Connecting, Reflecting, and other such nonsense.

This time around…

I feel more connected. In every way one can be.

I feel more connected to those who have become intertwined in the day to day life I am currently leading, than I felt about the people who I, once upon a time, spent close to a full year with. Nowadays I have come to appreciate the simple lunches and thoughtful hellos, no muss, no fuss. Dinner in Gangnam, gossiping and waxing poetic about cultural politics. Acknowledgement of how short our time has been/is/will be together, and sincere bittersweet smiles at the thought of saying goodbye. Weekend hiking trips. Tears, chocolate cookies and milk. Shisha, wine and cigarettes.

I feel more connected to myself, relaxing into my skin in a way I’d forgotten existed. Loudmouthed and sassy. Speaking my mind in a way that suits me regardless of how or what people may think. My ironic surprise at the acceptance, understanding and laughter that greets me more often then not when I do so. And I do. So. Often. Laughter. I’d forgotten how much I love to laugh. My loud, echoing, booming laugh that carries through walls, a sound that those close to me have come to identify and cringe good-naturedly at, one that has been noticeable absent in the ears of those closest to me during the past few months. It has returned. Full force. And I love it.

I feel more connected to what is happening in my mind, heart and body. My mind buzzes these days, my ears filled with Korean, rain and the sound of neon. I’ve been having strange dreams that I can’t remember and I am still not sleeping through the night. But I’m trying to accept it for where I am right now, it is what it is. This too shall pass. My heart feels light for the most part, confused and happy. Sentimental and full of an inexplicable longing. Wistful. Wondering. Grateful. All at once. My body feels heavy with the extra flesh I have earned since the start of 2009. It feels strong in a way it has not felt in a very very long time. My muscles feel well used from walking everywhere, traipsing up and down 6 flights of stairs twice every day, and it’s familiar routine at the gym. I feed it more often then I did last year. I want to feed it more often then I did last year.

It takes all kinds to make it here I’ve realized. And the best advice I could ever give someone who is thinking about taking the plunge and doing this crazy things that we expats are doing here (as if any one would EVER be fucking foolhardy enough to take advice from me), is to stay connected with yourself, with who you are, and live in that for however long you choose to make this your home. Don’t hold back. Don’t come here if you’re afraid to let go. So much of what you have here is dependent upon you and who you are and how you choose to live your life, day to day, the connections you choose to make with others and with what happens to you while you’re here. Because things will happen to you while you’re here. It may not feel like it at the time, while it’s happening. But it does. If you let it. Let go.

To those who are lost and those who pretend to be. The awkward outcasts who find their voices and lose their virginities. The ones who come to party and the ones who ARE the party. To the newbie’s who come and then go, to the lifers who have settled and belong. The philosophers and the mystics. The families you create and then leave behind for the ones you were born into…or the other way around. The ones that make you laugh, the ones that make you cry and the ones that make you bleed. To the ones that do all three. I salute you. From vegan feminists and the men who love them, to those who have achieved the 9th level of geekdom without breaking a sweat. To those who come here because they’re afraid of settling down and to those who have come here to have their own little adventure, tie up loose ends and reconnect with themselves….so that they can.

……or at least start thinking about it.

6 weeks today, at this moment, I will be touching down in Calgary.


Vivian said…
Such a moving post. I wish I read that before going to Korea the first time around. You sound very, very happy, and that's good to hear. And your pictures are the best. Thanks again for putting words on things I've felt/feel.
vagabondshandi said…
I like it.

P.S. I hope you're only refering to me in the vegan feminist line and not in another one...
Anonymous said…
I'll have you know I've attained 12th level Geek and multiclassed into 5th level Nerd. I've also picked up a couple of levels of the Raging Thespian prestige class. And if you understand this you are at least a level 3 Geek yourself.
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Melvin said…
great post....

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