Hello all. So it’s finally happened. I have moved to Korea. I’m just settling in and I’m making my little room feel as much like my home as possible. It all still seems a bit surreal and not quite real. Possibly more so because, at the moment, the campus is practically empty as its not term time yet. Which means I am currently feeling very alone.
Now I value my alone time. In fact, I often choose to be alone because sometimes I really just don’t want to be with people. Peopleing can be exhausting. But it’s my choice, I choose to be alone. Right now, I find myself alone not by choice, but by circumstance. I haven’t chosen to be alone.
Feeling lonely and isolated is normal I think when one moves to a new place. And it can be overwhelming at times. However, I feel like my loneliness will help me to value my companionship a lot more in the future. As well as allowing me to really appreciate the kindness I have been shown so far. For example, every night so far I have been bought dinner by someone else, and many of my seniors check up on me to make sure I am eating well and that I am doing okay.
I also think that by experiencing loneliness now, will be able to be more empathetic with my fellow foreign neighbours. Because I am staying in a dorm room on the campus of the university where I am teaching, I will be living alongside foreign students at the university and other Korean student who live far away. I hope that, while I am here, I can help them not to feel quite so lonely.
We never really know how someone is feeling. Loneliness can be a heavy, suffocating burden and can often prompt further feelings of inadequacy and sadness. I think for this week I want to encourage you, wherever you are, to reach out to someone who might be lonely. Whether in person or via text or social media, simply asking “Hey, how are you?” can completely turn someones day around. Little, random acts of kindness and friendliness can go a long way.
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