Beyond the edge
How many things can one cram in a week?
I wanted to extend my time in Norway until the very last second. So, Monday morning I flew out and with the time difference, spaced out and confused, I landed in Korea on Tuesday around noon. Early Wednesday morning, I hopped on a plane to Japan to get my work visa and by Thursday evening I flew back to Busan. Friday morning, I went to the office to set up my apartment and the weekend was spent moving in. Today, I start my first week training!!
That, my friends, is how you get back into routine. I wanted no down time in between travel, so while my body was a bit off-balance last week right and I’m madly missing my boyfriend, I’m really, really excited to have my own place again and be working. Yet, there’s nothing like the shocking feeling of opening the door to your future abode to find it filthy dirty and empty. There must be some unspoken rule in Korea that you must leave your place a greasy, dust bomb for the next tenant. It’s a bit daunting to have to completely furnish an apartment in a new city where you can hardly read a map to locate the closest mart that carries curtains. I forgot how it was to start all over!! It’s overwhelming! The great thing about these moments is the understanding I develop over why people settle in one place and never make an effort to move. It’s hard to begin again! It’s challenging to maintain the momentum and trust that things will work out but realize it won’t happen immediately (in fact, it usually takes a while). My move here last time completely threw me off my feet and it took me nearly 6 months to really absorb where I was and what I was doing.
So, after being a transient for 3 months longer than expected, I have found myself quickly flung back into the kpop, neon lit, karaoke/kimchi culture of South Korea. But, before I go further, allow me to rewind a bit.
The past two months were spent in the north of Europe where I did a lot of walking, a good amount of yoga, even more cooking and subsequent stuffing of my face. It sounds like I was living a completely luxurious life. While, I finally wouldn’t change anything that has transpired – and wouldn’t wish to be somewhere other than where or who I was, I wish I would’ve had more $$ to spend in Scandanavia. Financial woes can really be exhausting on a relationship. Note to self: Stockholm is expensive (though comparable to San Diego), but Oslo, on the other hand, is outrageous…so bring A LOT OF MONEY.
Yoga, of course, was always on the agenda. My body has gone through a few changes and minus the addition of a few extra pounds/or maybe kilos, thanks to the massive consumption of sweets, practices became a way for me to connect with myself. For once, I do it and feel good doing it instead of viewing it as a cardio workout. Okay, some days I feel like a grandma or that I’m unsuccessfully lifting my dead weight off the floor, but I always feel so much better after a bit of internally and externally connecting.
In Norway, I did a little assisting and learned more about adjusting. My ongoing question: is less more or more less? I haven’t decided. Some students/teachers like/love to give/receive lots of adjustments while others prefer to be left alone/or just observe. One of my best friends maintains the philosophy that each student should be touched at least once by the teacher, just to acknowledge that the teacher is aware they’re in the room. And why not? If you’re there teaching, might as well make the time pass instead of holding up the wall. Okay, I’m sure I’ll get various feedback on that one.
As per my relationship, its hard being apart. I think this time is precious for us now to find ourselves and expand as individuals to meet each other more fully in the future. Other than planning for the future and our next meeting, we want to remember to be present where we are now, even though we are separated by thousands of kilometers. With a little bit of creativity, we’re finding ways to stay connected and hopefully, keep things progressing. Its a leap of faith maybe, but loyalty and love is what I have and that’s nothing to lose in my opinion.
So, how does it feel to be back in Korea?
Surprisingly, really good. I really feel its a wonderful time for me to be here. The past 8 months, I’ve scaled the emotions traversing across love, pride, fear, resentment, and now I think I’m finally at acceptance of this country. I can laugh about the way things are done and I’m not afraid to experience. I’ve already wandered around my place and I’m really excited about my location – and looking forward to the job. My new space already feels so light and lovely. Of course, its starting to heat up here, so I woke up really hot this morning.
Anyway, I think with enough time I’ve been able to finally understand and greet the way things are done here. It doesn’t mean that I always agree with how the society may function, but I recognize its a different way of life from what I have known up until recently. Still, what never changes, across all the countries I’ve visited is the existence of love, tears, pain, anger, work, addictions, those who hate their jobs, those who have relationships, breakups, and bliss. Beyond language barriers, we are all connected through our emotions, so I think once I start to embrace the discomforts in myself, I can find the comforts in new places. Thus, I’m ready to step off the edge and dive into life.
I’m back and better than before Busan!