Thursday, May 27, 2010

Where to start?

This past week has been rough, so kind comments and advice are greatly appreciated ;)

I cried more times in the past 4 days then I have in a long long time.

So here's the REAL scoop:

I tried to keep the fact that we got approved and passed the final stage of the immigration process a secret (SURPRISE #3, btw) because Sung Hyun and I were planning to leave Korea July 14th. The plan was to surprise all my friends back home by showing up at their doorsteps without any notice. I even had my friend arrange a patio party at her place on my birthday --invites sent and guests already confirmed. I was just going to quietly slip out of Korea and then post about my return back to Canada once I got there. That would have been a real shock to probably most of you, my readers, but I didn't want to ruin the surprise by celebrating it on my blog.

After meeting Charlie this past weekend, possibly for the last time since he's still completing his mandatory military service, I got scared about going back to Canada.

I absolutely LOVE my life right now. Yes it's tough at times, but I have an amazing job. Although it's challenging and always different, I love it. I walk away from it with a sense of accomplishment. AAAAAAAAND it's no secret how much I loved my Korean class. Once again, tough at times, especially when I had to walk up at 6, but something that just made me feel so alive.

So why leave Korea when things are going so well?

I thought it over. I cried! I talked to my friends here in Korea. And then I talked to Sung Hyun. I know it wasn't fair of me to tell him that I wanted to stay longer because he had already mentally prepared to leave in July -- and especially since he is the one who will have to say good-bye to his family.

So now where does that leave us?

Well, we just sent Sung Hyun's passport to the Canadian Embassy today to get the visa so we should receive that in a month (at the latest). Technically we will be able to go to Canada at that point. So if anything crazy goes on with North Korea, then we'll be on the first plane over. We absolutely MUST leave Korea before the 1 year mark of Sung Hyun's medical exam, however. He took that in February, so that means the latest we will be back is in February.

I don't know when I'm going to Canada. I don't want to make any promises because I'm sick of disappointing people. But all that I know is that I'm NOT ready to leave now. I'm following my heart and I hope I am making the right decision.

I'm signing up for level 2 Korean class at Sogang tomorrow. The program runs from June 3rd to August 18th. It's going to be tough. I'm going to curse at early mornings and late night study sessions. I'm going to wonder why the hell did I think signing up for Korean class was a good idea. Then at the end of it. I'm going to be so proud of myself for being able to accomplishing such a big feat. It's hard to balance full-time classes, 4 part-time jobs, topped off with the responsibilities of being a wife. But I can do it. And I have Charlie to thank for ever so subtly inspiring me to live my life to the fullest.

Ahhhhhhhhh, now I feel better for letting everything out! I didn't think it would be so difficult to leave. And perhaps my defense mechanism has kicked in and I'm simply putting off the inevitable. Either way, I love Korea and I'm very happy with where I am in my life right now. I feel pretty guilty about this decision. I don't know why. But I want to thank Tanya for giving me some insight and walking me through this. It's not the end of the world, but this was a big decision for me.

Advice in all forms is appreciated!


p.s. I'm soooooo sorry to all my Canadian friends who had anticipated seeing me this summer. Much love to you all. Please understand my decision.


Shelley said...

Jen, you truly have to do what makes you happy. When you leave Korea you plan to do it (forever I think), so what's the rush? The economy is still getting on it's feet in Canada, and so i don't think an extra 6 or so months is going to make much difference, but what it will do is allow you the time to really prepare yourself.
I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum over here. I am ready to leave India, and I want to go to Canada, badly! I haven't even started the paperwork yet (which I will definitely be in touch with you about-if that's ok).
I think this is a good decision, you have to do what feels right. Canada isn't going anywhere, your friends and family will be there waiting for you when you both decide the it's the right time.

Beloved said...

