Adam: A New Year

Jan 09

Adam: A New Year

The year of 2010 has come and gone. It was Bethany and my first year of married life together. Most people spend this time getting to know one another in their new house or apartment, unpacking the seven toasters they received at their wedding, realizing that roommates who you sleep in the same bed with can be a new experience. However, we spent our first year in South Korea, in a tiny studio-flat, realizing that we were no longer in the comfortable, wide-open spaces of Arkansas.

We have a few weeks left in our contracts, until we take about one month off of work, move to another new apartment, take a trip to Iceland with Bethany’s parents, and start at a new branch of my school together.

For the past 6 or 7 years, I’ve always written a kind of “year-in-review” blog post. This one won’t have the teenage “coming-of-age” realizations that the others had. I’ll turn 27 in less than four months and I’m finally realizing the ways of becoming an adult. I almost hate uttering those words, knowing that my parents, and more to an extent their parents, would roll their eyes reading those words. My generation grows up at a much slower pace. Out of all the negative I relay home about Korea, Korea has taught me to grow up.

We took a trip home for Christmas to see our friends and family. It was the year that Christmas somewhat “died” to me. The magic was merely a glimmer and not a shining light. The time of catching up, sharing stories, and relaxing with friends and family finally turned into an obligation. Even if it wasn’t for our situation of only being home for a few days, I think Christmas would still have felt like somewhat of a chore.

Every get together we went to, I was reminded of the time we live in today. Everyone had to be somewhere else other than the place they were currently at. We were in the same boat. We had become the Danny Tanner of itineraries. In my mind, I was constantly thinking of who all else we needed to see, what all else needed to be bought. The moments to soak up our “vacation” were few and far between.

I spoke to my grandparents for a total of maybe 20 minutes; my brothers maybe an hour. There was no family kumbaya around the Christmas Tree. We got a little taste of it in Mountain View (which seems to be the only place in my life where I’m still able to get this), but it was cut short due to other obligations.

We saw as many friends as we could in the smallest window possible, leaving us both exhausted to the point of wanting to get back to Korea; to get back to our normalcy. If we had a choice, we would prefer to take our friends with us, but getting to see everyone reminded me of seeing a movie sneak preview that won’t be released for several years in the future.

In the year we’ve been in Korea, we’ve gotten to do some amazing things like live in a completely different culture, see a part of the world we never would have otherwise, make a few friends, and make a little money. But, as I said earlier, the best part of Korea was the growing up aspect. We’ve had several moments when Bethany and I both thought, or even spoke the words, “I want my mom.” We became each other’s moms….and dads. All we had was each other. Our parents were on the other side of the world, unable to help us other than a care package with our favorite candy or a stick of deodorant. Korea is helping us grow up together…

When we were back in the States, everyone asked us about Korea. About 99% of my comments were negative. I wanted to just write a sheet of paper of bulleted notes on the things I hated about Korea. I became a broken record. It was hard to come up with positives when we were back home. Too many little things become annoyances over here that tend to always overshadow the bigger picture we’re a part of.

Writing this retrospective of 2010 is hard without rehashing the negatives I feel about Korea. But it’s a new year. Even though I spoke several obscenities under my breath going to the store on a Sunday afternoon today, I’m going to try to think more positive about our situation of being over here. You are what you make of it.

We’re not in America with our friends and families. We’re in Korea. Time to accept it.

…And embrace it.


We got to see a lot of our friends the last 2 days we were home. Here are some pictures of the people that make Arkansas always worth coming back to. (more to come later…..I promise)

"most" of The Crew

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