One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice
The Journey by Mary Oliver

In the summer of 2019, I moved to South Korea after having a wake-up call from my corporate job. What was I doing here, working twelve hour days to make finance spreadsheets? Was this going to fulfill me, sustain me? I had always wanted to work abroad, and I had always loved mentorship. The signs were there, had I been willing to open my eyes; I had visited Korea twice by that point and in addition, I was already working a part-time job as an English teacher.

When I woke up from the fog, I made the decision to do what I had wanted to do for many, many years: I wanted to take control of my life but I needed to be honest with myself, and I had be faithless to others in order to be faithful to myself.

 I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. 
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. 
If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. 
The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I used the company printer to put together my EPIK application and waited on tenterhooks for acceptance. And then, hardest of all, I had to tell my family I was leaving my highly-esteemed STEM job for a teaching position overseas. As you might imagine, this is not what any family wants to hear. But it was time to cast off the role-self and listen to the voice in my head that had been calling out to me since I was a teenager.

These polar opposites, what I should be and what I wanted to be, had been pushing me apart for so long that I was barely keeping myself from splitting apart at the seams. When I got on the plane, I finally felt the two warring sides of myself knit back together. The tightness that had been coiled in my chest since my early 20s finally unspooled and I may have breathed completely for the first time in my adult life.

Even if that breath was full of stale, flatulent plane air.

I’ve been a lot of things in my life so far: waitress, farmer’s market seller, golf course attendant, student, teacher, model, engineer, researcher, amateur figure skater, electrician, jiu jitsu competitor. In the years to come, I hope to continue transforming myself and get a taste of life in its every possible, delicious iteration.

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