Big hugs to you!
I so understand what you are going through. I missed my family & culture so much when in Korea and knew that ultimately I wanted to live in the U.S., but when the time came to move back, I wanted to stay in Korea for a few more years. Job satisfaction was a huge part of it (have to say I have NOT enjoyed working here in the U.S. in the public school system). For us, there was really no option though, because Sung-gu wasn't having any luck with jobs in Korea. It was the right time for the move.
Anyway, just wanted you to know that I totally understand where you are coming from! I think it's so awesome that you will continue to study Korean. Good for you!
Take care and all the best with the decision-making. :)

The Juice Box said...

Dear Jen,

Don't ever apologize for following your heart. Your friends should (and I'm sure they do!) love you all the more for doing just that.

Tell them if they miss you, to write you a letter. Snail mail is a wonderful means of communication :) And they are things that you can keep and treasure.

Enter your summer with excitement, I think it's going to be an amazing time for you!

Amy Q

Helena said...

If you're not ready to leave yet, I think it's great that you have flexible options and can stay for a while longer! I don't think you'll regret it.

David said...

Dear Jen,
There is a song by Mary MacGregor "Torn Between Two Lovers" that closely/somewhat relates to your feeling except for the part that says "loving both of you is breaking all the rules". Think of the bright side, you are bless to have love and be loved on both sides of the world. Both side will be there for regardless. Jen just go with your first intuition because most of the time its right.
Cheers, hope this helps.

Rachel said...

Well, it sounds like you are doing the right thing. It is so hard to find a job you really love, and you probably won't be able to find the same type of Korean class in Canada either. Once you are established in CA, it will be hard to go back to Korea again, so I say enjoy your life there while you can.

Melanie Kidder said...

Hi Jen,

I too think this is a good decision. You have alot of positive things happening in your life right now so I don't think there should be a rush to leave. This will give you an opportunity to spend more time with your MIL and Sung Hyun's family and your friends in Korea. I think that this will also give you an opportunity to slow down a bit and ENJOY the last few months that you have in Korea. You have been so busy with this immigration process on top of all of your regular "life" stuff. Canada will still be here when you are ready to come back. Enjoy yourself and do all of your favourite "Korean" things one more time before you come back because you will miss them dearly when you get here.

Rebecca said...

Can't say I'm disappointed about your decision to stay a bit longer :) and I know EXACTLY what you're going through - remember my panicy phone call back in March where I was meant to be leaving this summer but felt SOOOOOOOOO guilty for letting people back down at home when I started to feel like I actually wanted to stay until February...and NOW I am toying with the idea of extending my contract a further 6 months from Feb-Aug as my course back home doesn't start until Sep, and I honestly don't know what I'd do with myself those few months inbetween...Say it takes me 1-2 months to find a job I can only work 4 months...My friends say lie about the fact I would be leaving in Sep but it doesn't feel right, plus where can I make and save as much pennies as I do right now - defiintely something I'm going to need when I start this course!
Man, it's so hard leaving once you've been here as long as we have. When I left to come to Korea almost 4 years ago I never imagined coming back would be so hard! I often feel quite bi-polar about the whole thing - one week I wanna go, another I decide staying a few more months is more beneficial!
Just remember your friends will love you no matter what you do and no matter where you go - I am certainly glad you're here longer but of course when you feel ready to go home - I'll be equally happy for you then too.
See you soon missy! x

Trent said...

Jen stay as long as you want in Korea...Canada will always be here if you are enjoying what you are doing stay. Please dont do what i did and leave a country before you should. I am presently making amends with a woman who I never should have left in Austria 20 years ago. Thankfully she and I have become close again. Jen stay in Korea as long as you need to I realize you may be there forever. Listen to your heart let it rule your world. If you listen to your head you will end up wondering what would have been which is where I am in my life. Thankfully the woman in Austria in my life still feels the same way I do and we will make amends. Stay live your life in Korea be happy Canada is not going any where it will always we here for you. I only wish for your happiness I understand what it is like to fall in love in a foreign land please stay be happy and live your life and live Love. Maybe oneday i could visit you in Korea do what feels right.