Greetings again one and all!
Spring has sprung in the Land of the Morning Calm and let me be the first to tell you how lovely all of the plum blossoms are. From the last time I have posted thing have changed quite a bit, mostly for the better. There is so much I want to fill you all in on. Lets all take a deep breath and dive right on in:
Never once did I want to brake my mothers heart
The past two weeks have been a double edged sword for me. I have had to juggle two very important thing is my life. My family and my dreams. I have just been accepted into McCormick Theological Seminary on a sizable though conditional scholarship which means I can afford to be a seminarian! Happy dance time! This is all well and good but it came with a price I was not wholly expecting. When I told my mother about getting accepted and getting a scholarship she was so very happy and proud. I swear she looked like one of those birds of paradise with her chest all puffed out exclaiming to the world…”Look what I made….look at the product of all my years of hard work. I have ANOTHER successful child.” I want to say that my mother is holding her head a little bit higher and standing a little bit tall in the face of those who say her children were second best. This might hold true externally but deep inside I know all to well that I have in some ways, broken my mothers heart.
If anyone could/would had told me five years ago when I got my acceptance letter to Warren Wilson College that upon accepting, I would be placed on a life path that was bound to keep me always at arms length from my family. That by happenstance and job choses it would mean little to no physical interaction with my family for the better part of my late teen and early to mid 20′s; that I will always just be out of reach of my mother love, robbing her of my young adult life, I am not to sure I would have so readily accepted the offer but even still I am not to sure I would have turned it down either. It is times like these where I really wish I can have a birds eye view into the future so I can reassure myself that I am in fact making the right chose the right path. Since that is theoretical talk I am going with what has always worked for. I have decided to keep moving forward with the life I have chosen. I know that my mother will no longer try intervene in my life and I also know that its about time I come to terms with the fact that maybe my family home is not where my roots want to lay.
Family is wholly what you make it.
Now that I have been talking about family I think its a great time to talk about the loving and caring friends I have made while here in Korea. Korea has two major family oriented holidays the first being Lunar New Year or 설날 “Seollal” and the other being the harvest festival or Chuseok 추석. Both of these holidays I feel like I have written on but I want to expand upon how they help me come to better terms with my own standing as a year long expat. I was able to go to to the homes of two very different and special people and their families welcomed me as one of there own. It was comforting to know that even though I stood out like a sore thumb I was still viewed as a new child that finally decided to come home for once. I was asked to take part in very sacred and important rituals. I was welcomed at the table and treated as an older daughter. This might seem strange to some of you that have not been exposed to the Korean culture of sharing but over the Lunar New Year I shared a single cup with the other people around my age. I know! I know! It sounds strange but its not and I assure you this family had more then enough cups for the whole family. What I hope you all come to understand is that this showed and extreme amount of intimacy and willingness to view me, the 외적인 (foreigner) as one of there own. Over Chuseok I was able to bare witness to the reuniting of a family. I partook in an extremely long car ride were mom tired her hand at translating Korean into english so she could better express herself to us. I was so touched and moved, I almost cried when it came time to leave my new family. I still keep in close contact with both families and truly miss the time I spent with them. Leaving to go back to the states with be hard but well worth it. The real point is that this concept of what “family” is is transient. My mothers love knows no bounds within this world. I felt the love of my mothers through the two new mother I met here and Korea, the love of siblings too. Take from simple that family is solely what you make it.