…moving to a new city every few months. Not becoming known or committed to anyone or anything anywhere.
I miss Vietnam. I treated my two weeks there as a parallel universe; i convinced myself that nothing i did there mattered to the “real life” i led here in Seoul. I did whatever i wanted without a thought or a doubt. And i came back here feeling…different. I wouldn’t say “transformed;” not only is that way too cliché, but it doesn’t even really make sense. I felt more sure of myself, like i shouldn’t ever be afraid to do anything anymore. Like i hadn’t properly lived before i took that trip. Like i hadn’t trusted myself enough.
I’ve only just realized that i’ve been more confident in everything i’ve been doing since my return from Vietnam. I’m much more confident in my teaching, i’m more confident with people in general, i’m more confident in being myself at work, at a place, in a culture, where it’s probably not a good idea to be entirely myself. I don’t really give a shit about acting “Korean” at school anymore. I’m fed up with surface courtesies and the never-ending obsession with appearance. I hate feeling like i have to act Korean because i speak Korean. I hate that everyone there expects me to do so. It’s not fair that i have to take on all the responsibilities of a Korean teacher just because i’m capable of it. I don’t get paid nearly enough for that.
If i had the resources, i’d move out of this city in a heartbeat. I’d move somewhere i’ve never lived before, trusting—knowing—that New York will be waiting for me when i’m ready for it, stay there and do the things i want, the things that make me happy, until i’m ready to move again. I wanna be able to make friends all over the world, trust them and love them, and eventually part from them to move on to other places, knowing that we’ll never forget each other and that we’ll surely meet again.
I don’t wanna feel like i have to stay anywhere. I hate feeling tied down, especially here in Seoul, the most suffocating and just plain difficult city i’ve ever lived in.
It’s a bad habit of mine: wanting to belong to a community, falling into one, and wanting nothing more than to escape it into a new one.