Lake District, England: August 2012
After living in South Korea for one year, there is one thing that I learned that rang true throughout the year and continues to be true. "It's never too late."
Before we moved to Korea, Markus and I were settled. We had our lives in order. We followed all the rules. We both graduated from college. We dated for X amount of years and then married. We owned a home. We had job security, we could've stayed at these jobs for a long time. All that was left was kids. If we did what we were supposed to do, then why were Markus and I always feeling like something was missing?
I think that we have this predisposed idea of what "normal" is. We are told from a young age that if you do A,B,C and D, you'll be happy. If you don't do these things, then maybe you won't be so happy. As I've gotten older, I've started to really think about what "normal" is. Is "normal" what everyone is telling me it is, or is it something else? Either way, I don't think that everyone is meant to follow the same course in their lives. There is no road map for a perfect and happy life. We are all meant for something specific. We were all created for a specific purpose and reason, and it is up to us to find out what that is
When Markus and I were still living in South Florida, we found ourselves in a bit of a bubble. We worked with our closest friends. We went to the same events, ate at the same restaurants and did the same thing every weekend. Nothing really changed, we were in this endless cycle. Markus and I spent six years doing this and only taking two weeks every year to go on adventures. We found ourselves persevering through the other 50 weeks of the year in anticipation for those two weeks. The only two weeks out of the year where we really felt alive.
I don't know why we didn't think of moving to South Korea sooner, but I am a firm believer in "things are meant to happen when they happen". I know it sounds cliche, but in my case, this is how everything in my life has worked out.
I write all this to say, "it's never too late." I thought that my life was set, and that my chance to live abroad had passed because I was settled. I thought that if I did something crazy like move to another country at this stage of my life, my friends and family would think there was something wrong with me. I remember thinking one night, "I will never be happy unless I do this. I'll always regret not trying." However, the lure of being safe and never taking chances was just as strong.
We all tend to do what's safe, what we know, because venturing outside the norm is scary. Failure is always present in our minds. No one wants to fail. The worst feeling is making huge sacrifices to do something, and then failing at it in the end. On the other hand, when you succeed the feeling is indescribable!
This past year in South Korea has been a massive success. I have learned so much about myself, about Markus and our marriage. This experience was what was missing in my life. I've never felt more alive and free. To be honest, I still don't know what my purpose in life is, but I'm having an amazing time trying to find it.