They said, “You will miss Korea…”

they saidWinter is kicking my butt today. This weekend was so beautiful and now it’s back to the freezing cold weather. The birds think it’s spring already though, and are chirping away, maybe we should have went to Georgia.

As I write this, the most depressing song is on Good Morning America sung by Mary Lambert; I can’t help but miss Korea. GASP! I said it; it only took, 3 1/2 months (give or take a few days.) They said it would happen, and I screamed, “NO WAY, NOT EVER!” But the thing is, I don’t miss living in Korea, (the convenience of America surpasses the inconvenience of Korea, any day of the week,) but I do miss the sense of belonging that we had there, where everyone knew our name. Now, no one knows who the heck we are.

I never understoond why Korea was everyone’s “assignment of choice.” I kept thinking, ‘If this is the BEST post out there, then I can’t imagine what other posts are like.’ 3 1/2 months after leaving Korea, I now I understand what being in Korea is all about. It’s about community; it’s about making your friends, your family; it’s about getting out there even when all you want to do is go “home” and go to Target. And I feel like I did that: I got out there, I volunteered, and I made a lot of great friends. (It’s not like I was hiding in my apartment hating life.) Even though I will actively admit that I didn’t enjoy Korea as much as many people did, I never forget to tell them that being with Jim made it ALL worth it. After all, I married him so that we could be together on the same continent.

Now that I’m back in the land of Target, I have no one to go with. I miss my friends. I miss calling them up and going to the local farmers market every five days. I miss going to the snack shop in our apartment complex with Jim and buying way too many snacks for two people (okay, maybe this is good that I can’t do this while pregnant…) I miss the bakery, the sweetest strawberries in the world (literally), and being able to walk places when it’s warm. I miss the food not being expensive (Korean food is three times the price in America), and I miss post being right down the road (even if the commissary was 1/3 of the size as the one here).

Things I don’t miss about Korea: Only being able to shop on post for food/American items, lack of American food options, not being able to drive, and most importantly only seeing my family every six months. (Oh, and of course, the out-of-control cold winter.) Like I said, I wouldn’t give up the perks of life in America to go back to Korea. But sometimes, on days like today, I miss it.  Maybe, if my Korea friends could come to Maryland, so I didn’t have to start attempting to make new friends, life would start to feel normal again. And to those who are still in Korea, could you bring me some strawberries? Thanks!

The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be. – Marcel Pagnol


One thought on “They said, “You will miss Korea…”

  1. Helena says:

    I was in Korea almost 25 years ago, as a missionary, and then went over and taught English with my husband right after we got married. We’re planning a family trip next year with our two kids. We’re hoping to rent a car and spend a couple of weeks. I’ve been having a blast checking out temples and waterfalls online and planning our itinerary. (We’re planning on early September, so I’m hoping it’ll be cooling down a bit by then! Maybe!) As a vacation it’ll be awesome. I do remember that the day-to-day living was not always awesome (though my glasses have definitely become rosy-colored with the passage of time). I’m especially excited just to get some video and pictures of our kids experiencing Korea. Can’t wait!

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