I was raised in a city I hated. When exactly it occurred to me that I didn’t like it, I’m not sure. Perhaps my mother’s feelings rubbed off on my sister and me, but for as long as I can recall, I wanted to be elsewhere. Where? Just somewhere else.
I’ve spent the last few months of my life, not elsewhere, but in my hometown, precisely where I didn’t want to be–not for this long anyway. While it takes just a short matter of days to be reminded of all the reasons that prompted me to leave, my family is here and spending an extended amount of time with them after being away for eight years is warming. Both positive and negative emotions have confronted me and I’ve been somewhat conflicted as to what my next move should be: Stay? Go? Where? For how long? The vision for my immediate future is fuzzy; I haven’t been able to place myself anywhere. In the past, this indicated moving somewhere new.
This morning, South Korea invaded my mind. Teaching English there is an idea that’s visited me countless times over the past five years. Maybe I should just do it, I thought. Do it, so I won’t have any regrets. A longstanding desire to travel the planet resurfaced and immediately I was taken by this idea of journeying foreign lands. Would it take me closer to what I want to be my life’s work? Hmm…no. Not really. But I would get to live in another country and see some of Asia. My haphazard life adventures have always taken me places…but what if this time, I’m not supposed to go anywhere?
As evidenced by all the missing dates between this post and the next, I haven’t been blogging; I’ve been sitting, thinking, feeling. My absence has granted me a certain perspective that didn’t exist prior to my hiatus. Just recently, I became aware of deep-seated feelings I was previously unable to articulate. I’ve been running from a discomfort that has enveloped my very being for decades. Decades! That’s no flimsy matter. It’s been uncomfortable working through this web of emotions, but it’s a necessary process that will set me free on some level or another.
Hours were spent researching South Korea, yet again, before it dawned on me that I’m just grabbing at something to escape that emotional discomfort. I’d like to travel and eventually expatriate, but South Korea is hardly ever on my radar. Only when I feel like I’m in a bind do I think of it.
As much as I’d like to be comfortable elsewhere, I think I’m supposed to be uncomfortable right now, right here.
Pretty much everyone, on some level or another, is going through something. Many are holding onto pains they’ve carried since childhood. It’s so easy to distract ourselves from the unpleasant feelings inherent to the processing of emotions, but there’s little benefit in doing so. Neither our stories nor our struggles are our own. How much power are you denying your story by ignoring your discomfort?
Find the good. It’s not easy, but it’s always necessary.
Image source: Kr. B.
My recurring desire to go to S. Korea isn’t running away, it’s me responding to a lifelong desire to travel. Sometimes, in the midst of living, we forget what truly matters to us. Some situations bring it out more than others, I suppose. So yeah…Korea. 🙂