the 1% decision

The decision I made (about a year ago now) to move halfway across the globe to live and teach English in Korea was agonizing. There was a constant back-in-forth in my head: Is it worth it? Will I regret this? How much will I miss out on if I go? But how much will I miss out on if I stay?

Then I remembered this quote from one of my favorite K-dramas, “I Hear Your Voice.” (Which you can totally watch for free here, just sayin’. Whoa that makes it sound like I’ll get paid if you click that link. I won’t. I promise. I’m just in the non-money-making business of spreading K-drama love around the world for the sheer personal satisfaction of getting other people addicted to them.)

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Come on now, just look at that adorableness and tell me you don’t want to watch this drama. Image from dramabeans.

Anyway, the quote was from a character talking about making a difficult decision but choosing the one he knew was right. How? By falling back on this question:

Which decision will I regret even just 1% more?

Perhaps it’s a bit of a cold and callous way to decide things, but in a situation like mine it helped a lot. Because I was then able to realize that both outcomes (to go or to stay) would be filled with bittersweet regret one way or another, but that I would certainly regret the decision to stay in America at least 1% more.

At least 51% of me would regret that I lost a chance to experience another culture and to be an ESL teacher.

I’m not sure why, but putting a number on it helped me. Maybe because I typically make my decisions from an emotional place rather than a logical one (hey, I’m an ISFJ okay??).

And now here I am, 9 months after arriving on Korean soil, faced with the same decision but from the opposite end of things: stay or go? Within the next few weeks, the final decision must be made and the official contract or notice of withdrawal must be signed.

Which decision will I regret 1% more?

To be continued…

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