Life In Seoul

Life here has been hectic to say the least. Since moving to Seoul, it seems like there is always something going on every single day and weekend. My friends and I take trips, go shopping, and go out drinking, and with my coworkers I go to the movies and baseball games and staff dinners. It’s really fun, but boy am I exhausted! It has taken me a long time to settle down and make time for not just the things I like to do, but also the things I need to do. I always feel harried to go grocery shopping or fold laundry or sweep the floor-it always feels like precious time is slipping away and that these things can wait. I have to constantly remind myself that I have 10 months left of my contract and that I will probably stay for a year or two after that- so really, there is no need to rush. With that thought, and considering my mental and physical health, I’ve been taking a break from barhopping and organized excursions and trying to focus more on making my home comfortable, doing my work well, and keeping my mind at ease.

I was really intimidated by the thought of returning to WordPress. I hadn’t been keeping up with reading other people’s blogs, which I truly enjoy, and I obviously hadn’t been writing or drafting either. I felt so behind. But today, after work, in the silence of my small apartment, I logged in and caught up on my reading. Yes, ALL of it! Every post I’ve missed since the start of August. And in doing that, it returned some strength to me. I noticed that some blogs I follow also have been on hiatus, so it made me realize that my break from blogging was normal and that we all have our own circumstances that can keep us away from time to time. On the other hand, reading posts from the active blogs I follow was refreshing, encouraging, and life-affirming. It recharged my desire to write and my will to study Korean. Seeing everyone’s great dedication to language learning helped me gain some of the motivation that has dissipated since moving here. And as always, getting a small glimpse into the lives and thoughts of people I identify with and admire was such a special treat that I have gone far too long without. I’m grateful to all bloggers who have the passion and courage to continue to share their experiences with the world.

Like I mentioned, my will to study Korean has really diminished since arriving here. You would think it would be quite the oppsosite, right? Maybe it has something to do with always feeling busy, or maybe it has to do with the daily realization that there is SO much more to learn, a thought so overwhelming that it sometimes paralyzes me, or maybe it has something to do with my inherent laziness…In any case, my vigor for learning is nowhere near the level it was when I was living in the States. But I feel it coming back to me slowly. When I have a spare 20 minutes at work, I try to do a bit of studying. I finally started watching dramas again- something I hadnt done in months. And I am constantly learning new words and phrases from my students. The truth is, I don’t really have a choice in the matter- I need to know more Korean in order to do all the things that I want to while I’m here. Even simple life things like using a points card at a store or legally downloading music will require a lot more study. But I will have to remember to be patient, otherwise I will just start feeling overwhelmed again…

I am actually feeling it now, in this moment as I write. How can I keep up with my blog and my tumblr and my youtube account? How can I organize my apartment better? How can I have enough time to see my friends and get my much needed alone time? How can I be a better teacher? It all comes rushing in at once…

But I think I can stop here today. It might sound strange to say that this post feels like my first step back into the world, after I’ve moved to a new country. Not to mention the irony of the fact that I am writing this on an online platform from the privacy of my room. But it feels that way. This is me returning to a hobby that brings me comfort. Is it cowardly to cling to old habits in the face of great change? Or is the act of consistantly pursuing your interests a form of bravery?

See, I’m all confused again.

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