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5 December 2003
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Korea Life Blog - Lucky Guy

I edited this a bit today, but I didn't want to delete as it kind of cracked me up. (Note to self: Don't post things online after drinking soju with co-workers, post them after you proofread in the morning).

As I sat here thinking about what to update, it occurred to me once again what a lucky person I am to be here in Korea. Unlike when I lived in America and was on my own after graduating from a University, twenty-one years old, shuffling from job to job, searching, always searching, endlessly searching for some non-existent ideal, I have no cares now, no worries, no dread, no paranoia, no disillusion. Not only do I wake up without that sickening feeling of facing another day of work, I wake up full of enthusiasm. I bounce out of bed as if I were a kid on a Saturday morning and the Smurfs were coming on TV. Everyday has the potential of being THE day. I wake up like a light being switched on, like a wild creature awaken by the scent of prey, hungry, yes, but not for food - hungry for life. Hungry to feast on the sun that pours through my little window. I have nothing to hold me back from whatever it is I choose to do. No commitment, no struggles, no endless endlessness.

I say all this because at one time I was so close to becoming part of the societal ball and chain that everybody else was choosing to become attached to that it scares me even in retrospect. Once I was so in love with a girl that the Earth was not the Earth anymore but only a place for my lover's feet to walk upon. What a relief that she broke my heart, left me cold, left me newer, left me stronger. Stronger than I ever was. I can't imagine waking up day in and day out, after the passion had worn out, to only the comfort of knowing that I have somebody that will bail me out of jail or be by my side in the hospital if need be. I don't need it, I don't want it, I will never exchange it for the open ended future I am still blessed to look forward to now.

A few years ago waking up was like starting the engine of a long unused tractor. I had nothing, no longing, no inspiration, no field of corn ready to harvest. What I had was a couple of cats, a divorced neighbor cursing in his apartment, and a mailbox full of bills, always a bill, more bills, every bill one can imagine: rent, cable, car, telephone, heat, hot water, credit card, student loan, you name it. And I had a broken heart, not broken all at once, but slowly, girl by girl, job by job, interview by interview. I felt I was looking at a dead end and I had no prospects. My friends were getting married, having kids, buying houses. Were they happy? At that time maybe yes. Now, I don't know - maybe they are, maybe they aren't. They're too busy to get online. But me, I am glad I have no wife and kids, no ex-wife and a custody dispute, no alimony, no child support, no anything that could keep me from taking off tomorrow for an excursion to the country of my choice, let's say New Zealand, if I were to choose. I wake up knowing that I could go to work or go to China, if that be my wish. I wake up full of life again. The struggles I endured to get to this point were hard, I didn't think I'd ever get here, but in retrospect they were well worth the price of admission.


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