On Tuesday night the 8th I sobbed. I didn’t sleep. I drank glasses of wine not for fun, but to numb the pain. I called my girlfriends, I wailed, I lost my shit.
I sat on top of my suitcase and squeezed the zipper shut. As soon as I got it closed a let out a sign of finality. That was it. After a week of half-hearted and scattered packing attempts, I was done. My life in Korea was officially wrapped up, packed up and shipped off. In two hours my boss was picking me up and my replacement was about to take over this little square of space I had called home for the last year.
No more late night runs to the marts on the corner, no more charming run-ins with elderly Korean ladies, no more barbecues, and no more Kimchi.
4 am. Blackness. Wind howling outside my room. Branches being ripped off trees and flying all over the temple grounds. Awoken to the gentle sounds of gongs and chants. And the violent gusts of wind. The monks were marching towards their morning prayer. And we were about to join them.
One of the biggest sources of insecurity I have had in my life is my Brandeis degree. I know comparison is my biggest demon and when I think about Brandeis it just gets the best of me.
There were times when I could think of at least 5 Brandeis peers who were well on their way to becoming married doctors while I was living on a couch and working for a ski pass. I know I have had so much fun and I made deliberate choices to shape my life this way and steered it in a direction of travel and adventure. I have no regrets about any of these choices, but from time to time comparison monsters start creeping in.
In January I got my heart broken in Texas. Today in September, I hiked to the top of a mountain in South Korea.
Edward stood at the edge of the pool. With flaming red hair and big blue eyes full of fear. I was waiting in the water trying to convince this four year old boy to make the leap. “1,2,3.. Jump!” I said optimistically. His fists clenched but he didn’t move. “3,2,1…Jump!” I tried again with the same enthusiasm and the same result. I wasn’t giving up, this kid was going to jump into the baby pool if it took all day (or the better part of half an hour).