Thursday, September 01, 2005

Two Months in Review

Two months have come and gone in what feels... just like two months. I've been thinking about what I'd write in this post for the last few days. I've been thinking about what I'm doing here and how I feel about what I'm doing here since I arrived here two months ago.

I'm neither happy nor sad at this point, and if you ask my kids, those are one of four emotional states we humans experience, including angry and surprised. Forget lonely, bored, disappointed, excited, amazed, or whatever else there is.

Why am I not happy? I feel like I've reached the top of the stairs, if I can describe it this way. The first month was a huge learning curve of getting accustomed to life and work and food and everything surrounding me. Now I find myself in a dull routine. I go to work, I walk the same route. I teach the kids in the same ways. The weekends come and go with surprising speed and I do the same things. WA bar Friday night, Seoul Saturday, frisbee or not Sunday. That's it. That's my life. I work, I eat, I sleep. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I watch a movie. Often I use the internet. And there's not much else. Food doesn't surprise me. The language barrier is manageable. My neighbourhood doesn't change.

What did I come here for? I came for newness and excitement and self discovery. I can say that I've discovered the adaptability of human beings. Two months pass and nothing surprises me anymore. I am me whether I'm in Canada or Korea, and that me likes to sleep and doesn't really like to work.

There are other more noteworthy things too. I'm a more social person over here than I am at home. My inhibitions regarding meeting people have diminished while D'Arcy's seem to have escalated; something kind of strange since she's usually the more outgoing of the two of us. My feeling is that there's a limited number of people here that I can communicate with. At university I was surrounded by people, classmates, teachers, and friends that I could interact with. Here I spend my time with five year olds who don't have English skills and my seven coworkers. Come Friday I'm itching to talk and watch.

My plan for now is to pick things up. I want to add more to my life so there's something going on besides school and sleep. Maybe swimming could fill that role. Or some kind of course (Korean? Taekwondo?) I just feel as though I have no time or energy for extra things, but I'll have to get around that.

I'm happy because I'm learning things slowly. I've discovered that I do like children and, believe it or not, they like me too. Wow. That's all I can think of about why I'm happy.

When I was a teenager I kept a diary and I often wrote "I'm not as sad as I sound". What was I doing? Protecting my own image from some non-existant future reader? I feel like writing that here, to real readers, friends and strangers. I can protect myself by saying I don't feel sad exactly. I don't feel disappointed exactly. I wish I could explain better.

I've discovered that you can't depend on places or people to offer up happiness on a platter. You have to get it for yourself.


At September 01, 2005 10:21 a.m. , Anonymous steve said...

I agree with your last sentence, although it is a very difficult skill to learn... (If this was some cheesy teen movie, someone(usually some average guy) would start slow clapping, and people may or may not clap along, depending on whether the director wants to squeeze out one more cheap laughter.)

At September 01, 2005 3:06 p.m. , Anonymous steve said...

Just wanted to add that, seriously, what you just said in the last sentence may be the "meaning of life" or what we are here for...

At September 01, 2005 9:42 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Steve. Your last sentence sums up one of the important lessons in life and if you have learned this in two months, you have made a very important discovery to live by. Who is Steve? Smart guy. Mom

At September 02, 2005 6:15 p.m. , Anonymous steve said...

Oh, I am just a random reader, Korean-New Zealander educated in England currently living in the USA. Pretty uncomplicated really. :-)

The post just resonated with me so I couldn't help writing a comment...


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