The number of weeks left in our stay in Seoul has dipped below the double-digits. The end really is in sight. I think both Jason and I are in a place where it’s still too far away, yet so close that we don’t know what to do with ourselves. We’re thinking more about the things we WILL do once we get back to Albuquerque, and that diminishes what we COULD be doing here.
There are so many things to look forward to, and we just can’t help but be excited for things to come. Just for myself, I get to see my mom, step-dad, and brother again after only having emails and Skype for two years. There will be tears, hugs, kisses, all that. I got into a master’s program at the University of New Mexico, so I will be taking a class here and there. Of course our wedding! One of my oldest friends (I’ve known her since I was in 3rd grade and was in girl scouts with her sister) is getting married two weeks after we get home. In August alone, I have four (I think) birthdays and a family reunion. Jason’s parents are coming out in September. I need to get back on weight-watchers or something, because I’ve blown up since being here (sedentary job in a commuter city where I live an hour from work, doesn’t bode well for chubby me). I also plan on walking the Duke City half marathon in October, so I have to start getting into shape. I actually ran that one a few years ago, but I haven’t run in two years (to the day!). My baby cousin, Jordan, is having her Bat Mitzvah in November. Thanksgiving (oh how we’ve missed Turkey Day) with my family. Christmas with Jason’s family in Florida. Reno at some point. I could continue… house hunting, subsistence farming… see, good times!
I know many will tell us we should just enjoy the time we have left living in a foreign country. To that, I must say…I’ve been here for two years, Jason for five and a half… we’ve “been there, done that” to the best of our ability. We may not have gone clubbing or took a bus down to Busan, but we’ve been other places like Jeju (which many people will tell you is far lovelier than mainland Korea) and Andong (for our friends’ wedding). We’ve been to a lot of other places that neither of us can remember the names of, but they were all beautiful and well-documented by us. We’ve seen museums, palaces, traditional Korean villages, and even a dairy.
To those people who say “live it up while you can,” I also have to quote Miss Dorothy Gale: There’s no place like home. We miss our family and we miss our friends. While we’ve been here, earning a living and building careers in publishing, we’ve missed birthdays, graduations, retirements, weddings, births, and coffee/beer nights.
I think, when you come from a small town and you find yourself living and working in a huge city, you fall into one of two categories: Those who love it and will never go back to small town life, and those others who take to heart the smaller things that city life doesn’t offer and who long for a return to simplicity. If you haven’t guessed, Jason and I fall into that second category. To us, this city is dirty, loud, fast, and just too big for us. Granted, it’s a foreign country, and we don’t speak the language. I think that in itself is a key element in our need to get back to the US. We can’t communicate really. This makes for a secluded life.
Of course the main reason (I mean, aside from the family, friends, and language barrier I discussed above) for us going home is our wedding. Planning a wedding so far in advance and from so far away isn’t as exciting as it would be if I were home to try on dresses and visit wedding venues. Searching for a home with property to spare isn’t very easy either.
Before I moved out here, Jason and I had a six-month, long-distance relationship. Waiting to go home is like a 7-week, long-distance life.