It’s hard to believe how fast money spends in the United States. What was that? Money can’t spend itself? Huh? Someone has to push in the pin number of my debit card? Wait, it was ME?! You’re kidding!
So, I may gone a little overboard with the shopping excursions while I was back stateside. I am a natural pack-rat, and am finding myself pack-ratting a lot, when really I don’t NEED to bring seven pairs of leggings and five kinds of tea back to Korea. I didn’t even drink tea while I was in Korea. I have so many sundresses it’s truly insane (and, by the way, it will not be sunny and warm in Korea for many months). I’m not sure I REALLY need classification folders in five colors (but I really WANT THEM) or a brand new day planner in which to put almost no meetings, since I barely speak Korean so I have no one to meet.
But, a lot of my pack-rat shopping is about trying to make Korea feel more normal this time around. Even though I live in a tiny dorm room that never feels like home, I need to try to normalize my experience so that it is more livable.
Also, there is a shitload of things I said I would do, like: NOT procrastinate, work on legal research, finish my CLE credits, write fiction every week, and stop talking to my ex-boyfriends. Oh, and be on time to class, not write lessons the night before, and learn how to read Hangul more fluently. I didn’t do any of those things (and yes, BB taught me a really big lesson blah blah blah, we won’t talk to him anymore), and the big issue is that there wasn’t a huge detriment to me doing these bad things. Especially in Korea, where there is basically zero accountability because no one knows what I’m doing, and almost everyone in the world thinks your Facebook account is like your real life. (NOTE: It is not. Facebook is the advertisement everyone posts for what they want people to believe their life is like.) My life in Korea may look idyllically entertaining, simple, fun, and full of food, but the truth is: it’s just regular life (with a lot of delicious food). I’m pretty solitary in Korea and most days, it’s just me talking to me about stuff we’re SUPPOSED to be doing, like lesson planning, grading papers, writing fiction, and not talking to our ex-boyfriends.
So, as I wind down my Stateside Vacation with a trip to Southern California and a tiny 3 day layover in Hawaii, I remind myself that I don’t need to pack-rat my life as much as I need to fully unfurl it in Korea. But until then… I still need a few pairs of leggings and a couple dresses. And the classification folders…
Ever notice how some themes repeat? Life cycles through and sometimes we make the same mistakes again, have our hearts broken by the same person twice, fall down in the same place. And sometimes, we pack our suitcases for Korea way too soon and have to pack and repack them 5 times. Yup, I said it: FIVE EFFEN TIMES.
So, yesterday, it dawned on me that unlike the burn of The Desert, there are actually distinct seasons in Korea. After a little wikipedia/google searching, I realized that once I arrive in Korea, summer will almost be ready to expire in Daejeon. This means that packing five hundred sun dresses with little cardigans will most likely not suffice as appropriate wardrobing. Last night, I took out some stuff, then added in other stuff, then replaced that stuff, then repacked some stuff I had taken out. This morning I realized that the reason I had more space last time is that I stuffed my purse in my backpack and brought a laptop bag. Then I took stuff out of the suitcase, put other stuff in my backpack, threw some stuff away, and then replaced items in the suitcases.
Final Weigh-Ins: Super Huge Suitcase = 49.8 lbs; Semi-Large Suitcase = 46.5 lbs. YAY! Success.
Except I still have 3 days to overthink it. Aiyah.
Moving my entire life to Korea has been more about resolving to move forward than it has been about an opportunity I cannot resist. Somehow, my life here has been about repeating mistakes, languishing in expired affairs, and falling down without ever fully getting up again. I truly believe that a change of scene can change your life, and I was presented with an opportunity to change my scene in a tremendously difficult, challenging, beautiful, overwhelmingly drastic way. It’s a chance to be braver than I know I am, stronger than I think myself to be, and grow more than I might be able to if I stay in the box where I’ve always felt restless and safe.
Of course, leaving the safety of my box means I need to pack lots of stuff. So, the moral of the story is: changing my life means I am entitled to over-pack. At least a little…