This is a great question, person who didn’t ask–let me suss it out for you. I finished up my 2 years at K.Hogwarts on May 31st, and ever since then, I’ve been fighting crime in Gotham in a non-form-fitting suit.
I spent my first week of freedom cleaning out my apartment and lazing around eating popsicles in the relentless heat while delivering my previously acquired goods to their new owners and trying to not cry about separation anxiety with my yoga matt that I used exactly 4 times. I moved my 3 suitcases plus hanger-ons to my friend’s apartment, where I camped out until Monday morning, when I left for 10 days in Japan. More about Pokemon land in a later post, though.
I returned from Japan a week ago, and, well…pretty much…not doing too much. I previously asked YMKCW to buy my school-paid-for flight home for July 1 to spend time with friends and travel
and make out with boys and do a whirlwind Korea bucket list like finally visit the DMZ, eat patbingsu ((팥빙수, a shaved ice treat in summer) and stuff myself full of enough kimchi to last me a lifetime of healthy lady bits.
But thanks to MERS, Korea has kind of shut down…a lot. My co-workers at K.Hogwarts have had almost the entire month of June (and most of July) with very few or no students, giving them either paid desk time or unpaid free vacation time to travel the world. What a great time to have quit, huh? DMZ tours are currently cancelled, and the apartment at which I’m staying has no wifi. So…what do I do all day?
I get my hair cut the shortest it’s been since second grade. I got gel nails. I put a purple streak in my hair. I changed my nose ring to a hoop. I got my eyebrows waxed. I meet friends for final coffee dates and batting cages and goodbye drinks at our favorite bars. I sneak up to Seoul for a night and do stand up comedy and don’t suck 100% at it. I powered through “Orange Is The New Black” season 3 in 2 days. I start watching “Game of Thrones,” since everyone won’t shut up about it. I unpack and repack my suitcases and eat foods that I won’t see again. I see Jurassic World alone in 4D. Because I’m a put together woman who can handle life alone.
I take really long walks to nowhere. I journal. And cry. I cry a lot, guys. I’m crying in parks as couples walk by hand in hand. I’m crying as I walk everywhere. I’m crying in sunglasses at 8pm at night like an asshole, walking downtown. I’m crying sitting alone at Suseong Lake during a light show. I’m laughing, snot coming out my nose, as I rip a fist-sized hole in the butt of my leggings during said light show when I try to switch seats and don’t see the nail sticking out of the ground and thank the Lord I had a scarf around my neck to work into some bizarre, weirdo-style. Then I walked some more, listlessly. I cried on the metro on line 3 since I only got to ride it twice. I curl myself into a sweaty ball under the covers and do that ugly cry, where you sob uncontrollably, the kind of thing you hope no one ever sees but you so desperately want someone to hold you. Because I’m not a put together woman who can handle life alone.
And I know I’m not actually alone. I know you guys are all around, whether in person here in Korea, or via the internet, or soon to be seen in America or even if I’ve never met you. It’s not my first time feeling these feelings–April 2013 was pretty much the same–about to leave Arkansas for the scary, K-pop fueled land of Korea and feeling my heart ripping wide open, showing all the pink and bleeding bits. And, as The Script has told us, “when a heart breaks it don’t break even” and they are not wrong.
I’m not sure what stage of grief I’m in, but I’m hurting guys. I remember standing in the bathroom on my Korean Air flight on May 25, 2013, one fist holding on desperately to my t shirt and the other shoved in my mouth, trying to hold back sobs as I realized that I didn’t know when (or if) I would see my family and friends again. And I have a sneaking suspicion that on July 1, 2015, I’ll be on a Delta flight to Seattle in the same position, mourning and trying not to frighten the flight attendants as my heart breaks again with Chewbacca-like sobs in a 2 foot bathroom.
Should I have booked my flight for July 1? I don’t know. Thinking about how I could be home right now with my family is both exhilarating (family! hugs! home cooking!) and scary (not in Korea, not coming back for who knows how long, leaving people). Can’t change the flight now, and today is one week from departure date. 7 days left. I’m going to eat so much food that I’ll be peeing 고추장.
I know this isn’t probably the happy-go-lucky-crazy-fun-Bailey-story-time that you guys are used to, but I’ve never lied to you yet about emotional, painful stuff, and this is kind of where my heart is at. I’ll update later this week about Japan and the Pikachu good times so you’re not worried…too much.
My name is Alyssa Bailey, and I’m grieving. Send puppies.