Today I meet my friend to study in a coffee shop. We did not study, we started to talk about life and how our little adventure of moving to South Korea to study our bachelor degree was going to end soon. We are, ladies and gentleman, graduating. We have been living here for five years and it sounds crazy to think about going back home.
While talking about this five years I said to her: the amazing thing is that now I know I am a question, but an honest question mark. She looked at me and laugh, and after she just stayed quiet to let me explain. The thing is before coming to Korea I was sure of who I was (I was 19 so that also has to do with it), so sure that it was almost fixated in my head that I was a nerd, a bookworm, a good Christian girl, who does not drink, does not party and get good grades. Also the girl who is not attractive (least to say sexy) and is fat. That is who I thought I was. It makes sense the image I had of myself, because I acted like that (I was really uptight and I had a moral superiority complex) but that is not the end of the story. The few times I behave in a little bit different way (maybe I drunk or wanted to go party) it was so hard for my parents, friends or people I barely know to see me in that light (I lived in a really small city). They would say phrases like ‘you are not like this’ or said I was acting strange. I understand that its a normal reaction but back then I had so low self-esteem so I could not stand people questioning me. I try to keep this facade because that is who I was, right? If everyone thinks I am like that then I am that, right? Isn’t it?
No, it is not. It took me three years of living by myself in Korea, feeling lonely, feeling pain, feeling love, and the most important, finally feeling freedom (from the cage I created in my head) to see that I had been customizing myself to who I thought I should be because that was the way others saw me. It was painful when one night I started to cry and told that same friend that I did not know what I like (I think that is why I love Julia Robert characters). I cried and told her I have no idea what I like to do, what I enjoy or what Is dislike, because I accommodate to others all the time. I cried and felt the most stupid human being. But after I started to try to discover myself, bit by bit, experience by experience, heartbreak after heartbreak.
I discover I am argumentative, stubborn and I love carrot cake. I discover I in fact love to work out (before I always thought I am a nerd so of course I do not like to exercise) and I discover I can be sexy. I discover I am sexy and I love feeling sexy and beautiful. Some days I cannot feel like that but I am working on it. There is still a lot I do not know about myself, but I can say now that I am a question mark, but an honest one. I know I have to discover myself and Korea gave me the freedom (not that I could have not done it in my country but being a expat makes it easier) to explore all the sides of myself and be a sexy bookworm who enjoys to workout and loves carrot cake.