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우리 집

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July 22, 2016 | 05:56pm
Mood: contemplative, sad

I've been back in Korea for two weeks now. My mom visited (arriving Saturday, July 9) and left this morning, Friday, July 22.

I feel conflicted. Of course, I'm ecstatic that I was able to see her. We manged to do a LOT of touristy stuff, including quite a few things I haven't done myself even though I've lived in Korea for over 6.5 years now. We ate a lot. We were only annoyed with each other once or twice (mostly during the first week).

But I'm sad. It feels like she was never even here. It feels like I never even left Korea and traveled in Europe.

Moreover, something that popped up over winter vacation; I am starting to feel homesick.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't miss the USA and I don't miss my parents' home (which hasn't been home to me in over a decade now). What I miss is... well, my parents, and the idea of home.

My parents are, of course, getting older. I'm very close with my mom and sometimes my dad doesn't drive me crazy. They're in their early to mid-60s, but I suddenly feel like I'm missing out on their lives, and that they're missing out on mine. I do believe, in fact, that growing up and becoming an adult requires inherent selfishness. I am living a life of my own, not that of my parents. My path has led me to Korea instead of Chicago (or Des Plaines, or their basement). That being said, I have suddenly become more conscious of the fact that yes, they are getting old, and so am I. Could this be the last time we see each other? I certainly hope not, yet it remains a possibility.

As far as the idea of home is concerned, well, Korea is my home for now. In many ways I have become very "Korean." In many ways, Korea feels more comfortable to me than America does. That being said, I am not Korean, and I will never be Korean. As I keep saying (to myself, to others, and to the man on the moon); I will not live here forever. I don't know how much longer I have left in this country (1 to 4 years, depending on how things work out), but while Korea has certainly become my second home, it will not be the place for me.

And then there's America. I haven't been an adult in America. I don't think I even WANT to be an adult in America. Racism, homophobia, sexism, this disgusting wave of conservative sentiment that continually sweeps the country... but I don't know if there's anywhere better. If I return to America, what could I do? What would I become? At the moment I keep thinking, "Focus on Korean," thinking that it may be the path to my return to the States and the future. But will it, really? I turn 30 next year and all I have on my resume is a few years of teaching English (and science) in Korea, some sort of not awful Korean skills, and maybe - maybe, if I'm lucky - a degree in Korean fucking Literature, of all things.

Other things make me want to return to America. The possibility of meeting someone who may plausibly want to be in a long-term relationship. Having kids. Settling down. I am scared, however, that it may not be enough. I just... can't see myself working in an office. I can't see myself settling for the same day to day routine.

If I could find a job, and a partner, who would be interested in traveling the world... well.

Anyways, future posts will include: my trip to Sweden and Germany, my mom's trip in Korea, my bad luck (really- I had my fortune told twice, to prove it), my plans for the remnant of the summer (here's a hint: studying), and probably angsting about being single (or not, it's very 애매해 right now).

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