I’ve been keeping a secret. A big secret. I’m going to Korea! I didn’t dare utter this before, maybe because I was afraid that if anything bad could happen, it would. I’m a relentless worrywart and my anxiety gets the best of me. Usually in my case, if something is going to go wrong, it typically does. Cancelled flight? Yup, it’s mine. Plane crash? Damn, why does this happen to me?! I didn’t want to jinx it and I didn’t even feel the excitement until I had actually boarded the plane. This trip is 17 years in the making and I really had to pinch myself to believe that it’s real and really happening! I could hardly contain myself, as I stretched out on all 3 seats. Yes, I had all 3 seats to myself!! Window, aisle and middle, this girl got so lucky and now I’m counting my lucky stars!
I was born and raised in Korea (Seoul, specifically) and spent my formative years here and even my rebellious teenage years here. I had dreamt of going home for so long and I’m here! As soon as I got off of the plane, I cried. I cried tears of joy, tears of sadness and tears of relief. I cried for the young girl I left behind and the woman I was becoming. Tears rolled down my my face freely, without abandon, I was finally home. It felt surreal, I kept wondering if I was dreaming. If I was dreaming, I never wanted to wake up.
Why did it take so long for me to return? Trust me, I wanted to come back. Every single day. For 17 years, I wanted nothing more than to be “home” in my “motherland.” The truth is, I had to put my longing on hold. I was a young mom raising two boys, a family. Let me tell you, raising two boys is expensive but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My time with them was beyond precious and so fleeting. As many parents, especially single parents would know, there are always expenses and unexpected expenses that crop up. It’s really never ending, once you pay off one, here comes the other. Even if when I could afford a round trip plane ticket, how could I afford a place to stay, food and other accommodations on top of my monthly bills?
For years, I avoided a lot K-pop and Korean dramas because they were too painful. It was as if, what I had wanted so badly was right in front of me yet so far out of reach. My eyes would well up in tears every time. Seeing them made me so emotionally invested, it was just easier if I avoided them altogether. I even stopped speaking Korean, at restaurants or markets. I can’t explain why, I just know that it was easier to pretend that this part of me didn’t exist rather than face it.
Coming back to Korea, felt like a now or never moment. My boys were grown and I was empty nesting. I was so drawn to go… I had talked about it for years. I couldn’t put it off any longer, 17 years was already long enough.
So, I’m here now and I couldn’t be happier. Land of the Morning Calm…. I’m home, I’m free and I love every minute of it.
Thank you so much for being a part of my journey.
- What I Wore:
- Black and White Dress by Forever21
In a world full of pants, be a dress~ Jules