Recently, I have been forced to kind of re-evaluate my life, and what I plan to do with it in the future. I am in no means forcing myself to dedicate myself towards a set career that I will follow for the rest of my life. I don’t think I’m that kind of person, or moreso, that I was born in a generation in which the concept of a career focused lifestyle is not inherently viable. That’s not to say that I don’t believe people shouldn’t chase a specific dream, or career path, because I think that’s a very noble and mature thing to do. But I believe that’s the kind of work that requires pre-meditated dedication which has been assimilated into their lives from an earlier age. When I was a kid, I didn’t want to be a lawyer, or a doctor, or anything like that. It just didn’t appeal to me, the idea of “How can I plan the rest of my life?”. It depresses the hell out of me when people think like that. I think it’s much healthier to imagine life as “How can I become happy with what I have now?” Is that a question in itself, forcing oneself to really break down what we have, and consider if we’re happy with that? I’m not entirely sure. The pursuit of what it is to be happy has been considered by much smarter people than me, and I don’t think anyone’s really got it “right”. I suppose in a way, happiness is what you make of it. Despite the fact that this might be an incredibly cop-out and generic/clichéd answer, I think the reason why it is, is because it’s appropriate and viable in almost all situations. Most happiness is fleeting, and in a great many situations, boils down to a simple concept.
It’s the idea that we aspire towards things we view as rewarding, or things that we feel will make us happy. Sometimes it’s that better job, more friends, a stable relationship, the list is practically endless, due to the subjective nature of the idea behind happiness. I think it’s more the idea that we want to achieve things, and the pursuit of knowledge/ recognition/ carnal pleasures appeal to a great many levels on the hierarchy of needs. I’ll probably need to think more about what it means to be happy to me personally in a future update, as since I got out of my relationship, the one thing which gave me an overwhelming sense of euphoric joy, I’ve been having a relatively hard time finding things that fill the gap and give me the same feelings that did.
Which after far too much digression, brings me to the point of writing this piece: The plan I have for my life in the next…let’s say 18 months?
I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with my life. There have only ever been a handful of things I’ve wanted to do with my life, outside of just…getting by, and finding happiness. I’ve always wanted to do something with involves reading and writing. That probably sounds incredibly vague, but I know exactly what I want to do, in a lot of ways. When I was younger, I found a lot of structure in a regimented environment, especially formal education. I loved being guided, and driven on, much of the time by people I found incredibly passionate and able. I aspired to be like that in my youth, in such a way that in my later adult life, I could give back in the same way I was given so much. I want to teach other people, and help guide and direct them in the same way I did when I was a child.
But that in itself does not necessarily constitute the entirety of my focus. I want to travel, and experience a lot of things that I can realistically only experience. I’ll lay it out, I guess. I want to go abroad, and teach English in a foreign country. More than anything, I guess I’d like to teach in South Korea. Everything about it seems so exciting and interesting. It’s a burgeoning country in which the populace seem more and more willing, and in many ways, deeming it more necessary to learn English. After a LOT of initial research, I’ve realised that there’s a lot of benefits in teaching there. Besides the fact that they will fly you there themselves, and set you up in an apartment which they pay for, the money is probably better than I could get in the UK with a similar situation/job. In South Korea, not only is your rent and flights covered for the year, the take home pay is also very good, clocking in at between 900-1000 PCM, depending on past experience/qualifications. And in a country where the state tax is between 3-5%, there’s a lot of pros as to why I would want to go there. That’s not to say there’s not some hesitations regarding going. Moving away to live an independent life is something that all well rounded people will deem necessary at some point in their lives if they wish to grow as a person and experience their own specific lives. But I’ll be moving to a country where I don’t know anyone, and where I won’t be fluent in the language. Naturally, I’ll try my best to practice and learn, but I still presume the initial culture shock will be jarring, to say the least. But I know there’s a lot of things set in place to ease foreigners into the profession and culture, aswell as a lot of expatriate communities and potential friends to meet over there, so I’m less bothered by that.
I came to this decision relatively easy. It seems great over there. People sound friendly, the cities sound exciting, and the aspect of making it out there on my own sounds like the very definition of something that will build character and make me grow up very fast. It’s thrilling to think about.
But I’m not rushing into it. In a way, I’m going to give the UK one more chance before I go over there. I guess “The Plan” is as follows:
October/November/December 2012- Keep working my job for the moment. I don’t really like it, but it keeps me paid, and allows me to continue saving and living very safely at the moment. Around about this time I will also reapply for my teaching primary school children PGCE (Post-Graduate certificate of education) in an attempt to gain the qualifications I’ll need to teach in the UK. But even then…I doubt I’ll stay here for too long. Following this will lead in a few paths.
January 2013- I’ll find out if I got onto a PGCE course. If I have, then great. I’ll bide my time until September, when I’ll go back to University, do the year long course, and have a lot more possibilities ahead of me in the future. It will also, when I decide to try things in Korea, strengthen my position and prepare me more for what I might face over there when teaching.
September 2013- Go to uni, rock it. Unless…
January 2013- I don’t get onto the uni course I want to get onto. This raises issues, but kind of not really. If this happens, I’ll stick at my job, but dedicate my spare time into researching a LOT more about TEFL in Korea. At the moment, I’m leaning towards Incheon or Busan as places I’d love to go to, but I’ll be researching and assessing the job market closer to the time. In a way, I want to do this more, but I’ll give the UK a chance for the rest of this year.
Regardless of what happens, it’s my dream to teach English overseas in Korea. Japan sounds incredible too, but somewhat more strict. Not to say I don’t want to challenge myself, but I’ll see when it comes to it. I live for the idea that I might be able to actively participate in someones future, and helping them communicate and express themselves in such a way that I’ve found so key to how I live my life.
That is the current plan. I anticipate much change in the future. In nothing but the most interesting and exciting way. After all, the definition of madness is to repeat the same thing, and expect different results.
I can’t keep living my life in this depressing past that’s happened to me. I need to strike out in a big way. This feels like the first step.