May 30, 2012

thoughts on leaving

Disclaimer: This is a long and dragged out post so if you don't want to read it, just don't. Also, this is probably the first of many similar sounding posts (even though I don't want that to happen)...

It’s too early, but I’m already feeling it—this unsettling feeling. Like, I want to barf, like there are butterflies in my stomach. Just nervousness. Just like RIGHT before I went to South Korea. Just like that time when I sat in SFO, waiting to get into that plane at Singapore Airlines, right next to Abe, thinking that I was going to barf on him. It’s this feeling of not wanting to let go of South Korea. Right upon arrival, I kept squirming in my seats, out of fear, out of fear of being uncomfortable, out of fear of hating Korea, out of leaving the comfort and security of home/family/friends. I honestly thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown—I kept breathing hard, trying to calm myself down. I kept pinching myself, trying to believe that this wasn’t a dream. I had to convince myself that this was real. I was finally gone—I finally, finally, finally had the courage to let myself out of my comfort zone, but it felt so wrong being out for so long. However, when I first came to the dorms and everything, I thought it was okay. It didn’t feel surreal. It just felt okay. I felt comfortable. It was really odd for me. I didn’t think I’d feel comfort for South Korea right upon arrival. I just didn’t expect it because I tend to hate everything.

For the longest time, I tried to find my routine. Just when I thought I found my routine, we had our internship. After our internship, a series of other things happened. Life and other adventures happened.  But, once again, I have a routine. Though, it is time to move on and go back home. I guess I’m afraid that when I go back home, I’ll revert back to the old me—the one who did nothing, the one who was too scared to do anything, the me who I kind of hate a lot right now, the me who was a coward. Okay, it’s not like I changed drastically while in Korea. I know I am still the somewhat the same, but being here, I feel as if I changed, I feel comfortable with how things are. Ultimately, I am afraid of change.

As everyone is pumped up and excited to go home, I’m somewhat dreading it. Maybe it’s because I feel as if I don’t have attachments at home. That’s not true, because I have so many people who I love and appreciate dearly. It’s just, somehow, beyond what I thought would ever happen, I grew attached with South Korea. I stopped regretting Australia and all the other countries--this was the right choice! When I get home, what am I going to do? Will I live a different life? Will I yearn for my South Korean life? Will I miss it too much? I have a feeling I will.

All the people I’ve met here, everyone that I encountered here, changed my life in different ways. And, I’m afraid of letting them go because I know I’d forget.

All week, I’ve been feeling unsettled about leaving. I don’t know if it’s because of this or because of another situation. All I know is that I feel like crying all the time.

I’m just not ready to let go. But, it’s happening, so I have to try and feel pumped. The problem is…I don’t know how.

By writing how I feel now, will that help? Will it stop that feeling from growing? I want it to stop. I kind of want to feel the way I did. I didn’t really react to many life events for the last couple years. Like, I didn’t feel anything when I graduated high school. (On the other hand, I’m really emotional when it comes down to sad movies.) I don’t know when, but I kind of stopped feeling things. I think it was a form of defense mechanism. I just kept lying to myself. The more I lied, the easier it was not to feel. Now, it’s as if Korea has changed me. Oh my goodness, am I thawing? I’m not saying that I didn’t feel anything before. It’s more like I couldn’t and wouldn’t show it. I just didn’t want to show that I was vulnerable in front of everyone.

So, these are my thoughts on all this as of May 30, 2012, 9pm KST (or 5am PST)! There are a lot of typos! :/ I hope I stop feeling this way and start doing something about it! My time left is limited! I have to stop moping and live it! 

May 21, 2012

This feeling.

How do I feel right now? Vulnerable because I have nowhere to hide. Nowhere. I can't even write how I feel here anymore. I'm just too afraid of saying the wrong things. STUPID right? This is my sanctuary. This was the place where I could write how I TRULY thought (well not truly, but at least an abstract). I think this calls for a new blog--one that I don't share?. I don't know. Maybe. I just feel too old for this. Why do I overshare? Why?

Anyway, things have been pretty hectic lately. The week after the internship, I went bungee jumping with the other international students. The week after that, we all spent a weekend on Jeju Island. All of that was fun despite how indifferent I might have looked. Ugh? Why am I like this? I question why I am this all the time…and I don't know, I am kind of sick of this. 

More recently, I don't know. Things are so hard to explain, especially since I don't even know what's going on. All I can say is that I feel so disoriented, unraveled, vulnerable. Can you believe this? I hate the way I feel right now. But, that's life, right? We don't always feel content… 

Anyway, lovely people back at home whom are reading this, I am sorry that I haven't been updating my blogs recently. Also, don't worry about me, okay? Everything is/will be okay. I'm just a little frustrated on life. But, like I said, this is life… I will be okay even if things don't go the way I want.

