THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN AND POSTED IN JANUARY 2015
So the renewal docs came through the school system. Standard procedure is a native teacher is given the renewal docs about four months before the end of the contract. We are asked to request to either transfer, renew or only complete our contract. The thoughts of renewing and staying an extra year in this country, really had my stomach twisted into knots.
On the one hand, I need the money/job.
On the other hand, the crippling isolation and loneliness can be overwhelming, even for the strongest individual. It is not just the people I miss. I miss being able to easily navigate my way through various systems. The medical, educational, transit, restaurant and grocery systems are all extremely difficult when you 1) do not know the language and 2) stand out like an exotic giraffe (a cute giraffe).
There have been many nights of crying into my pillow from frustration and loneliness.
I thought long and hard and weighed the pros and cons of renewing for another year. I know that if I choose to stay here, I will have to continue stepping out of my box and travel and meet more people. I will also have to learn more Hangul in order to better navigate the various systems.
In the end I chose to renew. The economic situation in my country has not improved as much as the media is hyping. I love my students and the school staff is courteous and nice to me. I signed the renewal docs and will mentally prepare myself for another year. In order to remain grateful for this opportunity, I will choose to put myself out-there in order to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
I need a drink, LOL.