Doing Myself Justice

The Catalyst

Not so terribly long ago, I met a man who thought he’d cornered the market on bitchiness. “Darling,” he said to me, though between his drawling accent and the copious amount of soju he’d consumed, it sounded more like “daaaaahling”.

“Darling,” he said. “You’re the baby of this bunch and you look like the matriarch. And you know why? It’s because you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not doing yourself justice.”

The Reunion

Later, one of my friends mentioned that the last time she got horribly drunk and sick was her ten year high school reunion.

I remarked that I had no intention of going to my high school reunions, if such a beast even existed. I kinda hated high school, and the only reason I’d really want to revisit those people whose approval was once so important to me would be to gloat over not needing their approval any more. Except that I still feel a need to gloat, so I probably haven’t kicked that particular habit yet.

Recently some of my friends left town, to be met again who knows when. We made the sort of impulsive tenuous plan that emotional moments tend to bring to the imagination. A five year reunion for us, a group of friends thrown together in this city, in this country, by whatever forces of chance, fate, and coincidences may be in play.

For that reunion, I’ll go anywhere in the world.

The Resolution

So the bitchy man was right. I wasn’t (and am not) doing myself justice. I’m repeating high school: seeking the approval of people who don’t care about me and dreading the walls I spend the better part of my current life inside.

I’m letting it beat me because I’m too tired to fight. I’m waiting, marking time until I can be myself, find myself, flourish again.

Just like I did for four years of high school. Walking on eggshells, petrified of doing, saying, or being something wrong. Hanging tight until it’s over.

But I’m not a teenager any more. I have a choice now, and I’m grown up enough to make it for myself. I thought I was hired because of what I can do, who I am, and where I’m from. If that’s not the case, if being me isn’t any more okay here than it was in high school, I can walk away.

I don’t have to mark time, looking older every day, not doing myself justice, not taking care of myself. Nobody else is going to take care of me.

I’ve finally made the decision to take control of my life. Instead of waiting for the time to pass, I’m getting myself out.

I’ll probably have more to say about Korea and my time here once the dust settles a little, but for now, I’m packing like a crazy person and wringing all the experiences I can out of my last week in Korea.

Time for a new adventure


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