Thursday, March 5, 2009

No Sleep and both Excited and Sad

I knew I'd end up doing this. I was up all night simply sorting through my things. Since those things represent the last 8 years of my life, it was no easy task. I found things like Russian currency that I saved from a trip to stashes of old pictures that I brought with me here simply because, when I found them in storage, the images were so touching that they made me cry. I would have certainly cried if I'd realized I'd left them behind.

A friend of mine, who has seen me through most of my ups and downs while I've been here, stepped up and helped me. Honestly, without his help, I'd be in the fetal position bawling trying to make the choice whether to delay my departure one day to Saturday or to just say "to hell with it" and leave any unsorted boxes, piles, or stacks as they are. However, he got here at about 9:30pm and fought the good fight by staying here until just after 5am helping me out. Yeah, I know, what a great person, and, yes, the generosity of that did make me cry (not in front of him, but I did). I'm leaving, at least, one truly great friend behind.

So with just a few more hours to my departure, I'm bittersweet. I'll be sad to go in some ways as I've really been forced out of my comfort zone here and challenged to grow and adjust. However, now I'm excited to go back because maybe these new habits and instincts will benefit me at home. Plus, the fact is, it's home and I've been away for awhile. It's time to go back and start writing the next chapters of my life.

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  1. What a journey you've had!! I'm sure you'll have nostalgic moments, but you can always go back if you really want. Welcome home! :)

  2. Thanks! It's good to be back, although right now I'm about as functional as a slug.

    There is the option to go back, but I think I'll make every effort to readapt and get back into the rat race here.

    Hope things are going well for you too!

  3. We'll miss you here in South Korea but I hope you continue to blog. I can't remember if you will be near Los Angeles. I heard there is a Korean town somewhere.

    Have a safe flight!

  4. Thanks Becky. I'm in San Francisco right now and will stay here until I decide to, well, stay here or move on to NYC.

    I grew up in L.A. and, yes, there is a big Korean district there. But Koreans are in all of the major cities on my radar: San Francisco, NYC and L.A. I won't need to go very far for Korean food, services or goods.

  5. I'm amazed that you were able to rip the velcro at all. It's gigantically hard to become an expat, and (I imagine) even harder to go back. I'm really looking forward to hearing your tales of awe and wonder. Oh, and also of how it all works out!

  6. There were some things that were inspiring me to bring the road show home ;) It was hard to make the decision. Once I committed to it, it wasn't that difficult. That's probably because I'd been home twice the year before and, each time, I really didn't want to leave.

    However, with 8.1% unemployment, I am starting to freak out a bit. Come Monday it's time to hustle.

  7. Have a safe trip back to the States! And I loved reading your blog, though we didn't always agree on a number of issues ;) But I really do admire your ability to keep your blog updated--so, thanks! :)

  8. More folks ought to learn how to like those they disagree with ;)

    Thanks! I've been back for almost 24 hours. To be completely honest, I wrote this post in Seoul but didn't hit "publish" until I was back in San Francisco.

  9. Good luck on those new chapters! Keep the folks posted.

  10. Thanks Fly Bro - will do re those updates ;)

  11. How did your cat fare with the move?

  12. She's a great traveler and has been with me since 1990. Yes, she's 18 years old, almost 19 actually. I can't recall if I've mentioned her age on my blog before.

    Anyway, she's moved from Westwood (UCLA) to West L.A. after college and then back to my parent's guesthouse in South Central L.A. Then when I moved north for law school she came with me from L.A. to San Francisco. She flew with me in 2001 to Korea and did that trip drama free. She's also moved with me in Korea when it was time to change jobs, which, until I got my own place in Seoul, meant we moved when I went to a new university.

    She's pretty much used to moving and I found out fast that when I'm gone she freaks out a bit. I got her checked out at the vet and got her inoculations over 30 days before our departure (people get the shots 30 days before or it's a no go.) I was also just very nice to her, so that she had a very strong bond with me and trusted me (not that she didn't after 17 years, but I just wanted to make sure.)

    I didn't know that at Incheon you had to go through quarantine to get on the plane. That's not a good thing to learn when you're LATE. But the Northwest people rallied and got me on that flight - thank God.

    Once we were on the plane she was good. She was more nervous about our new digs here in San Francisco than traveling. She's got the traveling down.

    Thanks for asking.


Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first blog, and I'm glad folks are still stopping by even though I'm no longer living in South Korea. Feel free to comment. If you want a personal answer, leave your email, and I won't publish the comment. Nasty comments and spam links will not be tolerated.