Life in Korea has its ups and downs, and while I try to focus on the ups and laugh at the downs, life isn’t always as fun and happy as my Facebook statuses might make it seem. Of course, I hope we all know that’s true about everyone on Facebook already. I’m not saying my life isn’t really great and a lot of fun, but sometimes things just get hard.
My first year in Korea included a lot of hard times that I didn’t write about. The first few months here were a whirlwind of making new friends and trying new things until January, when I went home for a month. I was so busy during my first few months here that I didn’t really experience culture shock, and had relatively little time to be homesick. But when I came back to Korea after my visit home, things changed. Mistakes I had made in the first few giddy months here came back to haunt me, and I lost my closest friendship.
At my lowest point, I did nothing at all for two days- I went to work and sat at my desk and then went home and slept. I didn’t even eat.
I’m able to look on the bright side now, and see that although it was a really difficult time, it was also a very important growing experience. I realized I had come to rely far too much on one person, and that I had other friends who were there for me. Close friends. Friends who show up at your door with a quart of ice cream when you need them, and get angry because someone made you cry. It also opened a place in my life for new friends who have turned out to be so very important to me as well.
So although I have wonderful adventures in Korea like when I buy too much pizza, or get lost on the train and somehow end up in the town where I will eventually live, and accidentally go on dates or get stuck in revolving doors, I also have lot of tough times. I’m so grateful for the friendships that have pulled me through those times- the messages of encouragement that came at just the right time, the assurances from my family and friends back home that they are praying for me, and the unexpected happiness in realizing that so many many people care so much about me.