Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I am Rapunzel

I was an expat wife living in Seoul, South Korea for four years with four small children and a husband who worked all the time.  In the beginning, there were many days that were so very trying, I sometimes went into another room to cry so my kids wouldn’t see my tears.  At times, they would just come pouring out of my eyes without warning. I had left many things behind.  Things I did not even know I valued like Mom’s nights out or Tuesday “diner night” with kids (and a glass of wine with the other moms) or phone calls to my family OR Sunday NFL football. The twelve-hour time difference made communication tough and I started living for responses to my mass e-mails as I was very lonely.  I had a housekeeper, a driver, four kids and a husband and I was desperately lonely and alienated. We lived in a beautiful two story apartment right on the river and I would often stand by the window and just stare out at the lit bridge with the thousands of cars crossing.  I felt like the Rapunzel of Korea.

I came back for the first summer to stay in Connecticut as we had kept our house. There was a great camp for the kids and I could see friends and family. My husband had to stay back and work in Korea.  Everyone talked about how strong I was and what a big load I had to carry. During this time, I thought a lot about living so far away and how different life was going to be for a while.  I went back to Korea after the summer with a new sense of purpose.  I was going to learn the language.  I was going to make Korean friends. We were going to travel around Asia – and if my husband could not get the time off, I would go for short holidays with the kids and then bigger trips with him. I would run and even enter a few 10k races.  My list was long and I felt motivated.

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