This is something I think about a lot and I've written several journal entries about it.
So, you may know I went to Norway in January. I visited a secluded island in the arctic circle called Andenes. It was a beautiful island full of fjords and low mountains, and home to some truly wonderful people. My days there kind of blended together because for a while I didn't even see the sun, there were only a few hours of hazy light, like a constant sunrise and sunset on opposite sides of the sky, and then a blanket of darkness, stars, and sometimes the aurora borealis would wander across the sky. It was a truly beautiful place and a very magical feeling settles over Norway in the winter.
When I had to leave I was on the bus in the very early morning. As we made the two hour long trek to the local airport, I looked over the island, watched the sun slowly rise and cast this amazing gold glow over the frozen water below which was nestled between two small mountains covered in dark green trees. I remember closing my eyes and feeling so conflicted because in my heart I was excited to go to Paris and stay with my sister for several weeks, to be among the exciting bustle of the city, to make friends and lounge for hours in cafes. I was very excited to do this. But a part of me was attached to the land I was leaving.
I am very lucky, very blessed and very lucky, to have traveled throughout so much of the world over and over again, to make friends, get to know the locals, and visit secluded areas people only dream of visiting. I do not take my upbringing for granted. It has, however, created this kind of horcrux like splitting of my soul. A part of me will always miss and love Dallas, crave the high school comfort and friendship I have here. I will always want to be, simultaneously, in Hawaii at the beach, in Paris with friends, in Vienna on an autumn day, in Munster as a 17 year old riding bikes with a new friend, in London in 1997 buying all the Spice Girls' paraphernalia I could find, and on and on. There are an infinite number of little moments and times I miss being alive for various cozy, safe feelings or new and growing feelings.
I have lived at home for two years now. This was not planned at all, in fact. I thought I would move out after half a year. But as happens to so many people, my degree took longer to finish than I had anticipated. And the decision for work was not as easy as I thought it would be. So I settled into a familiar, childish routine by living at home, driving around and running errands for my mom, and socializing with friends when I could. Looking back on it now, as I prepare for a new adventure, there is a certain taste to this time at home. Not quite as comfortable and safe feeling as being a student and studying and living here, but still secure. I've allowed my mind and my heart to be blank and recover from several years of pretty traumatic social adventures throughout college.
I know that I am on the verge of becoming a new me, which has happened many times before and will of course happen again. I don't know how Seoul will change me or what memories I will forge. But I know I'll kick myself for rushing out of home and not lapping up every moment I can with my family.
So this is my homework. Rather than spend all my time buying Korean food and analyzing Korean culture, I will hold off until I arrive. For now, I will enjoy the last month or so of who I am at this moment, I will try to make all decisions with a firm and wonderful purpose. I will connect with people and bake and laugh until I cry so I can really look back on this time fondly.