Monday, September 27, 2010

Musings from my rooftop.

Today I was feeling overwhelmed from work. It was our first day back to school since a 6-day break, and just like the students on their first day of class, I was a little stressed. In the last week, my body's been fighting a cold and insomnia. My brain's been struggling with a rapid switch in how my teaching job is going, and I think my heart is actually beginning to register this place as my home, not just an extended trip.

Luckily for me, the remedy for my rough start today was truly a breakthrough from an entire month of my stay in Korea. I'll try not to build this up any further; some of you may be envisioning something much bigger than I am about to describe. I did not do anything crazy... but I finally listened to me.

I told myself to go to the store, buy my groceries, and take my kim bap up to the roof to watch the sunset. And, of course-- to bring my camera.

Sitting on the roof with my dinner, I saw my neighborhood in a way I had never seen it before. Everything was even more incredible to me than before. The other rooftops were very different from my own, with brick, potted plants, and dirty rugs; they were all so full of character. Right now, I am much like my own rooftop... I'm fresh in my world, and there is a lot of potential. There's also a lot of empty space-- room for holes to be made and filled, cherished things to be left, memories to be made. I've got a lot of figuring out to do.

One thing I've been so thankful for this week are the Ulsan sunsets. I don't know if this is a fluke, but I didn't notice many of them during the summer season. Perhaps it is the angle of the sun, but it seems like this week was the beginning of some warm, vivid evenings as the sun slips across the Pacific. There are a few things I identified as something I miss from home: sunsets are one of the biggest. So tonight, as I witnessed the most beautiful sunset I've seen in Korea so far, I definitely felt more at home than ever before.

As I scoped out my 5-story panorama, I also noticed there are more churches around my apartment than I thought. You can spot churches easily in Korea because many have red neon crosses atop the steeples (which I find kind of ironic). There are glowing crosses all around me. It was really beautiful to see them shine brighter as the sun set.

By the time I finished my dinner , the sun was saying its goodbyes to the Jung-gu neighborhood, and I was saying hello to my new life here in Ulsan as a strong, confident and single adult. Away from family and loving friends, but never alone or without my own sense of family and belonging.

It was a very good night.
Share |


  1. That sunset was spectacular and your photos are much better than mine haha!

  2. Sheesh!
    That SKYYYYYY! Glad you are experiencing sunsets that make you feel at home :-)