from the Korean Army to being published

the blog of an "ex-patriot" writer in Korea

Random #29: What Should You Do with Your Life? Hell if I Know

with one comment

Last week, I made the trip out to the plastic and pretentious district, Apgujeong, to have a beer with a girl (the only reason I would venture outside of my comfort area, i.e., my home and vicinity) and ended up at Pierrot Strike, a bar/bowling alley with disturbing clown décor and even more disturbing prices for food and drinks. $15 for a Long Island, $20 for ddeokbbokki? Good God. They also take a literal interpretation of Fish and Chips.

Pishwi & Chipseu

I was watching what I drank (yet another downside of driving), which made me less entertaining and less horny (there’s a correlation there, I’m sure) so the night was more or less fruitless (peaches?). Sorry, B, but if I make that kind of effort, I’m trying to get laid.

“I don’t know what to do with my life,” she said, taking a drag from her cigarette.
“You’re still young. You have plenty of time to figure it out,” the old man in me said in a lame attempt to calm her nerves, loosen her up as it were. I know that the words aren’t very comforting, but then I’m not very good at giving advice or comfort. I’m not very good at consoling, for that matter, unless it’s self-consolation.

The thing is, there’s nothing you can say to comfort someone who is feeling uneasy about the future. What should you do with your life? How the fuck should I know? I had enough trouble figuring out what to do with my own. I’ve suffered from the same funk plenty of times in the past, practically the entirety of the first thirty years of my life.

I was taking a shower the other day when the same thought came creeping around again.
“What do I do with my life if this book doesn’t sell?”
It was probably due to the stress of this new round of uninspired revisions. The panic hit me for a few seconds, standing there in the shower, steam fogging up the mirror and soap in my eyes.

My life up to this point has been all about putting off facing reality, things like finding a real job and settling down. The only reason I went to graduate school was because I was tired of being asked the question “What are you going to do with your life?” and I had nothing better to do at the time. I didn’t really feel like going back to waiting tables and sitting in front of the printer at the one-hour photo.

The panic only lasted for about ten seconds. Remembering that I’ve already decided what I want to do, I wiped the soap out of my eyes and went back to giving my nether regions a good scrubbing.

I don’t want to do anything else with my life. If I die poor and unpublished, so be it. I’ve made my decision—I turned down what I regard as an informal offer for a professorship at a respectable university last year because I’d be too busy to write—and if I have to teach English for the rest of my life, so be it. I’m too old to be worrying about this shit.


One Response

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  1. yeah nice


    March 4, 2011 at 12:58 am

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