I worry about a lot of things, but mostly I worry about making my opinions public to the world. There is a part of me that comes up with so many stories I want to write and the opinions I have about certain things, but there is a deeply rooted concern about publishing those ideas online. On the one hand, I desperately want to talk to people about these topics and ideas, but on the other, I also don’t want to be crushed by public scrutiny. I know, I’m not perfect. No one is. Everyone is problematic, and as long as I grow and learn from mistakes and acknowledge them, it doesn’t seem like enough. I’m a huge advocate for learning about new things through dialogue and conversations, yet I’m really terrified of putting mine out into the universe. It’s easier to do it in person, but everything always seems so one-sided on the internet. There are obviously going to be trolls, assholes, and everything else. On a rational level, it’s easy to know that it doesn’t matter what strangers say to you, but it never truly changes how I feel. I just hope that one day, I’ll become think-skinned enough follow-through.
It’s been close to a month since I’ve posted, but I promise I’ll be back! Maybe. Readjusting back to American life was odd and I miss S. Korea like crazy. I miss the convenience of public transport, convenience stores, endless skin care stores, street food, blending in, friends, trying new things. I forgot to post about a lot of my experiences, like eating live octopus and going to language exchange meetups. But, I think that’s okay. I’m realizing that I don’t need to document everything I do on social media to know that I’ve done those things.
So, because I’m in S. Korea, I haven’t been keeping up with the news as much as I probably should. In fact, my mom was telling me about how N. Korea set off another missile, but since no one around me reacted, it just didn’t get on my radar. Otherwise, a lot of the news I have been getting has been off of my Facebook, so my only question is, why am I seeing more news about Trump’s misspelled Tweet than the bombing in Kabul? Like, I get it… he’s the president, but like why is this news? Why does this show up more often than the reports that Trump may back out of the Paris climate agreement?
I understand that the rise of Trump has allowed for the rise of hate speech and all of these other things, but is a misspelled word really worth something to jab at? Like, Trump does plenty of other things that we could criticize, but we choose to criticize him because of a tweet? Like???? I just don’t understand. In case you didn’t know, below are some links so that anyone who stumbles across this post can read some of the things that are going on beyond a tweet.
For the past two weeks, never could I have predicted that I would go to a funeral. Never would I have predicted that I would try to explain the differences between gender and sexuality to someone at a funeral. Yet, here I am posting about another experience that I would have never predicted: somehow I stumbled upon the American K-Pop group attempting to make it big in South Korea.
Trying to get out of the negative headspace that I have been in for the past few days, I decided that I needed to leave my apartment and go for a walk. I went to Cheonggyecheon stream to walk around and just think. I didn’t exactly realize how long it is (it’s like almost 5K one way), so I walked and kept walking. When I eventually got tired of walking, I left through one of the side steps that are available, and I had no idea where I was. I continued walking, and then I heard a concert that was going on, and curious as I was, decided to go look. Turns out, it was EXP Edition. It’s essentially a K-pop group created by a Korean MFA student at Columbia to explore and push boundaries on the ideas of masculinity and transnational pop culture. Of course, people are pissed that this group exists. This is mainly because a K-Pop group can spend years training before they can even be considered ready to perform and represent their country on the world pop stage. Some argue that this is a form of cultural appropriation, while others would say it’s more of a cultural exchange. Which, to add more complexity Kpop has been criticized for appropriating black American culture pretty often.
There were Koreans and non-Koreans in the crowd, some of which seemed very enthused that this group was performing. To my surprise, they spoke to the audience in Korean, but not to my surprise, they weren’t particularly good at it. Of course, I’m not exactly one to talk about whose Korean is good or not, but it feels… weird. While doing many of my interviews and reading past research, Korean adoptees are often harassed and berated by Koreans for not knowing Korean. Of course, I can’t really compare the two experiences because they’re completely different from one another, aside from the fact that both adoptees and this group cross international borders, nevertheless, it still feels weird? I don’t really know. I still can’t believe that I just randomly walked by them. I still can’t believe that they exist? The universe is so strange sometimes, but seeing this Kpop group actually shifted my thoughts from the negative spiral it was going down to just amusement.
Welcome to my blog, travel journal, brain dump, and general inner workings of my mind. I have always wanted to start a blog, but for a multitude of reasons never did. Now that I’m older, although not much wiser, I feel a lot more comfortable in expressing myself and would like a general outlet to dump all of my thoughts. You may be reading this and think, well why don’t have I have a journal? I do, but it’s more for a stream of thought process. This website is intended to push me as a writer and thinker about myself and my positionality in the world. Follow me on my adventures and non-adventures if you want and watch me struggle through life as the picture below demonstrates wonderfully (Thank you, Sally, for the photo).