One thing about living abroad that can be frustrating. Despite being abroad for almost 14 years, my family never seems to ask real questions about what I'm doing here. I never get questions about the specifics of my job. There's very little curiosity in what I do. For example, they never ask me about what students I teach, what my academy is like, if I like my job, or even my travel experiences. The attitude with my dad seems like "I don't really care what you do in Korea. Just come back home." So to add to that frustration, I think I felt like the closeness with my dad and brothers will never be there until I go back to L.A.
There is one exception however. I am thankful that my brother Jon came out to Korea TWICE. He came once to see what my life was like and the second time for my wedding. I'm very happy that he was here to understand why I've stayed in Korea for such a long time and we got closer during that time. I'll always treasure both of his visits to Korea and I'll be eternally grateful for that.
The second thing that is frustrating is not seeing my nephews and niece grow up which is tough. But then my dad would just tell me to come home as if it was that easy to do. While living in L.A., I had a hard time finding my dream job. First, I majored in Political Science. That was a mistake and totally didn't match my character. Then after getting a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, I went back to school to become an elementary school teacher. Actually it was interesting, but I really wanted to work full time and teach at the same time. That brought me to Korea. I was able to teach kids and got free rent. But teaching elementary and middle school students was tough, so I started teaching adults. Since then, I've really enjoyed my job and find it rewarding. I found my niche since I've been teaching adults since 2005. I really want to continue doing that.
Lately, my wife and I have been burned out with Korea. My wife has a busy church life at her Korean service and her Chinese service. She's one of the leaders for her Chinese service and she's constantly busy helping to serve her Chinese members. By the time she gets home on Sunday evening, she's exhausted. Then she goes back to Daejeon on Tuesday to study until Thursday before making the trip back to Seoul on Thursday night. She's really experiencing a busy life. My burnout comes from my split shift (commuting 10 times a week to and from work) and barely making enough money to support both of us. The novelty of living in Korea has also worn out and I get frustrated over the cultural difference that I used to embrace.
I'm asking the Lord for guidance and whether or not he wants us to stay or go. I would love to go back to the U.S. for awhile while she gets her PhD and if I could get a job in L.A., then I would be there in a heartbeat. The ultimate goal is for her to be a missionary in China. But we would love to live in the U.S. for 4-5 years before we leave for China. We're just not sure if that will be a good option financially since I don't know if I can get a job that pays enough for both of us while we're there.
Please keep my wife and I in prayer as we ponder our next step!
Scott Worden (The L.A./Seoul Guy)