I have lived a lot of my life being afraid of things and though I've made great strides in reducing silly fears (like reminding myself that worry is a wasted emotion and to just chill out), I still often find myself afraid of silly things. Here's a current list of my fears, some silly some not:
1. Missing family and friends. I really do have it all in Dallas, including tex-mex, my best friends (most of the year anyway), and my family. These three things (tex-mex, family, friends) really get me through life and that is no lie. I have no idea who or what I will lean on when I arrive in Seoul. I have a feeling kimchi and other panchan will be poor substitutes for fajitas, no offense Korea.
2. Teaching. The job itself is teaching English and even though I'm very proficient in this field (this field being the English language), I'm worried about disciplining in a classroom, being monitored frequently by various managers and teachers, and being convoluted in my descriptions.
3. Food. Did you know I'm a picky eater? I'm a very picky eater. And even though I've recently added olives, asparagus, avocados, and cauliflower into my diet, I'm still very picky. I don't like onions (including chives, spring onions, etc.), seafood (except a few white fish), fatty meat, meat with bones in it, eggs, and I think I may be coming around to mushrooms but I'll get back to you. I also might be allergic to shellfish and I heard they just don't care about shellfish allergies in Korea/ don't really know about them and a lot of food has seafood, onions, and egg in it? Literally how will I survive.
|Photo Source // I will probably weep when I look back on this post and am not eating tacos de brisket|
4. Language. Did I mention all the languages I know are English and then romance languages? No Asian language experience here. I have to teach myself this language, and that's scary! Of course I can do language exchanges and stuff like that but how effective are those really? And also, how would they teach me? Exactly. Sigh. How do I buy cleaning supplies? What is detergent called? What is the name of this vegetable I'm buying? I have no knowledge of anything. Everyday life immediately becomes harder. Oh, what's in this soup? Squid? I had no idea because I don't speak Korean and now I'm in the bathroom crying, that's a situation that will probably happen.
5. Meeting people. So I'm lucky that I went to a high school that's super legit and we had Korean boarders and several of them are living in Seoul. That's awesome and something probably not everyone has. I'm also lucky that I have a few friends in cities near(ish) to Seoul that I can visit. They are study abroad friends and should hopefully make the transition easier. But as for every day friends that I can call my besties, who I can club and norae bang with.... yet to be seen. At present I'm joining a knitting club, an international expat club, and a Nordic appreciation club.
All in all, there are many things to be excited about. A new adventure is always great and always life changing. And things that make you afraid are usually worthwhile. I need to work on tossing aside my fear and setting sail. When I was in New York I was speaking with my (new) friend Catherine who is French and traveled throughout Asia during the 70's (Vietnam War anyone?) She insisted I absolutely MUST go about my life without fear. Less people will bother me and I will be much happier. Catherine, I will do my best!
I will miss the south, southern hospitality, being called sweet pea, being understood, being able to small talk with staff, fitting into clothes from most stores around me, my family, my friends, my home, my room, my dogs, the big tree in our backyard, our cute neighbors, my car... and Texas sunsets.