Lola O.
Me: It's funny in a very unfunny kind of way how one's mood can change from good to bad in moments that barely amount to seconds.

There I sat in the bathroom stall of my school trying to get my emotions under control. I was upset about a lot of things. Things that happened today, things that happened on other days. I was upset for myself and the people around me. I was sitting in this germtastic bathroom stall with the only western toilet at my school. Trying my hardest not to cry, not to scream, not to breakdown. These days I am oozing emotional...

Me: It's weird in a very sad way how I can shed tears easily for others but not a single drop for myself.

I noticed how quiet it was in this bathroom on the third floor of my school. The kids had gone home for the day, the teachers all doing their own thing. I had the bathroom to myself. I was sitting in this stall and I knew I could have a moment to myself. No one was looking at me. I didn't have to smile or bow my head in greeting. For a few moments I could just be...however it was I wanted to be. I could feel the tears welling up. I wanted to cry for my co-teacher who was crying for herself. I wanted to cry for my grandma. I wanted to cry because even in "my moment" I could feel the real world seeping in. I could feel it in my chest, in a spot right by my heart. That overwhelming feeling of wanting to release it all out.

I noticed that I had my Ipod with me. My earphones resting in my ears. There was a song whispering through me. I turned up the volume and it was "Your Hand In Mine" by Explosions In The Sky and for the next 8 minutes and 18 seconds I just sat there, in that bathroom stall. Knowing those 8 minutes and 18 seconds would be mine and mine alone. No students, no teachers, no authority, just me and this song.

Me: It's crazy how I could find some peace in such a dirty/germy environment. I guess we all adapt when our options are limited. That's how we find beauty within ugliness.

I don't know if this bathroom stall will become my spot. The place I go to on bad days, when I need a moment alone to collect the parts of myself that have fallen out of place. The place I go to when I need a moment to recharge my batteries without everyone looking at me. I don't know...but today for those 8 minutes and 18 seconds it was my spot.

Three walls and a door covered with God only knows what, and a song without any words filled the time.

Lola's Note: This week has been one of those weeks. You know the kind of wee filled with moments of just "aargghhhhhhhhhhhhh" and one minute you are flying high and the next minute sinking low. The week isn't even over but it feels like it has been going on for ages. There are so many contributing factors to me writing this poem-ish entry. Just like we all need to breathe to live, I need to write things out to move on to the next moment. Since crying just doesn't happen for me. Chalk this Thursday up to an experience in this journey in Seoul but today has just been a really rough day. Everyone's nerves are a bit frazzled and sensitive these days. I'm looking forward to getting my open class over with tomorrow and a weekend filled with only moments of fun.
1 Response
  1. There is something called Teacher burn out. And basic being an expat burnout. Oh the times I have cried alone at school or walking home. hmmm

    I think though these are just growing pains as we get through the darker sides of life.

    Anyways hang in there. Usually things spiral into a hectic buzz before vacation time (because typically nobody prepares *Koreans* enough ahead of time)