At first, I was good. Walking excessively in Busan wearing my tourist shoes meant that I had little care about what I was eating nor the amount. But as the weeks came and went, that little person inside of me that whispered eat, eat, eat managed to take over. So I gave in. I ate bread – a huge trigger food for me. I laid in bed, defeated, my stomach, bloated, and I didn’t know what to do. I hated the feeling of being full. If my stomach bulged out just a little from food I would go into full panic mode. When I was younger, this resulted in a kind of panic exercise induced black out. However, on this day, I had no where to go to exercise, so I fell back on something that I swore to my college self I would not do anymore.
When I was younger, I was obsessed with everything that wasn’t my immediate reality. Like most children, I dreamt of finding fairy circles deep in the woods, waking up one morning to find a letter on my desk inviting me to learn magic at some school far far away, or coming across a dragon egg while playing hide-and-seek on my friend’s ranch. I even redecorated and painted my room to look like the Gryffindor common room at one point so I could pretend just a little longer that I was living in an entirely different world far from the one of those around me
I started more intensively studying Korean about a year and a half ago and in the wake of my boredom from being stuck at home, I decided to make a little video about it. Honestly, I feel like this is more for me than anyone else, I don’t know how people manage to stay at their homes all day. Maybe it’s because my home is one room it makes me a little bit more antsy, but here we are. Korean is a hard language. English is a hard language. French. Spanish. It’s all hard man.
So, I basically started filming this way back in September and slowly over the course of months and months of piecing video footage together I gathered all of this. I know I never film, I’m aware, I don’t have excuses, but anyway. With COVID basically becoming the neverending story of last year and possibly into this year I made a little video about what I’ve been doing while somewhat stuck inside. Of course, Korea is in much better shape than the US, but still, things have definitely changed.
Today, you can start your new life! So why don’t you? You could if you wanted, if the world wasn’t a complete mess right now, you really could – This is what you tell yourself, this is what she tells herself. But she did this for 1095+ days, and suddenly, who she is, this is it. It’s not a bad thing, she hopes. Perhaps she’s better than who she was last year, the year before that, and hopefully, she’s better than who she was at 16, at 18, at 20.
Perhaps most frustrating has been forgetting words completely. Because I use about half of the English I used to use before I moved, a lot of those bigger complicated SAT words have completely slipped from my mind. The other day I was trying to remember the word “conspire” and ended up blabbering through a definition of the word before a student corrected me. A lot of my Google searches these days look something like “the word that describes …” “synonyms of fun” etcetera. For an English major with a creative writing background, this has been my least favorite part of living here.
I wished, beyond anything, that this body I was confined to could be as easy to leave as anything else in my life. I felt that I was at a loss to win, and this inability to render my control left me as lonely as ever. I felt lonely especially because I couldn’t talk to anybody about it. If I tried I was met with rolling eyes and misunderstandings – you are beautiful, you are skinny, you are perfect the way you are – but every time I saw myself the reflection that looked back at me watched me with disdain, and worse still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was never, and would never be enough for myself.
The myth of childhood told me that when I got older, I would innately gain some kind of understanding about the world that would allow me to move forward both productively and confidently.
Dating is difficult, and dating in Korea is no different – especially as a foreigner. Considering the language and cultural barriers, there are still some things that you have to be on the lookout for in a potential partner.
Whether you’re looking for a new show to watch or are interested in delving into the often too dramatic and overly romanticized world of K-dramas, I have the list of the one’s worth wasting time on.