I have been home now for four days, and I am emotionally and physically exhausted. Physically because I still have jet-lag and have not slept more than five hours in one night. Emotionally… wll, that is pretty self-explanatory.
My Fulbright journey has truly come full circle. And as such, this will be my final blog post. At least in this particular blog, that is. I have a movie blog that I didn’t work very much on in Korea, but I want to get back to, so if you like my writing, please check it out. It is hereslookinatyousquid.wordpress.com.
Okay, enough self-advertising. Back to the subject at hand. Honestly, coming back to America had both been easier and harder in unexpected ways. First off, it almost feels as if I never left and my entire year in Korea was one giant dream. Every now and then I think I imagined it all, and the only way I know for sure it really happened are the items I brought back from Korea.
It has been great spending time with my family and friends. I am very happy to be home. But honestly, what has been very difficult is that now I should be getting ready for graduate school and shifting gears, but Fulbright isn’t completely out of my system. I am still thinking up lessons. It feels wrong when I am not visiting Seondeok Girls Middle School each day. I know logically that things have changed, but my heart doesn’t quite know it yet. I guess I need a little bit more time to get adjusted. It will probably happen more quickly when the jet-lag is over. Before coming home, I have always thought that when my grant year was over I would have this huge feeling of achievement. I mean, I am a Fulbright Scholar now! I am very proud of myself, but honestly, right now when I think of Korea, I don’t feel this grand awe of my success. I feel a bitter ache of wanting to go back.
But I do believe this too will fade. I think I will feel the urge to go back to Korea for the rest of my life, but it won’t be as strong as time goes on. I am very sure graduate school will preoccupy me.
I am proud to report this though: looking back on my grant year, I honestly think I have no regrets. I am still a little disapointed the Clazziquai concert was canceled, but 99% of everything was perfect. There were a lot of challenges, but those difficulties allowed me to grow and become who I am now. I don’t feel very different than who I was before coming to Korea, but knowing everything I went through, I know I must be. Case and point: I start graduate school in about one month, and I am not freaking out about it.
So how do I end this blog? Honestly, I have been trying to avoid that word, because I know that my year in Korea will have ramifications on the rest of my life. So while my grant year is over, and I am in America, I think Fulbright and Korea will live on in me for the rest of my days.
How about this? Aside from everything, the one thing I am always sure about is the fact that I am a writer. An unpublished one, yes, but when life is uncertain, writing is something I can always hold on to. So I will end this blog this way:
I saw mountains in my dreams
by an ethereal veil of mist.
The fog caressed me
beckoning me to return
to the green mountain slopes
where I once felt tears,
so humbled I was by their beauty.
And maybe one day,
I will actually be able
to answer their call.