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My one-track mind

Like I’ve said in several posts before, I’m an incredibly non-pragmatic person. No matter how much I really need the money, I can’t see anything in terms of money. “If I do this, how much can I earn?” “I should do this because it gives me more money” I don’t think this way. I can’t base my choices solely on money, I must base them first on passion / interest. Here’s hoping that my passions can somehow lead to money? Destined to be poor for life D:

Anyway, I’m currently in that stage in life where I have to figure out what I want and plans for the future. I do have several tracks in mind that I’m keen to explore and they are all very different. Because they are so different, I’m so scared that once I veer towards one direction, I can never get back to my other choices. Do I make sense? I do have the confidence in doing well for whatever choice I make, but the fact that the paths are sooooo different is making me hesitate a little. (They are all either majorly or minor-ly or somehow related to Korean)

[I’ll be happy in any of the tracks. But will they want me???]

My strength and my weakness, as some people have pointed out, is my one-track mind and my obsession / love for Korean and Korea. My love for Korean is what drives me forward and I think it’s no secret that I really want to go back to that country. hahaha. Everything I do is really in hope of being closer to that goal one day. Sometimes I scare myself with my single minded persistence. lol.

To put it in another way, it’s also my weakness. Because I simply can’t see anything else outside of Korean/Korea. You can say that I’m narrowing my options, because I refuse to consider anything that has nothing to do with Korean/Korea. (Japan /Japanese is ok :D) My interest level in something totally drops if it has nothing to do with Korea. At this moment, I can’t envision doing something that has absolutely nothing to do with Korean. At the moment anyway. I may become desperate later on. lol.

People always tell me that my passion and hard work will be rewarded. I desperately want to believe it and I look forward to the day when I can meet someone / some place that really appreciate my skills, and who I am.

I really dislike it when people tell me to keep Korean as a hobby. Keeping Korean as a hobby is not enough for me, I know. Deep down, I know that I probably won’t be able to last long in anything that is totally unrelated (I can still be good at it though) and my life will probably be very miserable hahaha.

Yeah, this is my one-track mind.

예전에는 꼭 멋지고 남들과 다른 삶을 살고 싶었는데,

이제는 평범한 삶은 더 행복할 것 같다고 생각한다. ㅋ

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  • Reply
    21 February, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    You do make sense in your concerns about choosing a track. I’m in the exact same situation…
    A while ago I sat in an interview with a recruiter who tried to press me into choosing *one* industry or company that I wanted to work for in the future. I told her that I am still rather young so I figured it wouldn’t make sense to make such a choice. If it didn’t work out, what should I do then? Go on early retirement because only that one company could make me happy? Then I would rather have a “theme” where I could be happy working in multiple industries as long as it was related to that theme…

    I understand your concern about being able to switch paths later on. If there are very specific qualifications for one of the paths, it could be difficult, but perhaps it’s possible to change later on if the tasks have some things in common that are not completely tied to an industry. Chances are you are not balancing between the choice of painting stage decorations in a theatre and working with a particular type of derivatives in a bank; letting your theme guide you does not seem unreasonable at all. Who would tell a doctor that (s)he is too hung up on the medical aspect of a job or tell a plumber to focus a bit less on pipes? People who are not educated for very specific professions have more choices for which industry to work in – which can be both a curse and a blessing, but your interest in Korean should count as much as the dentist’s interest in teeth!

    • Reply
      24 February, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      urgh yes I really dislike recruiters like that. Especially when they try to categorize and limit what I can do based on my past experiences / major D: Instead of helping me find something I want, they are limiting my choices.

      hehe the tracks that I have in mind aren’t so extreme, but still of very different natures. Right now, all I can do is to make myself more versatile and to upgrade myself so that I can go into several different fields. hehe and I like your analogy of the dentist’s interest in teeth heehee 😀

  • Reply
    21 February, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Me too!
    Earlier sydneytoseoul blogged about her hobby and asked, “What are your hobbies outside studying Korean?” and I wasn’t able to answer because I realized I have no hobbies outside thing related to Korea/Korean.

    • Reply
      24 February, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      HAHA I feel exactly the same way!

  • Reply
    21 February, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Just wanted to say I like your 똥빵 cover ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

    I don’t really have any good advice for your situation, cos I’m exactly in the same situation right now. 🙁

    But I like people with passion 🙂

    And I believe with passion you can do anything 🙂

    • Reply
      24 February, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      hehe thanks!! Hope things will work out well for you too!

