Last week i started doing an hour of chitchat with my host brother at a cafe in exchange for free cake on 이모(hostmom). it was a lot of fun. we are very similar in so many ways, except he is a 13 year old boy and i am a 23 year old teacher woman. our key vocab words were "white lie," "operating system," and "ghetto." i love chocolate cake.
이모 is one of my favorite people in korea. today (well in general) i've been realizing how important it is for me to be able to talk to her and trust her and all that. being here in korea would be so much harder without my relationship with her. she is an amazing accomplished person. she's one of those women who gives me hope for having a career and a family. but it's also sad because i can see how unfair it is (division of labor) between her and her husband. even tho her husband is reeeeeally sweet and nice (esp. for a korean husband) there is still a sharp contrast bw her "workload" when she comes home from work and his. this worries me about my future. even tho they have an ajumma who comes 2x a week, 이모 still does a lot of cooking and housework. anyway, back to the topic, we have been creating a really good rapport with each other. i talk to her about my stressful days at school, teachers who i'm afraid of/annoy me, boy issues, my petty worries about being in korea, practical issues about living in korea, etc. it really is amazing how much difference having this type of grounding person makes. she also likes to talk to me about her work and life also. altho she has a daughter (my host sister is 16ish) she is always busy studying and not very talkative and i think 이모 sees me as more of a friend and confidante in some ways than her daughter (just bc i am older and girlier-like 이모). i am very lucky to have someone like her in my homestay here in korea.
a funny "parallel" in my life:
so my mommy got married when she was 23 and immigrated to america. i am 23 and have come to korea to live for a year. i know its not the same situation, but it's odd to me that at the same age we both made inverse trans-ocean journeys. maybe this is a sign i will get mature and learn a lot about myself and life and what i want and all that. or the pattern that i've noticed actually, is that the more time goes by and the more "mature" i get, the more i realize that i don't know anything. in a way i feel like growing "mature" is actually just a humbling process of realizing how little i know of the world and learning to keep that in mind when i process things. its just interesting. i've always known my mom got married at 23 but i never realized exactly how YOUNG that is. i still feel like a baby in so many ways (in/dependence, knowledge, experience, opinions, worldviews, open/close-mindedness). i cant believe my mom got married and left her home country with nothing but her new husband. that's crazy. she is a brave and amazing person. i only hope i can be half as 용기있어 (brave?courageous?energetic?) and resourceful in this coming year as she was when she first came to korea. i have so many different advantages in terms of support and resources, and yet i'm still a little terrified sometimes. well, here we go, time for the world to open my eyes. =]