I recreationally peruse blogs of other English teachers in Korea to feel a private sense of comraderie. No matter where you teach, whether it be the titan that is Seoul or the humble Seocheon, the experiences are inextricably similar. I recently read a post where the writer laments on the loneliness of being here. She posits that she’s never actually alone, as she lives near teachers that are in the same situation as she is. But she yearns for friends that understand her innermost thoughts, her quirks and a kindredness that can’t quite be achieved here.
It’s not the loneliness of having no one, rather it’s the living in between new and old friends.
When I made the decision to move to Korea, I had taken this fact into consideration and had accepted it. I’d been through this many times before, and much too familiar with the drill. No matter how much friends say they’d keep in touch, I already knew it’d trail off eventually. That’s just how life works. I’m not naive about it.
While I’ve made friends here (people I will eternally be grateful for), I also understand deep friendship takes time and effort to build. I’m gone most of the weekends, and have a few hours during the weekdays. We can’t go through the same trials and tribulations that is the construct of a true friendship.
The one redeeming factor in the realm of building a solid relationship comes from Clint. He’s my best friend, my travel buddy and sometimes roommate. He’s great and obviously means enough to me to leave a big part of my life for, but he’ll never be my friend-friend. We can’t talk each other up while glittering ourselves before going out dancing. We can’t gossip about that girl in high school and how we still don’t like her. And he’s certainly too nice to tell me to “shut up and man the **** up” when I need it. The idiosyncrasies of a group of girlfriends built throughout 13 years just simply cannot be replaced.
Today, I miss my friends.