Tumblr is so goddamned upper middle class, and I feel like that’s the real reason why I just can’t hack it.

I came to Korea to live a Sex and the City, metropolitan lifestyle? Fuck you.

Back home, I’m the first fucking person in my family to ever finish university, and I did it by myself, and I did it with zero fucking support. And it wasn’t without a cost. When I made the decision to come to Korea, my mother didn’t have her own home or health insurance and was getting sent to jail on 30 day sentences for not having had her fucking car inspected, because she couldn’t afford to fix it. Her health is still declining. I worry that sometimes my next visit home may be the last one for us. She doesn’t take care of it, no matter how many times I tell her to just call me and the money will be there, and this is why I’m here. She’s too ashamed. My grandmother who was nearly 70 and working two full time jobs was getting too old to carry the family. My grandfather was mentally ill. All the other men had just fucked off. I had never lived my adult life without a pit in my stomach when the first of the month arrived. We got evicted out of my childhood home when I was fourteen, and it wasn’t the kind of ordeal I really wanted to face again. I know how to live with the electricity turned off and no dinner, but I didn’t fucking want to anymore.

So I had to make a decision to live, to help my family live. I was working as an ESL teacher at a university in Brooklyn. Do you know how much that pays? Haha.  So I went on a series of job interviews in midtown and got ready to enter corporate America and hate my job for the rest of my life. After all, I was the shithead with the university education, right?

And then someone called and gave me the choice to continue doing the job I loved, and to be able to make enough money to get by, at the same time. And I took it.

Is that what you want to hear? All the pathetic, humiliating little details of my sad little poor life back in the States? Doesn’t it make you just want to pinch my little cheek, tweak my nose and let me get away with it? I don’t need to return to the States to realize the “permanent slog of indentured servitude”. You fucking twat. I’ve been working since I was 12. I watched my father do nights at the factory. I watched my mother do the paper route from 2 am, come home, bathe, work the daycare until 4 pm. I worked the nights myself during university, whenever I could in addition to the days. I had my own experience in “metropolitan environs”, taking the night bus home at 4 am to get a couple of hours sleep in before class at 9. But I’m glad you grasp the bigger picture well enough to explain it.

Whatever reasons you may have for objecting to the ESL industry in Korea ( here, because I don’t have time to come back here later and argue with basketcases who don’t think ESL teachers are capable of critical thinking — I’m an adult), you can go fuck yourself if you’re cosigning that condescending, classist fucking post. Every last one of you.

Today is my last day as a foreign English teacher in Korea. I’m leaving the job for a lot of reasons, but one of the main ones is because I just can’t believe in this anymore. My kids, who can’t afford hagwons, are going to have the native English teacher they can work with for free taken away from them sooner or later. That’s just the way things are headed. I’ve loved this job. Nobody will ever know how much I have truly loved this job. How much I have truly loved these kids. But I don’t want them to have to learn English. I haven’t wanted that for a very, very long time.

And I do feel like I’m in debt to this country, in so many ways. And I hope that with the new thing I’m starting, I’ll be able to repay it, at least in part.

The goal was never money, or god fucking forbid, glamor. The goal was always happiness. Just so we’re clear. And if that makes me pathetic and deserving of Hanguknamja’s pity? Well. I fucking pity him a lot of things as well. Particularly whatever point of view it is he has on life that made him think that smug little post was something to be proud of. Whatever caused that, I wouldn’t want to live that way either.

No matter how many people I unfollow, I still can’t manage to keep the bullshit off my dash. It’s incredible. I’ve taken a massive step back from Tumblr, which has been nothing but good for me, and my writing. But maybe I just need to delete it all together, because even blogs I’ve enjoyed for years are now being contaminated with shit I just don’t want to have anything to do with anymore. 

If I do disappear in the next few days…. I love you! And I’ll see you whenever you have time to stop by over on Blogspot. Good luck sticking it out over here.

Dinner was good.

Dinner was good.

In all seriousness, though, I follow and am followed by a talented group of people here on Tumblr, and I expect to see some of you folks taking some initiative and showing up in our submissions inbox over the next few weeks. If not, I’m gonna have to come back on and do a roll call, and then we’re all gonna be embarrassed. 

Please help us make this happen, guys. More than anything, talking with the other editors, we’re just excited to see what we get. We all come from these backgrounds and have missed this, and we want to see what other people are doing. Whatever you’re doing, whatever you’ve never done before but just got the notion to try, please send it. 

Edit: And tell your Korean friends. We’d be most pleased to see the journal not be exclusively populated by foreigners, especially only Western foreigners. Everyone is welcome. Pass the word along, if you’d be so kind.