I know most of the people (if there is still anyone) who read my blog will think it’s a bit late to be writing a New Year post. But I’m here in the land of the Lunar New Year, which was just this past weekend, so I’m rolling with that.
It’s been quite a year.
For all my silence here on the blog, there has been a lot going on. I just don’t share as much as I used to. Or write as much as I used to. It was also a strange year for falling out of many of my old habits, some good, some bad.
It’s been more than a year since I left the UK. I was going to write a post in October saying how I felt about it all, but that is right when I met an awesome guy and being here in Korea became so much more important than not being in the UK. And I didn’t write about the guy because that’s not really my style.
Although I’m still not happy about being away from all my great friends in the UK, I am very happy here in Korea, so I’m mostly okay about the entire situation. Unless, of course, you get me drunk and ask why I had to leave. Then I still get Ranty McRagepants about the whole ordeal.
I’m happier here in my work. Who’d have guessed it, but it turns out I’m a good teacher. And for the most part, I enjoy teaching. The kids are great and it is so rewarding to know what a huge (and, if you are doing it right, positive) part you are playing in their lives. I laugh a lot at work and although there are bad days, and tough days, there are fewer of the than there were when I was working in tech London. And when you do have a couple of rough days, at least the beer here is cheap.
As I mentioned above, I’ve met a really great guy. This is uncharted territory for me. After a million first dates in London that went nowhere and a handful here in Korea that went straight to disaster, the date with this guy was going to be my last online date for awhile, regardless of how it went. Well, it went well and I find myself in my first really-real relationship (I’m intentionally discounting the “relationship” I had in London that went on about 11 months longer than it should have – we really shouldn’t have gone past the second date) in nearly a decade. It’s still early days (not even six months yet!) but I’m happy in it and I believe that he is too.
Another real positive is that I’ve managed to lose just over 20kg (about 50 pounds) this past year. I was pretty strict about my consumption for about 8 weeks in the autumn, but most of it is just about eating better, not having a desk job, and stressing waaaaaaay less. With 20kg more to go, once I’m settled into the new flat and new job, I’ll be putting some real effort into it again.
Not everything this year was great. The school I had been teaching at was less than ideal. Minimum possible pay without actually having a go, the most idiotic waste of space I’ve ever had the displeasure of working with, a greedy boss, and a flat that was more like a prison cell (except in prison the windows would have been bigger). I didn’t blog about it (although the idiot was so bad we made a Tumblr just of his quotes) because it was still okay day to day. My supervisors were great and, other than the idiot, my coworkers were fantastic. The kids were a joy and so overall, I decided not to complain or praise too much. We’ll see if there is a fight about my final pay though – that may push me to write more about what wasn’t good at that particular academy.
I’ve also been sick for a lot of the past year, which isn’t really like me. I mean – a LOT of the past year. At first I thought it was just “new to the country” germs. Then maybe because I’m old (haha… but kinda really). And even maybe because I teach a gaggle of 6 year old germ bags. Or that when you are sick in this country, you don’t get to take sick days, so you never get to rest long enough to get over it. But you know what I think it has been? My flat. The windowless (more or less) wonder palace of stagnant air. We’ll soon find out – I’m typing this out en route to my new neighborhood. And I’ve been assured that my new flat will have “normal” windows. I’m excited.
So what will the Year of the Sheep (or goat, or ram, however you roll) bring? I don’t know. I do know that I’m starting at a new school tomorrow and I’m excited. It has already been a better experience working with them and I’m not even there yet! Just altogether smoother. Even the recruiter was amazing (Cindy at Good English, if you are looking to teach in Korea hit me up and I’ll get her deets to you) which was a nice change from the last guy.
The new school is in Jamsil, which is actually in Seoul proper instead of lurking just outside of it as I had been. It’s on 12 minutes to Gangnam by subway. Exciting. I can’t wait to explore the city more this year.
I’m hoping to travel SOMEWHERE this year. I’m very focused on repaying my debt though, so we’ll see how the money goes. The new school came with a large pay-bump, so hopefully I’ll have some funds for fun this year.
Other than that, I’m happy to roll on with whatever the year might bring.