Lola O.
There are so many things I need to write about. Come Friday I will have been in Seoul for one month, and boy has the time flown by me, leaving me breathless and a little dazed to say the least. I promise to write more about my experiences here, but first I want to talk about my feelings so far; the highs and the lows. This post is geared towards people thinking of coming to Korea, or just changing something in their lives. If you read my Living entry, I think you will understand me a bit more.

Today, as I was riding the subway to the Seoul Global Center I looked out the train window and saw the world passing me by in a blurry haze as I sat inside the safety of the train. I thought about everything I have been through up to that point and the thought of butterflies fluttered through my thoughts.

I started this life as a caterpillar, crawling through this earth searching for something. I followed the path laid out for me and stuck to it. Then I was absorbed into the cocoon of life and the transformation took over. I wasn't really sure of who or what I would become after the change, but I wasn't turning back. Little cracks began to form in my cocoon of life and I came out a butterfly. I was different, and it was hard to recognize myself. I realized it was okay to be different from what I was before. It was time to start a new life, and instead of crawling on the earth. I would try flying through the sky.

Even though I have these butterfly wings, they are delicate and fragile things. With enough force they could be pulled out, and then I would come crashing down to the earth again. Even if they are fragile, they will strengthen over time with each experience that comes my way. I kept on thinking of how I am beginning to truly rely on my own strength, the one inside and outside of me. Growing up and growth in general is a painful and beautiful process of life that never ends. If we are not constantly growing in our thoughts, lives, and relationships then I don't think you can say that you are truly living. At some point you have to stop fighting yourself, life...everything. Just take a deep breathe and jump into the madness of life.

I say all of that, because getting to Seoul was a long journey, but now that I am here, the journey begins again. It isn't easy being away from everything I know and love, but at the same time being here makes me appreciate what I already have, and at the same time look for new things to cherish within myself, others, and life in general.

I don't want to go into details about the feelings I have so far. These feelings don't really need an explanation. So here are the words that give you a taste of how I have felt for the past few weeks here in Seoul.

Excited, Confused, Joyful, Scared, Weak, Overwhelmed, Proud, Independent, Lonely, Faith, Jumbled, Funny, Exhausted, Trial & Error, Unsure, Homesick, Dynamic, Stretched, Patient, Understanding, Frustrated, Happy, Thankful, Strong, and most of all Hopeful.

On Friday, I will have been in Seoul for one month, and so much in my life has changed in just this one month that it has worn me out. Each day is filled with surprising moments, plenty of new experiences, and opportunities for growth and learning. For those thinking of changing themselves and their lives I want to say that change starts with you, and doesn't happen quickly and things won't always go as planned. You can have determination but if you don't have an open-mind and heart then change won't last. I'm learning everyday what I am capable of and everyday change approaches me, sometimes I welcome it and other times I dread it. I'm changing myself, and being changed by my environment and the people around me. Choose what is best for you, what will make you happy, and what will make you feel alive.

I'm following a path, I didn't plan on taking, but I am enjoying the journey because for the first time in my life I am doing something completely of my own choice and learning the good and bad that comes with each one we make. I'm excited to see what this year holds for me, but I know that I cannot wait for things. people, or experiences to come my way. I have to seek and go after what I want. Sitting idly by isn't going to get me anywhere in this life.

Someone told me it takes six weeks to truly get adjusted and settled here in Seoul, and I think they are right. You have to give yourself time to absorb all the changes happening to you both on the inside and the outside. I learned over the last three weeks to be patient with myself, and not expect too much from myself. Everything takes time, and you cannot rush things. Give yourself time to take everything in, and catch your breathe again. Don't be too hard on yourself, and more importantly remember to laugh at the confusion. Things are going to happen, no matter how well you plan or research. You just have to let go and everything you thought you knew, and start opening your eyes to the new world around you.

You will have moments of highs and others filled with lows. You'll be homesick at the most random times, and lonely sometimes. Let things run their course, and figure it out in your own time and way. This is your journey, do it the way you like. Lastly, I want to share with all of you something I jotted down in my notebook one morning while sitting at a cafe in second week here.

" At the end of everyday I feel proud of myself for doing this. For taking each challenge I face here with the understanding that even if I fail, I still tried. It's not easy being here and I want others who are thinking of coming here to realize that this isn't going to be a smooth or easy transition. It's going to be full of bumps and unexpected twists. It's going to be frustrating at times and wonderful at times, But it will be the adventure you choose to have. So if you are thinking of coming to teach or do something you've never done before somewhere in this world, you need to have/create that well of inner strength that will get you through those moments of frustration and confusion until you have find your footing. I am far from strong, but I am learning to be and even more so I am learning that inner strength can only be found through yourself. Nobody can give it to you or make it for you, it all comes down to the faith and belief you have in yourself."

The thing about taking a leap of faith on life and yourself is that you have no idea where of if you will land. You just have to leap in the moment and let everything else play out in its own way and time. I am learning to just have that trust in myself that no matter what comes my way I will figure it out. So there is no point agonizing over it, worrying about it, or playing what if games. We live now, and deal with the rest when the time comes.

I have no idea if any of what I wrote makes sense, but I have you see that I am trying to say is that life is unpredictable and always changing. We have to live our lives for us, and do our best not to step on others in the process. You have to believe in yourself, and understand that things won't always go the way you want it, the way you've imagined it, or the way you planned it but that doesn't mean it isn't right for you, or that you have to give up or that you can't end up in the same place by taking a different path. At the end of the day, this is your life and the fewer regrets the better. Just remember it won't be easy, but most likely it will be so worth it.

Be blessed,
~Lola O.~

I've been crazy about this song for the past couple of weeks. I don't know what it is but this song makes me feel like my butterfly wings are soaring through the skies. It makes me smile and wonder when I listen to it. Hopefully, it does the same for  you:)!!!
4 Responses
  1. Ray Says:

    Honestly it took me about 3 months to get adjusted and feel comfortable. i don't think you can put a time frame on how long it takes for you to feel "good." Take as much time as you need!

    I can't believe you've already been here for a month!

    Keep writing!

  2. Lola O. Says:

    Your right, there is no set time frame. I'm adjusting at my own pace and I guess one day I will have one those moments where I realize things are starting to feel "comfortable" and "normal" now.

    One month, come friday...this month has been a blur of things. Hopefully next month will have a clearer view.

  3. I totally agree with what you've written and can really relate to your feelings from when I first got here. It's definitely been an amazing journey!!

  4. Great post! Truly inspiring. :)