Thursday, January 19, 2006

"I ran as hard as I could and still ended up here..."

Today as I walked to work I enjoyed singing the Indigo Girls song "It's Alright[sic]." For those of you who are wondering if I mean I really sang it: yes, I sang softly but out loud while walking down the sidewalk that, if not exactly crowded, is far from empty of a Thursday morning. But what do I care? We foreigners get stared at incessantly anyway, so might as well make it worth it.

The song, which I've loved since first hearing it ten years ago, so perfectly sums up how I feel right now it's eerie! About my emotions, my life, Korea, the madness that is this place, being here, not being there, my personal life, my plans, my job, my future, my past, my You go, Emily Saliers. That's all I'm saying.

"It's all right, forty days of rain
My skin stretched out from the growing pain
It'd be nice to have an explanation

But it's all right

And it's all right if you hate that way
Hate me 'cause I'm different, hate me 'cause I'm gay
Truth of the matter'll come around one day

So it's all right

I look at this lifeline stretched way all across my hand
I look at the burned out empty like a plague across the land
And for everything I learn there are two I don't understand

That's why I'm still on a search
Through the weather-strewn church
I'm doing the best that I can
And it's all right

And it's all right, though we worry and fuss
We can't get over the hump, can't get over us
It seems easier to push than to let go and trust
And it's all right

When we get a little distance some things get clearer
Give 'em the space, our hearts grow nearer
I ran as hard as I could and still ended up here
But it's all right

I look at this lifeline stretched way all across my hand
I look at the fires of hatred burning up the bounty of this beautiful land
I know I'm small in a way
But I know I'm strong
And it's my thirst that brought me to the water
When I give it all up then she carries me on
And it's all right
Yeah, it's all right

And it's all right, though I feel afraid
My plans in pieces, plans mislaid
It's the will of the way, the will of the way,
The will of the only way that could have brought me here today
And it's all right. "

-- indigo girls

As I come to the end of week 15, it's starting to really hit me that I am getting a lot out of this experience. This place affects you. I sometimes tend to be blase about things, perhaps for fear of betraying the slightest bit of weakness in myself. But Korea, man, this beast will sink its claws into your chest and rip to shreds anything you had covering up your human heart.

I can't get into all the details of the past week, though I will happily dish in private e-mail to those who want them. I was thisclose to getting the !#$* out of my current Hell Stew and into a greener pasture. (Do forgive the mixed metaphor.) Then again, the grass is always greener...and that's part of what made me hesitate. There's more to it than that.

Man, I have a fiery, burning, fierce, unyielding desire to get to law school as soon as possible and therefore to do all I must to effect that, including paying off debt. In addition to my emotional maelstrom of the last little while, I have been trying to sort out two huge, pressing financial issues: the FAFSA and COBRA. I wanted to have my FAFSA (student financial aid application) done by now, but I've been having major problems completing it on-line, and we've finally determined, Mr. Fafsa Help Line and I, that the Korean-language browsers don't support the application. So he's sending me a paper copy to fill out. How terribly archaic. And COBRA (continuation of my health insurance benefits from my old job) is just so ridiculously expensive that I have had to redo my entire spring budget, and I still am not sure how it's all going to work out.

The people I've found here, and the opportunities, are so very interesting. I am reminded of that continually.

I have also had days on which I hated my job/my employer/my thirst/the dirty floor of the school/the smell of food in Korea so thoroughly that I've thought I must be insane to be working here when I could be eating cheese enchiladas (although with no job) in the U.S. It's been hard (and it has NOT made me feel at all like posting to this blog) to be considering escape. Escapist that I often am, the Soul Asylum lyric comes to mind: "Shake me, I've painted myself in the corner of an escape artist's dream." I don't actually want to flee at all, but I want things to be different. I suppose that's the story of humanity, though.

In the past few days I have contemplated, contended with, discovered, and agonized over a year's worth of decisions and emotions. I feel I have looked into a mushy pile of soul and stirred it up to see what emerged on top. I think it just boggles the mind to be now sitting here, Thursday night, with such a powerful feeling that I am heading into the future, into my life. You know? My LIFE! That despite or because of the turmoil, things work out, and they don't just fall apart.

You see, you should be glad I haven't been posting. It would all have been like this, or worse.

"And it's all right..."

1 comment:

jnap said...

I was going to tell you about grasshoppers, and the grass always being greener, but I could not get the comments to work, then I had to head onto something else.

If I had one thing to do over again in my life, it would be to slow it down. Decisions don't have to be made that quickly, even though we think they do. We are so afraid of running out of time, we run out of us, instead....