Despite teaching only 1 actual class/hour this week, I somehow slept the rest of the week away and did almost nothing productive. But more about that in my upcoming health entry. This one's about JOY.
I can't believe that the year is half over. And I don't mean school year or my year in Korea (which is actually almost completely over) but the year of 2008. The year is almost HALF over. It's almost JUNE. And then June will be over. And then 2008 is halfway over!!! Which to me is CRAZY!!!
I don't know, I just feel like it took a really long time last year to get to June and this year it's just FLOWN by. It's not like I'm busiER than I was last year or anything or had less to look forward to. But these past 5 months totally feel like they just happened without my knowing.
I think another reason it feels like this though is that this "year" really started in March. January and February nothing much happened other than going home and that was kindof the "beginning" to 2008 for me (nothing else really broke up 2008 from 2007 the way winter break and spring semester happened last year to demarcate a new year). So technically, I feel like it's been 2008 for only March, April, and May. And so clearly that's like half the actual time that's passed in this year.
So anyway, now that 2008 is almost halfway over, I want to explore something I noticed a few days ago.
I was on the bus coming home from swimming I think and the bus lurched and I almost fell. And the funny thing is, I laughed. It was *funny* to me that I was swinging around on this bus and almost fell. It *amused* me. And then I thought,
Wow, there was a time when I responded to almost everything and anything with laughter and not bitterness or cynicism.And this was a ridiculously crazy insight for me. But it's true. I used to be a person of joy. A joyous person, if you will. And I feel like slowly, bit by bit, the last two years of high school, college, and now KOREA has done what they've can to take the joy away from me. AND I WANT MY JOY BACK. So I've decided to reclaim some of the joy that's floating around out there for me and my life.
There really was a time, not too long ago, when my initial reaction to most anything (for better or worse) was ALWAYS laughter. Things amused me, entertained me, made me happy, made me laugh. Ridiculous was the order of the day. Even bad news was just part ridiculousness and another story to tell later on.
Bus-lurching and near falls in Korea usually elicit my, "I HATE KOREA, STUPID KOREAN BUS, STUPID KOREAN ROAD, STUPID KOREAN DRIVER, STUPID FALLING IN KOREA" response and I KNOW KNOW KNOW that in America, I would've just laughed. In fact, other than occasional eye-rolling on "bad days" I usually smiled or giggled about minor daily mishaps. Especially on the Duke buses.
A little proof that I went from a "Happy" country to an "Average" one. (so my changes in happiness are a bit justified...)
Maybe there are little changes and triggers here in Korea, I've never been rudely pushed and shoved on the Duke buses (okay, maybe a FEW times post-tailgate when the bus was full of drunk kids - but being drunk is an excuse). I've never had anyone on a bus YELL at me to get out of the way and mutter how stupid I am for blocking their way. So perhaps there are reasons my reactions have changed, but still.
I was KNOWN for my joy. My ridiculous laugh. For how easily and lengthily I laughed. People would laugh at my laughing. I was always the harbinger of *GOOD NEWS*. I'm not saying I didn't have bad days and bad moods. Everyone has those. I'm just saying that Korea has almost fundamentally changed my outlook on life and my daily attitude for dealing with life. And THAT is unacceptable.
If anything, Korea should've challenged me and made me stronger, better, wiser. But there's NO WAY and NO HOW that I'm letting Korea, or anything else for that matter, turn me back for the worse. Life has just been too precious and amazing and everything I've had to do and deal with has meant too much to me for me to give up and retreat.
I DO believe the world is a good place. That happiness is there when you look for it. I love the sun and flowers and puppies and babies. I love butterflies. I love water and aquariums and bridges. And I'm going to bring that joy back. I'm going to laugh and smile when things happen, because life is a beautiful thing and should be no matter where I am or with whom or under what circumstances. Okay, so if I were stuck under a building in China right now because of the earthquake maybe I would feel differently, but because I'm not, because I've been so blessed and lucky, that's all the more reason why I should continue fighting the good fight and spreading the joy. =)
Here's a super-cheesy image to end with. *coughgaycough* (I know, I'm a horrible non-PC person but I'm from new jersey and that's how we do).