I spent a good portion of the day talking. Talking with friends, talking with my stepson, catching up on things, reflecting, verbally, on this life I've chosen for myself. Talking too much, I guess.
One thing that I always notice when I go visiting like this, is that I begin to spin stories (not fictions - I'm meaning, here, true stories, but nonetheless for all that, stories) about the "why" of what I'm doing - my abandonment of my well-paying career in computers for a peculiar, low-paid expat's life as an ESL teacher is almost as deeply puzzling to my American compatriots as it is to my Korean ones.
And the conclusions, with this transoceanic perspective, are mostly affirmational: I chose my current lifestyle with extreme care and deliberation, with the intent to solve very specific deficits in my previous life. My entire life is a carefully constructed edifice with the chief intent of helping me to find greater satisfaction and contentment and "meaning" for myself.
Well, that sounds self-congratulatory. I don't mean to. But it's true I've had many very difficult times, in the past, so I feel some sense of accomplishment in the current state of things. Nothing's perfect, and on any given day, I may be moody or discouraged or annoyed, but it's so far from the crisis-driven defeatism of years past.