~…April Showers bring May Flowers…~

It’s not that my life sucked. Because actually, things looked pretty good. For most people, my life would have been satisfying. But, I’ve never really been like most people! Whatever that means.
My job seemed perfect but in hindsight, it wasn’t a good fit. It was 10 minutes down the road, I could walk my dog down the beach before AND after work, but I was sitting all day long and dealing with people in recovery from alcohol and drugs. I wanted to help them, I really did, but I think it was just too painful after having family experience with addiction. At first I thought I could handle it, maybe it would be good for me to come to terms with my own past and make sense of what happened to the addicted in my family. But after nearly a year, I realized that it was just too close to home…my body constantly ached, my neck hurt, and towards the end my skin even started going bonkers. Everything just didn’t feel right. After a while, it just felt like I lost my smile.
And living with my parents was easy, but just a little too easy after 5 years living on my own in San Diego and Santa Monica. My family is amazing~my Mom and I are like sisters, taking beach walks, sharing clothes and make-up, swapping diet advice, going out for shopping, lunch, and wine tastings. Seeing Daddy Clem, AKA D2 the sequel (stepdad) roll by on his Heelies shoes or his skateboard on Saturday morning always made for good fun entertainment; he always has new facts for me to learn, and is absolutely game for philosophical, introspective conversation as well as shopping, dining, and movie fun. One of my favorite memories before we left was going to see Avatar in 3D and also going to his company’s Xmas party where we had wine, ate yummy food, and danced the night away. But, you just aren’t meant to come back to the nest after you fly away. Maybe for a long weekend (or a week or a month, you know, for some R &R)…:)
But the USA economy being what it was in 2008…well, it didn’t leave a lot of options. And I don’t think I was quite ready to make the leap from the crazy modeling and acting industry to Korean english teaching. I needed to come home, take a break–I needed a reality check.
I toyed with the idea of going back to school or finding another job in California. But ever since travelling Europe as a teen, the idea of going abroad again constantly stuck in the back of my mind.
I toyed with the idea of yoga teacher training. I was practicing Bikram 5 days a week, so why not? But something kept stopping me from signing up.
I was accepted to grad school TWICE within the months before coming to Korea.
Each time, it didn’t feel right. I made excuses not to go.
Finally, on New Years’ Day 2010, I found my travel journal from Summer in Europe.
I read through it, didn’t even sit down. I opened up plastic ziploc baggies stuffed away in pockets of the journal, where bits of Iberian island sand and delicate seashells from that magic summer slipped through my fingers.
That very day, I made my favorite green tea. On the tea’s string, there was a saying, “Travel Light, Live Light, Spread the Light, Be the Light”.
That made up my mind. Quit the job and travel. It felt right. I knew it was what I had to do.
A few days later I had interviews for jobs abroad lined up. A month and a half later, I was on a plane to the other side of the f****in world.
Kinda cool.
BUT….I got here and hated it.
I rejected the Korean culture.
It was too friggin cold.
I hated the party scene (well, that’s just me anyhow, I like to have a drink and dance once in a while, but part of me is secretly a 40 year old introvert who likes to read, go on cultural daytrips, do yoga, travel plan, work on my budget, organize, and be quiet).
I got really sick and nearly booked a flight home…(Mom, if you’re reading this, thanks for talking me out of that one…)
I even refused to even try to learn to read Hangul/Korean writing (Even though it is so easy and helpful in getting around the city and country…ya NOW i know this…)
The only thing that seemed good was the food.
And we all know I’m a foodie. A healthy foody albeit.
So I think that’s part of what kept me hanging on. Plus, food brings people together.
I am the type that can be alone for days, no problemo. I can also be extremely outgoing and even start the party (this is mostly on tropical islands and during the summer…ya…winter-hermit).
But here, I’m finding that we seek each other out.
We explore, we dine, we go home and be quiet, we get together for bike rides and rooftop bbq’s.
We hang by the Han River and drink Korean rice wine, too.
Us quieter, sometimes introverted, over-analytical, sometimes loner. independent types, well this makes us learn to be flexible and more importantly I think, it teaches us that even the more independent among us, well we need connection, too. We all need each other.

5 thoughts on “~…April Showers bring May Flowers…~

  1. Thanks Nic! That means soooo much coming from you~ And I see your "famous emails" turned into an amazing blog! Fun read and very inspiring, you have a way of making me feel like i'm there with you. p.s. hope this all isn't too honest…sometimes i think my honest tendencies might best be kept in a journal…but what the hell c'est la vie 🙂

  2. Elisa! Just read your last three entries..loved them. I have a feeling i will have a VERY similar experience as yours come september in Nottingham…Pretty sure my seasonal affect disorder will become full blown seeing as we are moving during the coldest time of the year for them..fantastic…It is encouraging though to read how you pushed through and are now really enjoying the experience…Im hoping my entries to come will be similar.. (the whole pushing through and loving it part).

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