  • Reply
    21 February, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Ok, now I’ll speak like my mother. And I’ll tell you part of her story (hahaha no, but this is serious!)
    So, she always wanted to be a painter, she started studying when she was 8 years old, and she actually paints very very well. But her mother didn’t want her to do it, because “you will die starving of not making money” and also because other relateds were painters and died intoxicated from the materials.
    So she ended up studying Psychology at University. She’s never prosecuted the profession (well, only at home hahaha), instead always worked related to arts (like painting, making sculptures, being a teacher, many many things).
    The problem is people here in Brazil don’t value art, it’s sooo hard to sell a painting, and even finding people to teach to is kinda difficult.
    What did she do? 4 years ago, at the age of 48, she started a Restoration class. It’s still related to art, it’s a challenging job (something she likes a lot), and there’s only a few people that do this here in the country. She just graduated now in the end of the year and is already doing well with her business partner 😀 And, afterall, what she studied from arts really help her now, because ANY of the other colleagues from the class knew anything about the many kinds of paints and such materials, about colors, etc, so it’s a plus when she’s doing a restoration.

    And so when I have these hard times thinking about my future, she reminds me that she started her professional life, well, in her 50s, and that I’m so young… I can try on path; if I don’t like, I can change and try another thing. We just have to be humble and really go for it, because we have some examples we know in person of people that tried something new late on life, too, but because of the personality of these person, they’re not doing very well.

    So, that’s it. I hope it helps you 🙂

    • Reply
      24 February, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      thanks for sharing the story!! 😀 It’s really amazing that she has finally found what she wants to do and what she enjoys. (: Life is really about daring to try and making every experience worthwhile, while finding the one thing that we will love to do for the rest of our lives.

  • Reply
    21 February, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    안녕하세용~ 오랜만에 댓글을 남기려고 하네요. 지금 우리 곧 졸업하는데 참 고민이네요. 저한테도 만약에 찾을 직업이 한국어를 쓸 수 있으면 얼마나 좋겠다고 생각을 했는데 두번 세번 다시 생각하면 직업과 취미를 섞어서 꼭 좋은 일일 수 도 아닌 것 같기도 하고… 참 복잡한 마음이네요. 진짜 좋아하는 직업이라면 참 좋겠지만 만약에 안 좋은 자리를 구했다면 자기 제일 좋아하는(심지어 유일한?) 취미를 그렇게 없어질 수도 있다고 봐요. 모든 것이 복불복인 것 같고… 그리고 우리 지금 곧 졸업할 시기도 참 애매해요. 진짜 한국에서 취업을 하려면 다음 채용시기(여름-가을일까?)까지 기다릴 수 밖에 없어요. 이번달의 채용시기 이미 다 끝난 것 같아요. 제일 문제인 점은 우리(외국인들)가 한국대학졸업생들보단 확실한 큰 장점을 갖고 있지 않으면 우리한테 유리한 점은 거의 없다는 의미죠. 취업 참 힘들다. ㅠㅠ 너무 많이 써서 머리 이미 빙글빙글@@@… – JK

    • Reply
      24 February, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      ㅎㅎ 안녕하세요!! 정말 오랜만이네요! 생각해 보니까 JK 씨는 아마 2009년부터 제 블로그를 읽기 시작했죠 ㅎ 벌써 4년이나 되었네요 ><;; 이제 졸업을 앞두고 JK 씨도 생각을 많이 해봤죠. 취직 준비생은 참... 힘들다 ㅠ 한국어도 제 유일한 취미예요. ㅋ 저한테 취미지만 이제 좀 더 욕심이 커서 직장에서도 한국어를 살렸으면 좋겠어요 ㅋㅋ JK 씨는 마음에 든 회사나 분야가 있어요? ㅋ

  • Reply
    22 February, 2013 at 6:30 AM

    I agree with Vanessa. Don’t feel like you can “never go back” to some path you decided not to pursue. As long as you’re able-minded, healthy, and willing to work hard and make some sacrifices, it’s possible to start over at any stage in your life. I speak from personal experience when I say that sometimes choosing one path and struggling with it is what makes you realize what your TRUE calling in life is. Best of luck.

    • Reply
      23 February, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      Yes, I agree! If you don’t try things out, how will you know if you really actually like doing such thing? Sometimes what we THINK something is, on reality is a bit different…and it may turns out better than what we had in mind, or not.

