good-bye 2013

i’ve never written a old year/new year reflection post before, which really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise seeing as how i rarely write any kind of post (except for kdrama related ones because, c’mon.) but i think it’s important to document 2013 in some shape or form because i’m fairly certain it’s been the most important year of my life thus far, and here’s why:

i was selfish.

up until this year, i’d done much of what was expected of me: college, more college, and job. i spent time with family, invested in friends, my community, and my church. i loved every. single. second of it, yes, but i’d be lying if i said it was easy. with those expectations came this feeling that i was supposed to be somewhere in my 30th year that i wasn’t, and the fact that i wasn’t is still a hard pill to swallow even as i write this. but i kept doing what i thought was expected of me because i thought, “surely it’ll happen. all good things come to those who wait, right?”


but i kinda got tired of waiting.

teaching abroad in south korea is something i’ve wanted to do for a few years now, but like many things that didn’t quite fit into what i thought was expected from my life, it remained on the outskirts. a dream. something i was destined to look back on in a few years and regret not doing.

i’m not sure at what point in early 2013 i decided, finally, fully, that i was going to do this. i think it was several things that’d been in the works slowly coming together the align themselves in this almost-perfect moment of clarity, but none of that really matters maybe: what matters is i did it.

i was selfish and i moved to the other side of the world to teach.

i left my sweet, sweet dog, my family, my friends, my community, and my church behind and i went. it was a hard decision to make and there were several moments where i almost didn’t, where i thought, maybe if i make this plan, all those other things i wanted will come, but then i realized: this is what i wanted.

i wanted to make a choice about my future, i wanted to take a risk, and i wanted to follow through.

i guess in the grand scheme of things, 2013 isn’t about south korea (though south korea is awesome), but more about my finally growing up. making hard decisions and taking a chance on something that might not work out. sacrificing the comfort of the familiar–coffee dates with friends, daily phone conversations with my parents, cuddling with kipling on the couch–to experience something new and different and exciting.

the real reason i’ve never really written a old year/new year reflection is because so often in my reflection, i only see my struggles. i see the things i regret doing or not doing, and i dwell on the ways i could’ve been, should’ve been better. i’m never excited for the new year, but instead anxious about the ways i struggle, fall, and struggle again.

but when i look back on 2013, my heart is so, so full. this year has taught me so much about life, about people, and about myself. for the first time i’m looking to the new year with an eagerness and thrist i’ve never felt before. i am excited about the people i’ll meet, the places i’ll go, and the things i’ll continue to learn.

so here’s to 2014–maybe it be just as wonderful.

8 thoughts on “good-bye 2013

  1. Oh my goodness, this post just makes me so happy! Also, honestly, I feel like this would make an incredible novel, hehehe. I certainly would read the heck out of it. :)

    • aw, thank you! i never thought about it’s potential for a story, but mannnn are there some funny annecdotes. i’ll have to start jotting them down!

  2. Loved this, Corey! I’ve got similar feelings about my move, too. I’m glad I did it, if only because I made a big decision, you know? I didn’t want to regret that later in life, that I had the opportunity and didn’t go. But there have been a lot of other great things about it too, like meeting cool people and getting to see great things.

    I really liked your post! How long is your contract with your school in Korea? A year? Two?

    • thanks, katie! i was scared to post it, but it’s been so well recieved and now i’m glad i did! my contract is just for the one year (up at the end of august) and i’m currently stuck in the should-i-stay-or-should-i-go dance. such a hard choice!

  3. Sounds like you have wonderful reasons to look forward and be excited about this year, and all the ones ahead of you. Great job finding the courage to be selfish – it’s so very hard! But you did it :-)

  4. Just wanted to tell you how much of an encouragement this post is to me. Honestly, right now I’m in the third-to-last paragraph of what your wrote, the part where I feel surrounded and pounded by my struggles and failures. The part where I’m not so excited about a new year- I’m anxious and uncertain. I’m flinching, worried that it will be more of the same. More lostness, more floundering… But I’m continuing forward a tip-toe step at a time, holding onto a prayer and clutching to hope that God has something in store if I just press on.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • joni, thank you so much for your comment on this post. i’m glad my words resonated with you. i’m wishing you nothing but the best in this new year! xoxo

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