Thursday, September 26, 2013

Peace in the Meantime

I've spent a lot of time lately in school hallways.
Going back and forth to other people's classrooms.
Teaching English.
Walking in as another teacher walks out.
Rotating constantly.
Down one hallway, into another.

And it was today, walking from one class to another that a tear escaped my eye before I even realized I was crying. Before I even knew why I was sad.

Last year, I spent a lot of time in school hallways, too. I was working at an elementary school then too, but it was in the States and I worked with one student with autism named, Trenton. We'd walk hand-in-hand up and down the hallways. To calm him down. To get him out of the classroom. To give him room to move and run.

I missed him today.

I wondered what he's doing. That big first-grader. If he's happy. But I don't just miss him. I know that tug in my chest is far greater than just missing that kiddo. I miss things that are familiar.

Food that I know.
Signs I can read.
People I recognize.

But also...
Feeling like I know what I'm doing.
Like I am doing something important.
Like I am "in on the joke."
Like I "get it."
Like I am actually funny and sarcasm and wit mean something.

Most of my communication is basic.
Communicating a need.
An observation.
A question.
Thinking of eleven different synonyms hoping that one of them will help me to be understood.

Today, a co-worker asked me at lunch, "What have you found to be the most uncomfortable thing about living in Korea?" 

Easy: walking down the street.

Just knowing you are a minority.
The looks and stares.
The bold school children who say, "Hello!"
Feeling lost and having no one to ask.
Knowing you don't quite belong.

This is what happens when you move to a new country on the other side of the world. This is how it goes. I know the feelings and I can't say that any of them necessarily surprise me. But I still don't know how to handle them. How to find any sort of resolution. How to feel less out-of-place.

"Dear God,
Give me courage and give me grace.
Give me time and give me patience. 
Give me peace in the meantime."


Anonymous said...

Hi sweetheart, I can totally relate. You're strong and brave and you're doing this! We both are. Woohooo! Thanks for your vulnerability sharing this! xoxo

Caitlyn Brianne said...

My Aunt has lived in Korea for over 14 years now and I know she feels this way too, thank you for always being open and vulnerable and sharing your heart!