    • Reply
      24 February, 2013 at 12:11 PM

      that’s true! Those who know their true calling right from the start are probably in the minority instead of majority. Hope I’ll find mine sooner!

  • Reply
    22 February, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    haha dont listen to what others say about keeping ur interest in korea as a hobby! it’s people like these who don’t understand the passion we have because they have never felt like that towards something they like. or maybe they have such a passion but the possibility of combining that with career is impossible. whereas u actually have a shot at it! ^^ no one believed in me as well, except for my grandfather haha so i m lucky in tt aspect.

    that said, it’s also gd to have another option tt is not korean-related, so tt when u make it to korea (ive no doubts abt tt! :D) u will seem more well-rounded (i mean we definitely cant compete w all the koreans’ resumes in terms of 자격증 etc)? best if u get actual work exp for a few mths up to a yr in sg as a proper 직장 (suddenly forgot the word omg) rather than part-time, or it may be hard for u to score interviews (cos usually they dont want u to list part-time work, even for sg) or attain a work visa (usually need 1 yr work exp at 1 company in sg, if u didnt grad from a sch in korea) here when u get a job. n money may not be an issue at the start cos u gotta do what it takes to stay in korea right? hehe >< tt was my thinking too!

    • Reply
      24 February, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      thanks for the advice!! 😀 yeahh I need to make myself more all rounded. It’s not easy to survive in Korea with their kind of pay scale for their normal graduates and I need to make myself worth the expat package lol ><;;;

  • Reply
    22 February, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    If you are passionate about what you do and is happy about it, do it! People’s opinion are just their opinions. But if you are thinking that hardwork and passion brings you rewards, not necessary so. But to me, being happy is a reward itself!


    • Reply
      24 February, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      thank you!! 😀 True, hard work doesn’t not always turn into rewards, but at least I tried! ^^ and yup, I’m happy doing this!

  • Reply
    22 February, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    I just stumbled upon your Blog late last night. I can totally understand your single mindedness toward Korean . There is just something about it that hooks you.
    (I’m probably about 2 or 3 years behind you as far as language learning and impressed by your blog and devotion to Korean)

    My advice (because you didn’t ask for it) is this, It will work itself out. You do what you love, follow your passion and others will come along. You will find a job doing what you love; honestly most people never find that “something” and therefore cannot relate. Trust me it will come along. It is 1s a lot like learning Korean. Take one small step forward, and within time you’ll be closer to your objective.

    Best of luck,

    • Reply
      24 February, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      Hi Sterling!

      Thanks for leaving a comment 😀 I really hope that it will work out. Of course I’m not waiting for a miracle to drop from the sky, but I hope that my efforts and hard work will pay off somehow. Hard work is something that I can put in on my part, but I guess there are a lot of factors out there that I can’t control also (:

      • Reply
        3 March, 2013 at 3:17 AM

        Strange .. . it didn’t tell me you replied. Oh well!
        I was thinking about this the other day. There is a saying “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” If you your work is fulfilling then you’ll enjoy doing it and the money (although you need it) almost becomes secondary because the work is enjoyable.
        I am betting you will have more regrets not pursuing a life/job that is centered around your passion, than going for it. 🙂

  • Reply
    23 February, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    You can change your weakness into another strength haha. You can just think it as your one track mind with Korean as a good thing! Like Korea is just too awesome hahaha. Same here!! When my girlfriend mentions something about Korea, my eyes light and I sound super interested haha. But then when she mentions something else, I’m not too interested. And she just thinks I love Korea too much, but I see it as Korea is just 대박! I want to do something with Korean also, but I’m not sure if that can happen to be honest. I want to become an English teacher in Korea or English-Korean translator, but I have to think about my future family also right?

    Yeah I hope we all can be rewarded for all the hard work we put into learning the language and culture. Good luck to us all! What do you want to do in the future that involves Korean though? I’m sure you have some ideas.
    Omg I really hate when people say that also!! It makes me angry, because are we not allowed to fall for the language and culture of a different country? hahaha. It sounds odd, but it’s a big part of life that we want to always keep around. Yeah we always want to follow our dreams and passions, but I hope we can all do what we actually like. Everything is about the money these days.

    • Reply
      23 February, 2013 at 5:55 AM

      Oops I forgot to delete the first paragraph, could you not notice that or delete for me haha? Thanks!