May 8, 2012

Internship Days

During the subway ride back, a woman gets on board. I thought she looked beautiful. I didn't know why though. She didn't look any special…she looked normal with her glasses, long hair, and dress. Then, I noticed that she had a slight bump on her stomach and thought to myself, "She's pregnant. I should offer her my seat." Just as I was about to move up, I thought, "Wait, what if she's not pregnant? Wouldn't she be insulted? Wait, how do you know when someone is really pregnant? What should I do?" While I was contemplating, someone finally stands up and goes to the next subway car, allowing her to sit down. 

Why didn't I just offer her my seat right then? Because I am a conformist. As much as I want to be a nonconformist, I am a conformist. Straight up conformist. I follow people. I hate the attention. I am an idiot. 

T: "What do you want to drink? Americano, espresso or latte."
L: "Um…none of them. I don't drink coffee." 
T: "How about apple cider or ice cream?"
L: "Ah, okay, how about apple cider."
L: "Okay."
T: "So, sparkling or regular."
L: "Seriously, what's the difference?"
T: "One is sparkling." 
L: "Um, sparkling apple cider then." 

Lily sees the receipt on the screen and gasps when she sees that it's about 4000 won for apple cider! Drinks arrive after a long awkward silence.

L: "Thank you" (said nicely to Hank)
H: "You're welcome" 
T: "You're so shy and cute, Lily" 
L: "Haha…thank you."
T: Do you have a boyfriend?" 
L: "No"
T: Why? You're so cute.
L: No one likes me.
T: That's not true. Did you ever have a boyfriend?
L: No.
T: Why? You're a grown woman!
L: Because I'm busy with school work? 
T: You have to date. 
L: Okay. 
T: How about Hank?
L: Ummm (smiles at Hank and Tammy awkwardly)
T: Haha. Hank is single!
L: Okay…
T: What do you think of Hank? 
L: (looks at Hank and stupidly says) Hi!
T: So what do you think? 
L: He's okay. 

We get back to the office and mind our business; she's talking to some male coworker. I hear my name and look up. One of the guys (Yoon?) looks at me. 

L: (waves) Hi!
Y: (flustered) Hello!
T: (she's just cracking up)

A couple more minutes, she's talking to another coworker...
T: Lily! What about him? He's Chinese!
L: Hello again! (Goes back to work immediately)

Apple cider is almost 5000 won as oppose to coffee. 

"Lily, just wear your running shoes. Your feet will thank you."
"NO! I'm okay. I told you I'd wear them when we finally eat."
"Stop being so stubborn. I have three sisters. I know they hurt."
"Too bad I'm not listening to you." 
"Stop being so stubborn and full of pride." 
"I don't caree..." 
"This is what I do. I only point out things. I can't offer solutions." 
"That's what happened with my ex-girlfriend. I couldn't offer solutions. Then we broke up after a month. She broke up with me." 
"Just kidding. I broke up with her." 
"Was it because she didn't live up to your expectations? She couldn't live up the image you made her up to be? Because she had flaws?"
"No…she was exactly the way I thought she was, flaws and all. Just, she--I think I liked her because she confused me. She was my first kiss. I kept thinking and getting confused and thought, 'Hey, I think I like her.' But, I broke up after a month."

Getting ready to leave, two of the guy coworkers from my new desk location spoke to me in Korean. In reply, I said, "Sorry! I speak English and Chinese." So, they started speaking to me in Chinese. Apparently, more than half the office spoke Chinese as their second language. This is how our conversation went; they spoke in Chinese and I replied in English because I was so self-conscious of my Chinese and they weren't confident of their English. I already forgotten one of their names, but one of them told me that his name was "Brad Pitt". Laughing, I said, "Really? You do look like him!" He looked surprised when I said that. Was I not suppose to joke around? OH, the joys of speaking with someone in Chinese--kinda.

"Lily, who do you think is cuter? Him or Him?" 
"Haha. You have to choose one. He's A and he's B. Choose one." 
"It's okay. You can whisper who you think is cuter." 
Whispers, "Both." 
"Okay" (she thought I said B)

"I really like your American accent." 
"Hahaha. Thank you! I think you're really cute."
"You're lying. Americans always say insincere compliments after someone compliments them." 
"You're right we do that a lot….(10 second pause) but seriously, you are so cute! You are so tiny and cute. I don't know. I thought you were so cute when I saw you earlier today." 
"aww..thank you." 

I am such an idiot, sometimes. When Alvin haggled to buy a pair of USA boxers as a gag gift for his coworker and got what he wanted, I said, "He was just waiting for you to haggle." As we left the vendor, he said, "You know, everyone here speaks English right?" I said, "Yeah, I guess." He said, "Well, that means he understood you when you said 'he was just waiting for you to haggle.'" 

I am such an idiot. I felt so stupid. SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO stupid. Can't believe how insensitive I was. 

To explain this story, a little background must be established. Basically, I sit in a multipurpose desk--there are supplies and other important things located in the desk; it's a supply closet! Sitting in my desk, reading through my old blogs, one of the guys in the office came to get the key. He saw my candy wrappers all over the desk and took them all away to trash. How sweet, right? It's the small gestures that go a long way.