Friday, July 12, 2013

Post-Korean Life

I think it's the summer season, because I am starting to miss Korea these days. I recall when I was back in Korea reading some bloggers who moved back to their home country and talked about "reverse culture shock". At the time I thought it was kind of over-dramatic, especially reading about those who were so depressed upon having to live back in their home country.

Now, I'm not really sad and depressed I'm not in Korea anymore. Nor, does American life upset me. I think for the most part I'm taking in the fact that my Korean life is no more. Especially with the summer time, because I really enjoyed summers in Korea. The heat and sweat never really bothered me too much and I liked the sounds of the cicadas droning on as they did.

Mostly though I sit back and fathom that the last five years of my life were spent in Korea. The relationships and adventures I had all happened over there across the ocean, and now I'm here. The hardest part it seems is that I have no one here to talk to about my life in Korea. No one to say, "Oh yea, you remember that time..." I can tell new friends and people about my times there but if they're not Korean or never been there, then it's hard for them to really understand.

That is why I really enjoyed going to a language group meetup on Wednesday. There I met a Korean girl who just got here for her vacation. It was fun to talk to her about my times in Korea and what I missed. I'm hoping I could meet up with her and take her around town, but I feel somewhat shy to ask. Maybe I can propose it at the next meeting, and see how it goes.

With all this thinking about Korea I do sometimes wonder if I'll ever go back there. But then I realize I don't want to put Tom through that trip again, and if I go back it would be for good. I don't think I would have the resources or energy to keep bouncing around. So in some ways I'm facing this decision I made to leave Korea, and I have to remember the reasons why. I do feel happy I'm closer to family and familiarity. I like the program I'm in and the path of teaching here is interesting. Definitely, I feel teaching here is actually more challenging than where I was at in Korea.

Mostly, I don't want to forget about all that I did and saw while in Korea. I'm thinking of printing out some pictures I took during my time there and making a mural.

Finally, I want to add that living abroad and then moving back home does make you feel different. I suppose I am grateful for my grown perspective on life and all the changing I did in Korea.

When my heart and soul get swept up by these emotions I remember that I have Tom, and in some sense he is my closest connection to Korea. Thank you, Tom!

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