Update from a Korean Work Camp

Greetings from Yangpyeong County, South Korea.  I arrived here late Friday night after a 30-hour trip. As some of you know, I taught in Korea in 2009 before returning to Appalachia. Now I’m back on a six-week teaching contract. Forgive me if the title is misleading, but I couldn’t resist. I came here to work, and given the nature of the facilities (isolated campus in the Korean boonies), I thought it was appropriate.

Korea lanterns

All you awesome repeat visitors have probably noticed a few facelifts to this fine site, including a new tagline.  Over the past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time working to polish and focus the overall themes of this site.

I feel like a lot of the topics I’ve covered here have been a kind of preparation for something else, as if I’ve been laying the groundwork for something much bigger, developing a message that can help more people create positive changes in their life.

What is this new message?

Make your own luck.

  • Making your own luck means learning strategies and tactics that can help you excel at any creative project, job, or endeavor.
  • Making your own luck means you’re developing skills and strategies you can use to support yourself.
  • Making your own luck means working on something that matters, something that you can be proud of.
  • Making your own luck means you’re learning ways to earn an income without relying on an employer.
  • Making your own luck is developing an escape plan from a shitty job, whether through the transition to entrepreneurship or into another kind of work.
  • Making your own luck means creating a career that gives you more freedom and location independence (if you’re into that).
  • Making your own luck means taking responsibility for yourself.

Who the hell am I to talk about such things?

Were I still a lazy, sad-sack pizza delivery boy, that would be a valid question. But I’ve put in my time, escaped from that awful job, and started to develop a (still-modest) freelance income. And not to brag, but I’ve done some cool stuff over the past few years. (Read more here)

I’m not sure if renting my time to a Korean labor camp will count as one of them, but a cash infusion never hurts.

On more than one occasion, referring to one trip or another, people have said ‘oh, you’re so lucky, I could never do that.’ Every time I hear that, it makes me a little sad. There’s nothing terribly special about me. I am not a snowflake; I’m just the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, a part of the same compost pile (Fight Club paraphrase).

But from this compost pile, I’ve built a life for myself that allows me to do cool stuff.

If you say you could never do something, then you never will. It’s that simple.

Every day, we make our own luck. All of our actions and decisions affect how ‘lucky’ we are.

I think the *new* Happenchance reflects this simple but powerful fact.

Photo credit: tnwanderer

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • JA LINEBERRY December 15, 2010, 2:56 am

    You’re providing quite the service and inspiration to a number of younglings by now, I’m sure. I would say good luck in Korea, but in the spirit of this post, I’ll refrain. To be sure, your personal story – the freelance life you’re building for yourself – inspires me to be something that I haven’t been, and I’m sure there are a few others around here who feel the same.

  • Anonymous December 16, 2010, 11:31 pm

    Thanks JA, good to hear. It ain’t easy, but it’s rewarding.