No Shortcuts

January 11, 2012

Three months since I flew into San Francisco International, and my mind has been swimming with possibilities. Employment-wise, Craigslist continues to be a constant source of income for me, but as I’m not living in 2006, and with the unemployment rate as high as it is, gigs and jobs are getting scooped up within ten minutes of posting. Nevertheless, I have found work in promotions, IT, and tutoring, and am networking at every opportunity.

My guilty pleasure? Browsing jobs in Seoul and imaging what it’d be like if I abandoned everything and returned to Korea as a fresh, not-so-wide-eyed teacher. Even though I can still recall everything I decided in my last days over there – not wanting to be the outsider; tired of instability; wanting a “career” of sorts – the fact remains it’s easy to think those thoughts when you’re sitting in your own apartment and a paycheck is scheduled to be deposited. My work, while enough to sustain me in the Bay Area, hasn’t lead to anything approaching permanency, and I still think like a traveler… even if I do get something, it’s not a life sentence.

I buy lottery tickets, put all my hopes in cover letters, and go about my business. I guess that’s just what I’ve come to realize about work and life: there are no shortcuts, no easy roads to success. True, some are luckier than others, but their luck comes from working with good people and being passionate about what they do. I want that. I was able to work as a successful freelancer in Austin because I spend my university years building connections that weren’t essential to my survival when I was studying, but once I was out in the workforce, they allowed me to thrive. I just need time to do the same over here.

I’m still planning that next big adventure, counting down the weeks until I turn 30, and waiting to hear from a prospective employer in San Mateo. But I’m content. Sempre tem jeito. “…there’s always a way. Don’t drive yourself crazy over stuff now, there’s always a way to work it out in the end.”

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