    • Reply
      24 February, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      hehehe sometimes when I leave comments / reply to emails I like to copy and paste part of it so that I can refer to it too 😛 😛

      Sometimes decisions are not easy to make and often some form of sacrifice or prioritizing is needed. No matter what you choose in the end, I hope that it will be something that you really enjoy! 😀

      I think one thing that I’m really really grateful for is that you guys at the blog really understand where I’m coming from and we have similar thinking / passions. It may be hard to believe, but I find it incredibly difficult to find people around me that really understand.

      • Reply
        25 February, 2013 at 7:25 AM

        Omg I’m not the only one also!! 😛 (Also I feel like I have bad short term memory :S so i feel like I have to work harder when I see a new korean word or structure to ingrain it for the long term) and that also might be the reason I copy/paste it hahaha . it’s awesome how your blog brings together many people with the same interests and tendencies 😀

        I agree, sometimes I feel like I’m in a game that I played before and there’s a decision to be made that is very important. Thanks a lot !! 😀 I think we need that push or encouragement in the right direction. I hope for the same for you also 😀 대한민국!! (time to chant haha)

        It’s not hard to believe at all actually, it’s the same for me also. I feel like my University, my city, and other cities nearby have that similar kind of language learning that we have here. I feel like no one at my school enjoys learning languages or has that same passion for that. My friends obviously don’t, they think why do you want to learn this. Why can’t people learn things because they want to. Like I’ve been trying to become ambidextrous (as being a natural right hander) and I feel like my dad is always ragging on me all the time especially during dinner. I think left-handed people are awesome btw 😀 I just need to keep writing left handed though, so hard haha.
        It’s funny because I was chatting with my friends in a group chat. All the topics they were talking about were not interesting, but all of sudden we were talking about a new Korean market opening nearby my school!! I was like OMG I gotta go there when it opens hahaha. It’s true that stuff about Korea just sparks my interests more 😀

        Anyways sorry for the rambling!

  • Reply
    23 February, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Most of the time, our strengths are also our weaknesses! It is about having a good balance. While you are passionately interested in Korea, you are not over-the-head living in an unrealistic dream about it. You are not aimlessly pursuing things that try to turn you into a Korean, but rather realistic aims that increases your chances to making a living and building a path for yourself there. It is not enough to have passion. One needs to have determination to keep something going. People who asked you to keep it as a hobby said such things because they could not see that this isn’t just mere ‘passion’ to you, but something that you have and are willing to put a lot of honest effort to achieve.

    I completely understand where you’re coming from. When we say things like, “I am not driven by money”, people look at us like we’re crazy, or trying to be overly self-righteous about how non-materialistic we are. They don’t understand that what we are really saying is, “Money is not the goal I use to find the best job for me” They don’t understand that we will rather take risks (in terms of not earning as much as we might be able to) by following our hearts, rather than just “settling” for whatever that is available.

    It is always my goal for myself that I will not settle for something I don’t mind. I will rather work hard for what I want, even if it means taking some risks, because life is too short, and I will rather live with what I’ve done, rather than to regret what I’ve NOT done.

    • Reply
      24 February, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      yes!!! so glad you understand too! 😀 I still care a lot about money (who doesn’t) but I don’t want it to be the first priority or criteria guiding my decisions 😀

      heh I think you have put my thoughts into the words that I struggle to find haha. 😀

  • Reply
    [Randoms] Journey after uni | Life is a journey
    24 February, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    […] not too sure of my trigger point, perhaps it could be because after reading Shanna’s post on “My one-track mind”. Many thoughts came and I have to admit that I was looking back at my own life after graduation […]

  • Reply
    25 February, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Don’t be too pragmatic. There are too many pretty good accountants with the right certifications because it’s the right thing to do. You can make a living that way, but it will never be more than making a living.

    To be truly great at something, you need to be passionate about it. So passionate that you can be single minded. Follow your passion and narrow down so that you are the best in the world at something really small and well-defined.

    I have always been interested in travel and other cultures. I took up business in University because it also interested me. I’ve now narrowed down to the combination of languages + marketing + Singapore. But that combination only started to come together when I was 27.

    It works because of the Internet. Be specialized in something really narrow and people will search for you and find only … you. Be generic and you compete with 100s of others.

    Let your passion guide you and keep an open eye for opportunities that will make you really excited. You’ll get there.

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