Two months. It’s been almost exactly two months since I moved to Korea. I still feel like a mess, I still don’t know what to do with myself half of the time, but, somehow, I think I’m getting my footing.
Working a 9-5 (or, more specifically, 8:30-4:30) job has helped me find a routine, but it’s also allowed me to find comfort where I should be challenging myself. I spend most days working, lesson planning, and then trying to unwind.
Honestly, work is exhausting. I always tell myself to do more but run out of energy. I rarely study Korean, my apartment is usually a mess, I don’t go out often or work out, and I’ve made a total of one video and three blog posts since being here (well, now 4 I guess). There are so many things I need to do with my time, and yet I have no idea where that time goes. Surely it doesn’t go towards the things I mean to accomplish.
But enough beating myself up, this should be about Korea. I live outside of the city, in a very cute, very new suburb, where I enjoy all of the amenities of the city but none of my friends. I need to see them more often. I do really like my neighbourhood, despite its distance from the city. And because it’s a suburb all of my students are well-off and therefore well-educated. Most of them (6th graders being exempt) treat me like a celebrity, because there are so few foreigners here. I try to maintain a friendly image, because I want to get to know each and every one of them, but I also need to portray myself as a figure of authority. Balance is difficult.
I tried learning names, but I’ve taken a break from that because the seating charts change often and it’s quite difficult to keep up with. I see each class once a week, and I teach 21 class a week, each with about 25 students, so you do the math.
I want to learn their names, though. I have an extra after-school class with the volleyball team twice a week, and I’ve really enjoyed that more personal atmosphere. Those 9 girls I know by name and attitude, and let me tell you they are way different in those small classes than when in a full classroom.
I’ve lost weight since being here, about 10 pounds, but I haven’t tried to. That never happens to me, especially since I’ve had more grains and red meat in my diet than ever before. I’m not complaining, though, I just hope it doesn’t balance back out when my body adjusts. I’ll try to keep up the progress, I feel more confident than ever before.
Really, every day here is another day that someone calls me pretty, which is so not what I was expecting. Koreans are known for being very shallow, and that stereotype has rung true. Being overweight, I expected to feel quite low, but between my foreigner status and bleach blonde hair, and their friendly dispositions, I am always complimented here. I think I’m starting to believe them.
Life is still crazy here, but I’m enjoying it a lot. I’ve made some wonderful friends, people help me whenever I ask, and my job is challenging yet enjoyable. I hope I find my rhythm with the things I need to do outside of work, but I also hope I don’t stop exploring. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
One thought on “The One Where I’ve Been Here for Two Months”
Of course you are beautiful! It’s not bias if it’s true 😃 Keep exploring and stay in the moment. These are going to be great memories and stories.