One year later........

Walking home tonight, I was waiting to cross the street when a stray breeze ruffled the branches of a nearby tree, showering me with a fine coating of dust and debris. I was in the middle of thanking Mother Nature in the four-letter kind of way when I brushed a yellow leaf out of my hair and watched it fall to the ground.
I stopped dead and looked at it. It’s the first one I’ve seen so far, and I know there will be more soon. Many more. Very soon. The seasons are changing once again here in Korea. From summer to fall. I’m watching the seasons change here again and I know that means I have been here, in Korea, for one full year.

Now before you say anything, I’m not an idiot. (Shut up Angelo….) I realized and recognized this fact late last month and thought back with a reflected smile to my first week here, my first month here. How so many of the things I take for granted, that are common place to me now were shiny and new then, how so much seemed to shimmer with possibility and everything I did and saw was foreign, remarkable and significant. There was so much I wanted. So much I expected. And now, one year later, I’m standing on a street corner I’ve stood on a thousand times before, surrounded by lights, sounds, people and energy that once to me, seemed overwhelming and alien, and that now to me, feel familiar and expected, and I’m watching the first leaf of my autumn fall to the ground. In the middle of this controlled chaos, something is occurring to me, which, in all fairness, should really be the theme of my life. Once upon a time I imagined that by the end of my year here in Korea, I would feel calm, solidified in my thoughts of my own future, plans firmly I place (HA!!), financially stable (double HA!!) and overwhelmingly grateful for everything that I had experienced and accomplished. I imagined myself standing at the top of Seoul tower after dark, watching Seoul becoming luminous, feeling and falling into the swirling mass of energy that has quickly become one of my favorite cities in the world, blowing a kiss to the wind and saying goodbye. I imagined the feeling of the plane wheels touching down on the tarmac of the Calgary International Airport and the cornucopia of emotions that would be battling it out in my head and heart, relief to be home, excitement to see my friends and family, an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I was able to do this, accomplish this, follow this thing through, and perhaps a touch of grief that this adventure has, at last, come to an end. I imagined all this. I thought about all of this as I watched that leaf fall to the ground.

You see how deep and philosophical I am? I’m a mother-fucking abyss of emotion at times, I swear, but don’t worry. Not everyone can be as introspective and multifaceted as I am…

But that’s not how it’s all going to end here for me. All that shit I imagined would happen, all those things I imagined I would feel, and think, I might still…but not yet. You’d think I would learn by now that every time I think I’ve got something figured out, life turns around and gives me the finger and does whatever it wants to do, regardless of how thoroughly I’ve planned it all out. Somehow it seems fitting though, that my last months in Korea will be me watching the seasons change once again, watching the leaves change and the temperature slowly slip into the lower half of the thermometer, saying goodbye to summer and hello to something else. Fall is the best time in Korea, the most beautiful, the busiest season, the happiest season, at least for me. Last fall was my first one here, filled with new experiences and infinite possibilities. I was happy, excited and grateful to be where I was. And now, this fall, my second one here in Korea, will be different, filled with new faces at work, the sense of comfort that comes from being aware and understanding of your surroundings and the people in them, travel plans, packing, and yes, saying goodbye.
This is the beggiing of the end, I thought as I continued on my way home. I smiled at that thought. I’m such a drama queen sometimes.

Comments

vagabondshandi said…
I concur heartily with some sentiments, and laughed hysterically at some others. Nicely done.

P.S. Dee's soapbox? We're in a fight, Morris.

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