Every day I wake up, roll out of bed, start the electric tea kettle, get ready, eat breakfast, surf the web, and then head to work.
I have a daily routine, which seemed next to impossible when I first got here.
For all intents and purposes Korea is my home now. It's my home for at least another nine months and, if I can do it, it will be my home for even longer. I enjoy living here and I want to find out more about this fascinating place. I want to learn more Korean. I want to work here and take my Masters online while I'm working here.
I'm making friends, learning the routines and way of life, loving the food, and just having an adventure every week.
I came over here not entirely sure if I'd want to stay here after one year, but right now I'm really thinking I will.
Will I still feel this way come this Fall?
Does that mean I won't go back to Niceville to visit?
Thing is, as each day goes by I slowly stop thinking of Niceville as my home, I see it more as my hometown. Always there, a place I can return to, but a place I don't think I'll ever live again, at least not on a permanent basis.
Despite all of this though I still sometimes think: "Am I really in Korea?"
I just can't believe that I'm on my own and that my nearest family members are a twelve hour flight away. It's just sort of unreal to me at times.
Life here is becoming ordinary in a way for me. Work has good days and bad days. Traffic lights hate me just as much here as they do in the States. Customers at Lotte annoy me almost as much as customers at Publix. It's just becoming ordinary, and I love that.
I know I still get stared at wherever I go, especially if I'm with MY (you don't see many Western girls with Korean guys, the other way around is more common), but I'm barely aware of it anymore.
At first I didn't notice the stares, then I did and it made me a little self-conscious, after awhile it began to anger and annoy me, but now it's just sort of "whatever". I can't do anything about it, so why worry?
I still have trouble reading things in Hangul quickly enough, but I'm getting faster. It's also getting easier for me to pick up new words in Korean, though I'm horribly slow at it. With my phone and wallet I can get anywhere in Korea and do anything, in many ways even easier than I could in the States.
Despite all of this, I still have those rare moments where I think it's all a dream. That I'll wake up in a second and be in my bedroom at Apple Jack and Kay Kay's house. With my iPhone alarm telling me that I have to be at Publix in an hour and a half.
So, yes, it's real, but sometimes I can't really believe it. I guess this is what happens when change happens (good and bad) and a lot of dreams and wishes are fulfilled all at once.
Even if I do wonder sometimes, I'm glad this is real.
Really, really glad.