Two years ago I set foot in Korea, and in 10 days I will be going home. It has been the fastest two years, beyond anything I dreamed it would be. It's hard to measure how far I've come because I've gotten so used to this life.
I lived on my own for the first time. I thought it would be scary and lonely, but it wasn't. It was good for me. I learned how to be independent and take care of myself. I don't always like doing everything on my own, but I know I can. I learned to trust myself and be decisive. I can handle a lot more than I thought I could. Silly things like riding the bus and figuring out what to buy in the grocery store were hard in the beginning, but I figured it out. I made my way through several foreign countries with maps and friends and guesses. I did it. I did a lot. I'm capable.
I've felt a lot of things throughout my time here and right now I feel everything all at once: so happy and content about everything that has happened, heartbroken to say good-bye to my kids forever, satisfied with the job I've done, ready to move on to bigger things, excited about the future. It's hard to leave my students in the hands of a stranger, and I hope they do as good of a job as I think I did.
Everything I do, I think "This is the last time I'm going to do this." The last time at every restaurant, the last time walking to school, the last face-to-face conversations with friends. The final-ness is what's so hard. I'll never see my students again, and friends are moving all over the world.
I feel good about my time here. No regrets. I made a lot of lifelong friends, I saw the world, I was a good teacher, and most days I did my best. I love these kids even though they can drive me crazy, and I think I made a difference in their little lives. They made a difference in mine.
I've been listening to this song on repeat. I think it's pretty fitting for these final days in Korea.