Don’t you just feel like crap sometimes? Like every bad thing is going to happen in your life, and you angst and brood over your potential problems and stress sources until your family (if you are living with them, that is) gets fed up with your moping and brooding? Or is it just me who acts like a bad-luck bug has bitten my butt?
So yeah, I’ve already driven my family nuts with my rocking-back-and-forth-muttering-ominous-things and my tearful pleas to please don’t leave me alone. Now I’ve come to the internet to vent. Goodness, I must be desperate.
Sometimes it feels like no one wants to hear what we have to say. And why should anyone care? It seems everyone has got a better thing to do. We are so busy, busy, busy, be it working, studying, playing games on our phones, checking Facebook or YouTube every half hour… when was the last time I have done nothing, thought nothing, just enjoyed the moment for a quarter of an hour?
Sometimes, I care way too much about what everyone is thinking of me. Every word I utter or type, every gesture I make or don’t make, I weigh them, I gauge the reaction of others’, I curl up in fetal position because all this is giving me an effing headache.
Times like this, I want to give everyone (and myself) the middle finger and just not care. But it’s almost impossible, it’s like telling someone with OCD to stop OCD-ing. I always care. I just care too much sometimes, to the point where it feels like I’m putting others’ interests in front of mine. Yeah, people call that altruism and pat me on the head, which makes me feel so much more guilty about wanting to stay at home and avoid meeting friends. Not that they are bad. I just don’t feel up to it. All we do when we meet is drinking beer and gossiping and talking nonsense anyway. No thanks. Every once in a while is fine but twice or three times a week?
And finally, I sometimes feel so goddamn alone in this wide, wide world. I feel like I won’t ever meet someone who understands what I’m going through (loss of cultural identity, and all that), or worse, that people like me will stare at me for making such a huge deal out of it. So you think and speak and write in three different languages. Isn’t that just freaking great? You’re so talented! No, damn it. It’s pretty inconvenient because you can never properly carry on a conversation in just one language, you always mix up words and phrases from other languages you speak. And people around you just don’t fucking get that owning a language changes a person. I’ve never been to the U.S. and only once to England. Yet being able to speak English on a native speaker’s level, and loving the language, has changed me so much that a part of me has claimed to be English / American. And my German friends? My Korean relatives? They don’t know, and they don’t care. Even if I tell them, they won’t understand. And I don’t – can’t, really – blame them, because it’s not something you fully get until you experience it for yourself.
My grandparents are so proud of me because me, their granddaughter, a Korean, is doing so well in a foreign country whose language she couldn’t speak at all when she first went there. And they expect me to be the same person that left the country more than 8 years ago. What they don’t understand is that I can only be that good in Germany because I’m not the same person I was when I left South Korea. I absorbed the German language and a huge chunk of German mentality and culture into me, and that’s why I have been able to assimilate so well into the German education system and why I was the second best in the graduation class from my high school… because I changed. Because I’m not Korean anymore, not fully.
But neither am I a German. There are things I don’t understand because I didn’t spend my childhood in Germany. TV programs my generation watched as a kid. Nursery rhymes. Trends that I missed.
About once or twice a year, I have hysterical crying fits because all the frustrations I felt clog up and finally burst and flow freely with my tears. And you know what I think? I think, who would want to be with someone with so much emotional baggage? How big is the chance that I will find someone who understands exactly what I am going through?
The Asian communities in Western countries are big – within or outside of churches. But I was never – am still not – a part of such a youth hang-out during all those years in Germany. I would be a different person today if I was a part of such a group. But I did not feel like taking a refuge under fellow Asians, displaying my Asian-ness with pride in a country that was anything else but Asian. Why should I flaunt my Asian characteristics when no one understands them?, I thought. I also changed too quickly to find an Asian group to cling to, I think. Such communities only work when one wants to be a part of the community.
I started to see my home country through different eyes pretty quickly. I saw faults in the Korean systems, I saw the hot-headedness of the Korean people doing both great and bad things to themselves. Especially during the last couple of years, I embraced the idea of enlightenment, of rationality, of structure and reflection.But guess what… I started to see flaws in Germany (although not as much as Germans themselves did in their own country) and the Western world, too. I missed the quick warmth among the Korean people, and the way I didn’t stand out in Seoul, while I did – at least a little – in Berlin. I noticed the strange psychology make-up in Germans, and how they despised – yes, almost are afraid of – being alone and how “friendship” actually put you under obligations rather than warm fuzzy feelings. I felt my creativity slowly die out because of all the rationality and practicality. I went from one extreme to another – from predominantly emotional to rationally stoic.
In the end, I feel trapped. Trapped in the society norms and rules, in the expectations of others’, in my own body. I’m trapped by residence registry, by taxes and health insurances, by visa and citizenship, by my own worldly possessions, by my own bodily and mental needs. Sometimes I wish I could just fly. Spread my wings and fly to another place, wherever I want to be. How perfect would it be if I could just move to another country, whenever I want, and live and work there for a while – as long as I want to, and then I’m off to another land.
I’m cold, so cold that it feels like I’m frozen inside, never to be thawed and embraced.