching every single child the school had).
By my second week working, I had already sussed out which kids struggled the most, which ones were always finished first, which ones were not in the right class for their English-level, and which ones were trouble-makers. I had also gotten friendly with my co-teachers and the other foreigners, who really helped when I was feeling the homesickness round about then. I had also formed a few questions regarding living expenses, e.g. how to pay, and such which I took to my vice-director to ask. I was settled, content, already in a routine and planning to visit other cities during my year there to see some sights, and I knew the kids liked me, especially once I got the hang of the curriculum. Things were going great.
Until one Thursday morning, exactly 1 month after I started.
I woke up not particularly wanting to leave bed, which is typically me as I’m not a morning person, and go to check my phone to see if my family had messaged me during the night (the time difference is insane). On my screen, I notice I got an email from the Korean recruiter. A little bit of background, I had two recruiters: my recruiter would get in touch with Korean recruiters to arrange jobs and interviews for their applicants. Typically, once you land and start at the school, you don’t deal with the recruiters unless you have some questions that you can’t ask at the school (or you want to be really cute and thank them for all their help). I already had my questions answered so I was very confused as to why I got an email from them. Of course, I opened the email and read it.
I got fired from my teaching position in the school I was currently in.
Of course, shock, confusion, anger, uncertainty, all of the emotions hit me while I was reading the email, wondering why I had been fired when I hadn’t done anything to warrant it. I knew that my vice-director and myself had a few personality and cultural clashes during my time there but nothing that warranted a firing and I had always felt that there was mutual understanding after the clashes, that there was no tension or bad feelings. Clearly, I had been wrong.
I told my friends and co-teachers of what had happened, all of whom were incredibly shocked. Shook, would probably be a more accurate term. They had known the vice-director (or known about) long before me and none of them ever thought they’d fire someone.
I did try to fight it; I tried to talk with the vice-director, I emailed the recruiters, I even went to the ministry. Instead, it was basically a done deal; the school had given the proper notice period so the ministry couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t stay anymore, so I was left with the choice: do I stay and get another job or go back home?
I was offered another job in a district nearby that I was very tempted to take, just so I could stay with my friends, and was offered an interview for a different school in another city that I was also very tempted to accept. But after a couple of weeks of tumulous emotions and plenty of drinking, I came to the decision that I would go home. It wasn’t an easy choice, the easy choice would’ve been to take the new job. But I knew that if I went home, then this would’ve been a great chance for me to really dive into my acting and videography career.
My last weeks were spend working away diligently and planning my itinerary as I wanted to travel for about a month before heading back, and I did. I lugged my crap around Korea for a month, homeless and penniless, and went to see all these amazing places and meet some lovely people. There were kind ahjumma’s and ahjussi’s who helped me when I got hurt on a hike; and my friend’s family, who took me in for a night, made me feel so at home, I didn’t want to leave. It was a very lonely month, not being able to experience it all with someone.
But finally, after four month’s in Korea working and having these awesome experiences (and sh*t experiences) and making new friends, I flew back home into the loving embrace of my mother meeting me at the airport.
It’s great to be home; I did experience another hardship with some people I knew, but I am now living my best life. I work part-time in a shop to pay my bills but I’ve been able to do more short film projects and extras work in the last few months than I have done in years, both as a camerawoman and an actress. I have cut out negativity and am done with people bullsh*tting me about; I work every day to be who I want to be and get myself to where I want to go. Someday, I will be a successful actress and videographer. I am happy and content with my life right now.
So basically to sum it up, I had a sh*t couple of months this year but my life has significantly improved and now I’m living my life the way I want.
Live your best life.