Many people from home have commented countless times on how happy and at peace I look here in Korea. It’s true. Living abroad is tough and not for everyone; I struggled my first year at a workhorse academy, but overall the new experiences have been worth it.

I feel like moving abroad is akin to taking all your unsuitable coping mechanisms, your shallow supports, everything you’ve wrongly assumed about yourself for years, and throwing all that and more out the window. Suddenly you’re shaky and flailing, not knowing where to put your feet or how to steady yourself. You either do or you don’t; you either adjust to the life here or you go home.

If you stay, if you can find your footing amidst chaos, you find yourself cleansed of your unnecessary selves. You discover who you are free of familiar habits, reflections, and expectations of friends and family. Questioning everything, you discover yourself anew. Any remaining weaknesses are magnified until you find a way to balance them, too.

Eventually, you are a diamond, polished to a sheen. And you glow.


Originally published on WordPress on March 4, 2015