Three days ago, I turned in an application to teach English in South Korea.
I am not a teacher. I am currently an assistant to a composer, and before that, I was a production manager for TV – handling the logistical set up of reality shows and televised concerts. In that capacity, I did things like creating remote offices, ordering catering for the crew, making travel arrangements and so forth. My current post is very similar in nature, only smaller in scale. Always in entertainment, but always doing something sort of ancillary to the actual entertaining. In fact, my first real gig in TV was working for a division of MTV’s production management department that was actually called the “ancillary” team, which handled all the things related to the big show, but not actually part of the big show. Press tents, red carpet entryways, website shoots. They later changed that title to the more euphemistic “off-channel team.” This first job in entertainment, but not really entertaining, was step one on a 10 year path that has led me here.
And “here” is a rut.
Having faced the fact that my career is not headed for the creative glory and wild success and fortune that I had always hoped for, I started feeling really stuck, and in need of a change. I started looking around at what else I might want to do. Then we got hit by a recession, so suddenly changing jobs wasn’t going to be a solution. So I stayed stuck and counted myself blessed to have a job. Then in December I was complaining about my rut for the millionth time to my good friend Josh. He says to me, “why don’t you just drop everything, and go overseas and teach English or something? You’ve got no husband, no kids, no mortgage….why not?” It’s the kind of thing people say off hand all the time but you never take seriously, like, “why don’t you go back to school and get your masters?” or “you make great pies, why don’t you open a bakery?” I dismissed the idea, but it stayed in the back of my head and I kept coming back to it. I talked about it to all my friends and relatives to get their take. For the most part, people were excited. It sounded adventurous, like a far off dream. It was the kind of thing most people wished they could do, but never would, and that made me want to do it more. By February, I was ready to pack up and go, NOW.