I’m here. I’ve been here for nearly two weeks now, yet I’m still out of order. Have you ever tried to explain to someone an incredible vague dream that was almost too hard to put into words? Over explaining one simple concept just still couldn’t portray what you saw or felt while you were having this dream? The type of dream where you say:
“Then my friend appeared. but it wasn’t my friend, I couldn’t see their face. actually, they looked like someone I’ve never met, but in the dream I knew it was my friend.”
Seoul is a familar stranger to me. In combination with the other types of dreams wherein you can’t speak or hear a communicable language back and forth, that is what Seoul has been like so far. the vertical signs, the dark haired masses and small shops feel like Japan, but something is different. oh, it’s a whole ‘nother country and culture! I can’t help but compare things without accepting them first, but I’m still new at this. isn’t that what people naturally do though? compare and contrast what they know and what they begin to learn? everything I know about Korea is through pop music, dramas and vengeance films.
It’s taken me awhile to get to this blog about the major change. it hasn’t been as magical as I had hoped. on the way to the airport, my boyfriend related to me in PS1 terms via Final Fantasy 7. “you’re just changing discs. going from Disc 1 to Disc 2…” continuing on my story. leaving the city I’ve always known and going into my own frontier. it was a rough realization that I decided for myself, but I felt I didn’t really have a choice. I had to see what was out there.
Now I’m on an open-ended journey. I sort of wish I was literally in FF7, because equipping armor and fighting bad guys seems a lot easier at this point.
It’s taken a really long time to settle in, but I’m not alone. in fact, I have some really great friends here who have been making sure this sudden transition has been as easy as possible. they even built me a blanket fort for my temporary living room bed, since they knew I would be coming from an extended stay in my tent bed.
I’ve been surprising myself with …myself. I sometimes think you can’t really learn who you are until you are in certain situations. I wonder why some people in a life threatening situation will panic and scream and others stay calm and handle their shit. you see it in movies all the time, someone is screaming hysterically while someone else has to smack them to snap out of it. I feel like I have been quietly screaming frantically to myself and reality smacked me around a little these past 2 weeks.
the ebb and flow of time has also been warping. I feel like the only one out of place. even though I can’t seem to get everything done I would like to in a day, I also feel like I have been away from my previous life I’ve known for eternity. I can’t tell if that is good or bad. maybe I am floating in a middle ground still, a purgatory of transition. purgatory is a good word for it, because I’ve also felt like I have made some bad choices. but that is just me being in a dark place. it’s not as bad as my dramatic side is telling me (is what I have to keep telling my dramatic side).
the most awful thing so far is being on a strict inconvenient diet. before I came to Seoul, I started seeing a nutritionist and for a month started to heal and feel fantastic. then I came to Seoul and it had been providing me with next to zero options for this process I am going through. along with stress and lack of energy, being hungry all the time is really going to screw up more than just your attitude. I have been losing my mind.
I had to end up ordering $250 worth of supplements and foods that I can’t find here and the packages still haven’t arrived, but I keep reminding myself to be patient and things will get better. I nearly had a breakdown from lack of food and frustration. my body is giving me signals of insanity and exhaustion. just walking up a flight of stairs makes my legs feel like I suddenly ran several miles. my psyche is bumming me out because the last thing I want to be is a burden to anyone, yet I have to rely on others still, very much so.
some quick tips should you find yourself wanting to completely up and leave everything wonderful and comfortable for a life altering event:
Everyday I have been searching for small inspirations to keep me going. to be patient, to get settled, to find food, to feel relief, to remember what I came here to do, and to reach my goals. I just need to keep hearing the things I have been telling myself all along because sometimes I forget these things when my thoughts are drowning in a silent panic.
When I stumble upon an idol shop, it feels like my personal oasis. it’s a wonderful (and handsome) reminder that I do know a few things about Korea and not all is lost. although realizing a little too late that LIVING in Korea is a lot different than, say, VISITING Korea, the idols I love recharge me to work hard and reach for my dreams (the kind of dreams where I understand what people are saying and everyone looks like who they are)!