13 years ago, I was at a crossroads in my life. During that time I wrote the following essay. I decided to share it as some others might be at a similar crossroads.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream." - Mark Twain
It’s a good time to start asking myself… What should I do in the next couple of months? Coming to Korea I’ve had a generous amount of time to enjoy all of my hobbies, teach and think about my life. Here I sit at a crossroads. I’m finished with school and my obligations back home are few outside of family and friends. My job is simple and extremely enjoyable, while the people I’ve met here have made a large impact on my life.
Before my arrival, I felt that I had my life all lined up in a polished organized line ready to be taken one by one. But my eyes have opened to the many different paths available. The path that I once had chosen was one of safety and comfort but I’m trying to sail away from that “safe harbour.” If there is one thing that I learned from my Music Therapy education is to take social and emotional risks because your ability to grow as a person is stunted by always staying safe. I’m scared to choose a path because I don’t know where I will end up or how “happy” I will be, but I know I have to bite the bullet and take the risky path.
“Which direction should I take?” flies through my mind more often than not, these days. Some paths look extraordinarily rocky while some others look smooth and shiny. I guess I need to stop looking at the beginning of the path and focus on the end and put all of my heart into whatever path I choose.
Currently, I can extend the program that I am in now to stay in Samcheok Korea and continue teaching at my current school. My two other options are to stay in Korea and teach in Seoul where I have a long list of contacts or go back home and get a job in financial planning in some large city in the United States. Staying in Samcheok is my safe option because I’m very well familiar with my school, students, area, etc,. But my opportunities for advancement are miniscule.
Moving to Seoul is a riskier position where one of my connections has offered to help me get a job near them. In Seoul my opportunities for advancement are huge and I already have a large network of people to help me along the way. The drawbacks are that I will have to work longer hours, give up time for some of my hobbies and my working conditions are currently unknown.
Lastly, going back home to start a job in a totally different city will be a huge challenge and I don’t see many of the positives of making that move unless I have a job lined up, enough money to live comfortably, etc,. I guess staying in Seoul would give me more time to save up lots of money and finish my financial planning courses that will set me up for a successful return to the states.
Twenty years from now, I’m sure I’ll be able to look back at these past couple of years and be happy with the course that I’ve taken. I just remind myself, there are no wrong notes. From now on, I’m not on the safe course but the riskier one.
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