Wow…2018 is basically over. A part of me wants to say that it flew by, but in my opinion, it really didn’t. I finished up a graduate degree, I worked, I made some scary decisions, and now I am living and teaching in South Korea.
I wish I could say I am proud and happy with where I am right now, but as Christmas draws closer, I just feel increasingly sad. Maybe because it’s the first Christmas in my life that I am spending alone; and in a country where I still can’t communicate with anyone. Maybe it’s because I don’t like who I work with and with each passing day this person gets more and more passive aggressive. Maybe it’s because I discovered that teaching is not my passion. Maybe it’s because I still have not achieved the language goals I set for myself this year. I don’t know. I just know that I’m in a funk and I have no idea how to get out of it.
I started studying Korean again this year in March, which is when I started this blog. Ten months in my new language journey and I don’t have much of anything to show for it. I’ve mentioned that finding motivation here has been tough but it never dawned on me that after ten months, I wouldn’t be able to sit down at my computer and type a short paragraph in Korean using simple sentences. When I try to think of anything to say off the top of my head, I literally sound like the Korean students who have “Hellooooo teeechhheerrr! Nice to meet you. I’m fine thank you and you???” ingrained into their brains since birth.
I’m not proud of my language progress and I want 2019 to be twenty times better across every aspect of my life; my language goals, my career, and my overall happiness. But I don’t want to make this year-end review completely negative. There were definitely some positives.
For one thing, I got a masters degree! That’s a feat in itself regardless of whether or not I actually use it lol. Anyone who has gotten a masters degree knows the amount of stress that goes into it. But I completed it and I finished with a 4.0 GPA, whoot whoot!!
Second thing, I moved abroad. Regardless of how I am feeling about it at the moment, I made a huge decision, showed some independence, and moved abroad. Not many people in my life can say the same. And even if my situation never improves before the end of my contract, I can say that I am proud that I took the risk and I will at least come away with many experiences to share with my family.
Third, I have a family that supported me more than ever while making such a huge decision. My family has always been supportive, but this year they truly went above and beyond and no words can even begin to explain how grateful I am for them. As corny as it is, I truly love my family “to the moon and back”. As much as they can get on my nerves at times, I thank God that I do not have any estranged relationships among my family members.
Fourth and final, I finished a textbook! I was able to complete the Talk To Me In Korean Level 1 textbook and workbook and actually retain quite a bit of it. I do realize that if I were to hear it spoken to me, I most likely would not understand it, but if I see it written down in some way, I will know what it says and understand the grammar. Although the ultimate goal is to be able to speak and also comprehend through listening skills, I think this too is still something to be proud of.
I am going to actively make 2019 a better year for myself. What is the use in wallowing in my own sadness and self pity? It definitely won’t add any more years to my life. So cheers to a better year to come. Cheers to even better familial relationships, cheers to language gains, cheers to a fulfilling career, cheers to happiness and self love.
If you celebrate Christmas, I wish you a love-filled Merry Christmas. If you don’t, I wish you happiness and a fulfilling 2019.