“I’m moving to Korea to teach English,” that’s me.
“But … you’re not a teacher,” that’s my Dad.
“And you don’t speak Korean.”
“Well … I just, I uh … I hope you find what you’re looking for.”
Initially I said that I didn’t know what I was looking for, or know if I was necessarily looking for anything at all. Now I know that I am … looking, that is, and for a long time I had stopped altogether. I don’t know if John Lennon was the first to say it but he most often gets the credit for saying that life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. Now I don’t imagine that happiness is something I will find one day like a golden Easter egg hidden from sight in the tall grasses of South Korea. This journey is simply one of curiosity. Although, I do seem to take a great deal of fulfillment from the act of searching alone. I have an insatiable appetite for life and it’s as if I’ve been eating the same meal for a very long time now. I think that sometimes this restless curiosity of mine gets mistaken for discontentment. I say, “I wanna see more. I wanna do more,” and a friend might say, “Why are you so discordant?” Okay, so my friend uses pretentious vocabulary but it’s a good question and I think it’s important that I answer it before I leave.
It’s not uncommon for people to associate yearning or desire with dissatisfaction but maybe it should be. Buddhists attempt to shun the idea of intense longing, attachment and excitement, calling it a mental illness. At times the idea of sitting cross-legged with my eyelids half-shut in a calm, peaceful oneness with the present moment is very, very attractive. I call those times: shitty. Seriously, think about it. The only times when you’re really interested in balance and serenity and Zen are when you’re stressed or worried about some potential fuck up. When you’re riding the spike of some glorious achievement or sailing the seas of ecstasy the farthest thing from your mind is, Whoa, hold on … this manic euphoria is not good for me. I had better meditate and balance shit out for a second. Excitement is intoxicating and disappointment is a bitch, but I wouldn’t trade the one so as to never have the other. I say give me those wild, swooping lows and with them the crazy, soaring highs or you might as well just give me my lobotomy now.
At any rate, the deed is done. The contract is signed. I’m leaving in about two weeks. In the meantime, I watch my current employers sift through resumes and audio from candidates applying for my job at the radio station. They ask my opinion on certain hopefuls. It feels like I’m watching an ex-girlfriend audition the next guy she’s gonna sleep with and she wants my advice.
“What do you think Troy, he looks good, right?”
“Ehh, … I dunno I mean, the guy’s wearing a big, stupid-ass belt buckle… is that what you want? I’m just asking. I mean, if you wanna open your legs to Conway Twitty and rut like barn hogs then be my guest but I would replace me with someone better if I were you.”
And it’s the first of many times to come where I wonder … Am I making the right decision? I can see all these people clearly want to take my job when I leave. Do they know something I don’t? What will they pay the new guy? Will he be better than me? Hell with it, I’m gone anyway.