Have you ever knitted a scarf before? You are almost finished and you see a dropped stitch creating a big hole right in the middle of your soft, thick, creation and you think great now I have to unravel it because the idea of having a whole in my scarf is too terrible to comprehend. At least that’s how dramatic my thinking usually is. You unravel all the yarn and proceed to take the end of it and wrap it around your hand, because you need to do something with all of the yarn or it gets too tangled. And you wind the yarn over and over and over again, around your fingers. Around and around until the ball of yarn gets bigger and fatter and your fingers get squeezed tight and you have to pull them out of the yarn and keep wrapping, around and around again.
I feel like for the past seven years I have been wrapping a ball of yarn. Every job, every apartment, every friend, every student, every moment, a turn of the yarn goes around and around. Memories wrapped around memories, layers over more layers, creating a giant ball of life that is just waiting to get knitted together into a beautiful scarf to keep me warm (and stylish) as I move away from Korea and on to the next place.
I will never forget you, Korea. I will never forget the memories because I wrote them all out. Here. Where there is spit on the street.
Thank you for teaching me how to use chopsticks, for giving me the discipline to learn Taekwondo, and for introducing me to jimjilbangs. Thank you for assigning seats during movies, for having a top notch public transportation system, and for letting couples dress exactly the same and not judging them for it (except maybe sometimes, a little bit). Thank you for the people who love practicing their English with me, and for the adjuma who picked me up when I fell (literally), and thanks to those kind Koreans who helped me carry my stuff down the street because I overestimated my strength and got over-excited while grocery shopping. Thank you for the jobs, all the jobs. Thank you for red days, for your closeness to many other great Asian countries, and for sparking my interest in photography. Thank you for the Han River and tandem bicycles and for convenience stores on every corner. Thank you for the Lantern Festival, the Mud Festival, the Strawberry Festival, the Ice Festival, the Cherry Blossom Festival, the International Fireworks Festival, the Apple Festival, the Ceramic Festival, the Green Tea Festival, the Mountain Trout Ice Festival (okay those last four I have never been too, but I am still thankful for them)… Thank you for my colleagues, my students, my students’ parents (even the challenging ones because I learned so much about myself as an educator from them), and my masters degree.
Thank you for Korean BBQ (this deserves it’s own line).
Thank you for Han Wool. Thank you for my overseas family. Thank you for my church.
I wrote this blog 70 days ago and I forgot about it. I just now found it in my drafts. Today marks two weeks in Australia and I already have so much to be thankful for.
Thank you God, for the opportunity to live and love and learn in cultures so very different from my own. Thank you for the appreciation this brings.
Now everyone go out and try something new!
And now for some random pics from Korea I found in my phone^^