Saturday, January 02, 2010


Resolving to be Resolute

I have a wife that I adore. I am one of the few people to graduate from Southern Adventist University's School of Journalism & Communication to actually have a journalism job. This year my wife and I added a new addition in Daniel, a little man whose resemblance to me left even me surprised.

And yet at the moment so much feels wrong: When I married my wife I married into her family, and that meant marrying into the debts her late father incurred through a combination of bad luck, poor choices in business partners and a continent-wide financial crisis about 12 years ago. It also meant the problems that my brother-in-law has (he has lost three jobs in the last 18 months) would become my problems.

As a result, all five of us live together in an apartment with four rooms, one of which is a bathroom and another of which is a closet. My job has its enjoyable factors, but they are often the backhanded sort of pleasure and workplaces in Korea are based less on what you can accomplish and more on who you schmooze (yes, American workplaces are also like this, but at least they pretend otherwise).

Things were pretty tolerable until December, when I got sick. It happens every winter, and probably will continue to happen until I have enough money to move to Fiji. My mother-in-law means well, but was already paranoid about germs even before I started coughing convulsively. She now closely monitors my diet and wardrobe, which has angered me, which has in turn angered my wife, which has then angered her mother, all of which has made my home one that I often don't want to go to at night.

My wife works a three-shift job, which keeps her schedule erratic. Last night and tonight, for example, she is on the 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. shift, which means she'll be asleep all day today until she has to work tonight. The time she's awake will mostly be spent feeding the baby. If she and I are lucky, we get one day together each week.

I have long turned to role models and hoped to derive inspiration from them. What can they teach me about my current situation? For example, Pete Sampras: When Sampras fell behind Richard Krajicek in the 2000 US Open, it appeared that the Dutchman's head-to-head advantage over Pistol Pete was about to get even better. Sampras, however, had other ideas.

But unlike Sampras here, my goal, to create a better environment for my family, can't be accomplished in one night. Maybe I need a role model who is closer to me in terms of my skill set.

In the field of modern journalism, I think that one of the few people doing really good work is Matt Taibbi. Along with Glenn Greenwald and Jon Stewart, Taibbi is the boldest journalist who actually has a wide audience, and such is his boldness that he has no fear of taking on those whom he believes control our government and our economy.

That mentality would serve me well. What's more, within a couple of years I have a reasonable chance of accomplishing my goals; when two years have passed, no matter how popular Taibbi gets, our government and both its parties will still be corporate owned.

And so my resolution is that, by this time next year, my family will be in a better place, hopefully physically but I'd settle for emotionally. If that means finding a new job, I'm willing to try that, though I'd rather make this one work. I plan to study Korean this spring at Yonsei University, which should be good for my career, particularly if I have to stay here.

But mostly I will believe that God has something planned for me, and for us. I have believed that in times past, and it has carried me through hard times before.

Go with me, God.

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Stay strong! If you are faithful in seeking what God's plan is for you and your family, that's more than half the battle!

I'm the webmaster at Southern and randomly ran across your blog after you mentioned the university. Anyway, something about your post resonated and I felt that I should mention that if a stranger can run across your blog post and feel something, how much more can God hear and want to give you the desires of your heart.

I haven't figured much out beyond that. ;) Seeking Him as much is possible is all I can hold on to at the moment.
Thanks ... I guess trusting Him is all we can do sometimes. Good thing that's enough all the time.

God bless.
When push comes to shove, everyone has the ability to draw the courage that is lying dormant within themselves. You sure do have loads of it coz you have faith in Him. Good luck Rob.
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