Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thoughts from the air

Here's what I wrote on the planes (over 20 hours of traveling) from Detroit to Incheon.

2009년 3월 26일
I just finished reading the letter that came with this journal [letter from Anna in red leather-bound journal]. Sometimes it takes the most difficult journey foster the most valuable relationships. There are a lot of people who care about me, and leaving my home made it obvious.

I'm on an airplane from Washington, D.C. to Tokyo, Japan right now. The reality of that statement comes and goes and is vague and fleeting. As I realize the transitory nature of my current existence, I begin to wonder what that is. My current existence is caught within an ellipsis.

Two years ago, I was sure that I would become a doctor. One year ago I had changed my major to Asian Studies. I was caught in the tip of the whirlwind I now find myself riding. Who was I? I had been such a stable, numb, nonchalant person. Now I had become someone I did not recognize on paper. If my official self had changed, had the rest of me changed, too? After the death of my grandmother in May 2008, I struggled to find meaning in my life; a struggle which has only become more difficult and pressing. I worked so hard last semester tutoring English that I was constantly exhausted. I nearly failed two classes that weren't difficult for me, and my 4.0 in Japanese dropped to a 3.0 in spite of my knack for languages. I dropped the fourth class at the beginning of the semester with an excuse of my reading glasses being outdated, causing severe reading headaches (partially the reason).

Now after plunging towards the bottom, I'm trying desperately to climb back to the top, or at least to a point where I'm not drowning anymore. Honestly, frankly, I'm extremely scared when I actually think about what I'm doing, what I have taken upon myself, and what I have given up or left behind.

My mom and my brother spent as much time with me as they could, and I called them from Washington, D.C. for the last time. I can't use my American cell phone anymore.

I don't live in America anymore.

Me, two 50-pound suitcases, a backpack, and a purse. On a plane to the other side of the world. My feeling is indescribable. My heart and lungs won't stop trying to escape from their bone cage. My stomach is doing somersaults. My mind is racing, but t the same time standing still. My pencil is flying across the page in a semi-futile attempt to capture this moment.

I am over international waters.


  1. Hey little buddy,

    I'm glad you can make use of the journal, and I hope the letter I wrote wasn't too sentimental or gooey. You are a very brave, strong woman. I hope your journey is lovely.

    <3 Anna

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