Question 1: How do you feel the expat life affects you as an independent, feminist woman looking for a husband in Confucian cultural settings? Has moving around complicated your search? What relationships worked and why?
I will answer this to the best of my ability. I’ll start with the second question as I believe moving around did complicate my search to meet someone. When you move around a lot it can be harder to meet someone than if you stay in the same spot. However, I don’t think that is impossible. I was single for almost six years, a year and a half in the USA, (8 months and 7 months), 4 years in Korea, and 4 months in China. It went USA, Korea, USA, China.
I’m actually about 7 days late as I originally registered my blog on January 1st, but my first post wasn’t until January 8th. So, somehow I have actually made a congratulatory post to myself for keeping this up after six years on the same day. Go me!
Sometimes I experience what I call as language envy. In many ways I am in awe of the person in front of me, who as an outsider of a culture, has learned another language and appears to be able to partake in conversation even if it is slow or with hiccups. I look at myself and think will that be me one day? Can I too speak at the same level confidently in this language? Why didn’t I start earlier? I should really start studying. All these thoughts enter my head at once and I think that this must be envy, haha.Read More
For a long time, I thought I was a person who ebbed in and out of minor low-lying depression. I never imagined I actually had anxiety problems as well. I occasionally have bouts of anxiety, which are normally triggered by something small. Normally it isn’t the end of the world, but I’ve realized if I have felt stressed about something for a few days to weeks then at some point anxiety is bound to hit me until I can calm down. Sometimes it takes a few hours or a good nights rest, if I’m able to sleep.
Ever since I can remember I have suffered from FOMO ( Fear of missing out). I never really knew why it was so important to me to be like everyone else and have a similar existence, but I feared if I didn’t then I would regret it. I remember in high school it was particularly strong. I had a fear of missing out on homecoming and prom, even though I had no interest in either and I actually wish I hadn’t worried so much about being in attendance. That fear made me dismiss my thought of becoming an exchange student my junior year in high school, because I’d be missing out on the typical American high school life experiences.
It has been a while now since the clouds have been lifting out of my life. That’s my little metaphor for my depression and anxiety issues at hand. Since I turned 30 I have been on a slow but steady incline toward a more sound mind. I’m not sure what exactly triggered it, but I’m thankful that my mind is more peaceful than it has been in a decade or two.Read More
I’ve been home for almost 5 months and the adjustment has not been easy on me. I always felt toward the end of my stay in Korea that I didn’t belong or quite fit in. Now being home I feel the same way. It was a dreaded feeling I carried deep in my chest that I didn’t really belong or fit in anywhere.
I’ve always felt odd, like I was the odd woman out. Never quite fitting in, always somehow different. I missed blue skies like crazy in South Korea. When the sky was a brilliant blue I’d be dazzled with it and I developed an obsession of looking up and admiring the skyline throughout my day. The skies are certainly bluer here but they aren’t as blue as I remember. There are stunning days yes, but if you really want to see stunning skies go where there is less pollution and people. The western half of the USA has a beautiful skyline to be admired and it is worth taking a trip out there! I know I am so grateful for having the chance to take a trip around the USA.
I’m happy to enjoy the sky more now, but it comes with a longing for the dull moments of usual life back during my four years in South Korea. I miss the chaos and people everywhere that used to make me scream on the inside, because they weren’t walking fast enough. I miss the minor interactions in another language through out my day, sometimes putting a smile on my face. I miss eating Korean food whenever I wanted for cheap. As depressed as I was in many ways I miss the people, my school, my kids, my life. The closeness of everything that a city has to offer.
Coming from a city of 3 million people back down to a town of under 20,000 really makes a difference in one’s life. The worst part is I don’t really have friends nearby anymore, and if they are in driving distance they are still very far away. I can’t reach out and say let’s get a coffee and meet in 15 minutes. I don’t have that luxury anymore, and at times it drives me crazy. I feel isolated, alone, and alien – like. I don’t know how to fit in anymore. My life has diverged so far off the path in both places where I’ve lived it’s as if I’ve created a deserted island with no one on it but me. I’m at a point my energy is so low, but I’m trying extra hard to keep it high and accomplishing small things everyday. Sometimes I wonder why things never go smoothly for me…is it me? Is it the world? Do I have shit luck?
I’m not really sure about it all but I know I’ll keep admiring blue skies and craving kimchi for probably as long as I’m going to be alive. I figure at some point I’ll figure everything out and I’ll be able to float by here while figuring out where my life should be headed next.
The last few days have been a little rough on me. Not that anything substantial has happened in my life to make it that way, it’s just a bunch of moments of sadness and frustration with myself that have overwhelmed me a little here and a little there.
In Between Land. That’s where I am. Where is in between land? It’s anywhere between where you were and where you will go! It can even be a state of mind. In between land is kind of a rough place to be. I’ve been back home for 5 weeks now and I should be adjusted to life, but I’m not. I have no semblance of a life I was used to as I reverted back to how my life was 5 years ago minus a job.Read More