The Great Life
One year ago, I returned to the United States after the best month of my life. I had just finished studying abroad in South Korea. Upon my return to Nebraska, which is known as The Good Life, I declared to my parents that in one year, after I graduated college, I would move to Korea. My mother had a miniature panic attack and my father scoffed in disbelief as they welcomed me home with love, laughter, and food from my favorite Mexican restaurant.
Here I am, one year later. I am sitting on an airplane back to the place I have missed so dearly to begin a career as an ESL teacher with the EPIK program. A year ago, when I made the declaration that I would be teaching English in Korea, the concept seemed slightly far fetched. Graduating college, applying to the EPIK program, and preparing for life abroad have all presented me with many challenges. There were times when I began to think that this dream was too ridiculous, and that maybe I should just settle for The Good Life in Nebraska.
Nebraska would be comfortable. I could go to graduate school or get a decent job. I would be near the people that I love most and get to eat at that Mexican restaurant as much as I wanted. But over the last year, every time something has gotten in my way that seemed unmovable, certain opportunities have continually pushed me towards my goal.
Small, but promising signs have popped up everywhere. The more people in my life looked at me like I was crazy for wanting to live overseas, the more motivation I had to make it happen for myself. And now, after a year of constant anxiety about every single aspect of this adventure, I sit on this airplane. Achieving this goal is absolutely the most satisfying thing I have ever experienced.
I believe that in order to be truly happy, one has to find purpose. Whether that purpose is being a supportive parent, a loving partner, or an inspiring role model, every purpose is equally as important and impactful. For me, right now, my most important purpose does not exist in The Good Life. And that may change. But for right now, my purpose exists in a school in South Korea. And I know that no matter how hard it is to be away from The Good Life, that purpose will allow me to be happy and fulfilled.
Before I left for this great adventure of mine, my mother gave me a bracelet she made me. On it is a charm that said The Good Life. She told me by wearing it, I could carry a part of the Good Life with me wherever I traveled.
For me, The Good Life, and Nebraska, hold so much. It holds my wonderful family and some great local bands and a whole lot of memories. It holds my hilarious nephew and my sweet niece. It holds the best shitty Mexican food a person can find. It holds the entirety of my support system, cheering so loud for me I can hear them from halfway across the world.
It’s not that I don’t love The Good Life. It’s that I’m searching for the Great Life. And for me, the Great Life starts with this great adventure.