Monday, November 1, 2010

Two month mark

Two months after I moved in with the Wilkinsons, I got a job at the library.

Two months after I started at the library, I started working at other branches on my days off.

Two months after I started the job at the day care, I quit.

Two months after I started the job at iSqFt, I quit.

Two months after I started the job at Amend, I started applying for jobs in Korea.

Two months after that, I moved to Asia.

For those of you who haven't yet caught on to where this is going - I've been in Seoul for two months.

*taps fingers on desk*

The past week or so, I've been fighting a general discontentedness. I mentioned it to my friend, Angie, yesterday, and she told me that most people go through a bout of homesickness/depression/what have you every three months. She said the first one hit her a month early, and it sounded to her like that's what  is hitting me right now. The more I considered it, the more it seemed to fit; that is, until I realized my own pattern.

I can't keep doing something for longer than two months.

I'm not throwing in the towel, and if you offered me a ticket home, I wouldn't take it (sorry, Grandma!). I still adore my job, my friends, the subway system, street food, you name it. But I'm just feeling... I don't know... meh. (yes, "meh" is the best word my college-educated mind can produce. thank you, miami university.) I'm in a routine now, and I'm really, really terrible at routines. I don't like when things stagnate, and I've been here just long enough to start to feel antsy. Every day, I get up at the same time, take a shower (washing everything in the same order), eat the same breakfast, walk the same route to work, and wrangle the same group of kids. I don't want a new adventure or a new life; I just want to be excited by this life again. I don't get lost trying to find McDonald's anymore, and I haven't pulled out my "100 Things to do in Seoul" book in weeks. I can read Korean now, and I finally have enough equipment to start preparing meals at home. Things are starting to steady out, and I'm not good at steady.

This is the part where I get nervous. What if this is all there is? What if my life follows this same pattern every single day until I die? What if I never meet new people or see new things or travel to new places? I'm struggling against the urge to flip my life upside down again. I could break my contract and go teach in Thailand, or sign up for a DTS somewhere in Africa, or go to seminary here at Torch. I'm in the middle of Asia with only two suitcases worth of possessions to my name; I could literally go anywhere or do anything. The thing is, though, I don't actually want to leave. I'm happy here, like that deep-rooted happiness where you can fall face-first into a pile of manure and still think "man, my life is good." I'm growing and changing literally every single day, and if Paris Baguette isn't my soulmate, then I don't know the meaning of the word. For this season of my life, I belong here - I mean really belong - and I wish I could stop fighting against it.

Due to my "meh"-ness, I spent today robotically completing my tasks and teaching my kids. After school on Mondays and Thursdays, I teach an extra class for kids who used to attend Gate but are now in elementary school. Usually it's the most painfully boring part of my day, but today was a little different.

While I was teaching, one of the boys kept peeking inside his backpack. I finally asked him what he was doing, and his eyes got huge, as though he truly thought he had been invisible the whole time. Jokingly, I asked if he had an animal in the bag. The kids all laughed, but David just crept lower in his chair. "Seriously, kid. What do you have? A mouse?" He shook his head. "A turtle?" He stared. I stared. "David, do you have a turtle in your backpack?" He nodded. "Like... a live turtle?" Another nod. "I'm... going to need to look inside your backpack."

Yep, the kid legit brought a reptile to class in a ziplock bag. And I was worried my life was getting boring.


  1. I got warm-fuzzy chills during the "this is the part where I get nervous" paragraph, because--how many times am I going to say this to you, and has it lost it's meaning, yet--I know how you feel. My mark is somewhere around 4 months and in the last handful of years Korea is one of the few things that has kept me longer than that. I'm at double that now, but the longing for constant change & newness still rises and wanes on a fairly cyclical basis. Each time I overcome it and decide to *stick with it* I, as I said yesterday, find power and pride (the good kind) and renewal beyond what I ever hope for. God is good like that. His intentions for your experience here are most likely about growing you and stretching you in ways you might not've even realize you needed to grow.

    Aside from that, your story about class today is stellar. David's turtle is awesome. I would've asked if I could name him. Donatello? :D

  2. I love that you guessed it was a turtle!

    and I agree with Angie. Most people, particularly those fond of adventure, get depressed/mehish/ansy every three months despite where you are and what you're doing. (ask, paul...i have a minor life crisis/ i hate my life i'm bored moment aaaaabout every three months on the dot)

  3. Then you probably shouldn't consider babies? It's the biggest routine you could ever have. Feedings every four hours, diaper chages every two, food at 10 and between 6 and 8...
    Four months into it and I still love every minute, but I'm guessing you wouldn't. ;)

  4. I have one are you and God? The only thing that keeps me from feeling mundane (lost my job and now live w/ my mom at 33!!) is remembering to hang out w/ Him. He's changing me...even while I'm living w/ my mother. He's got plans for all of us and sometimes it's in the mundane that He moves the most. He's there w/ you in Korea and He ADORES you, friend. I highly suggest going to and watching the prayer room. It's 24/7 worship and will NOT be disappointed. P.S. I love that you're pushing past this and gaining more and more wisdom daily. It's just the Holy Spirit moving and working in you, girl and I couldn't be happier for you!

  5. I like reading your blog. I'm sure there'll be plenty of ups and downs before you leave, dear. I'm going through it too.

    On another note, Paris Baguette is pretty nasty actually, but since they're everywhere I end up going a lot. Sigh. Why is the bread so soft here??

  6. As depressing as this may be I feel like all humans fall into routines. For the most part we like them. They make us feel safe. If we keep things the same all will be okay. To break the routine we take trips (Japan, Bali, etc) and eat at adventuresome places and make new friends. Some of of join plays or hike mountains.

    But remember, your routines are different now than they were when you were at the Wilkerson's, your various jobs and now Korea. And please, when will you stop meeting people that like to travel and have adventures. I see you as on old lady still traveling around the world- hitting people with your cane. And Nikki, maybe steady is good for you.


  7. No worries. I'm feeling the "mehs" too. And before you know it you'll be excited about everything again. I promise. It just takes a little spontaneous adventure, which will pop up before you know it! :)