Korea Part 4: Transition


Transition does not happen overnight, but when a whole bunch of shit happens one after the next, it forces you to make quick decisions that hopefully powerfully align with your gut.

Brian was six years old when he came to live with us. My brother and Brian’s mom had separated years before, and the day that most of us hadn’t anticipated was happening. We were at my cousin’s house in El Segundo – no parents, just my cousin, brother, and me.

Suddenly, we had become the adults with the urgent need to be responsible, and we waited big-eyed for the next addition to our family. I held my breath as the social worker pulled up in her gray sedan, briefed us adults, then opened the car door to let a pair of skinny, tan legs crawl out.

He had a buzz cut and wore a baggy dark grey sweater. He had his chin pointed down and peered around apprehensively, timid and curious at the same time. He looked so much like my brother except with darker skin. He was thin.

At first, he didn’t say anything as he sat on my cousin’s huge couch and we all gathered around him. He kept his head down and was grateful when he was handed an iPad. Angry Birds ensued. As he played trying not to mind the three adults murmuring around him, peering at him and admiring how much he had grown, my brother began to renew their connection.

In 15 minutes, we were running around the living room and playing a ridiculous game of tag where the person who was caught instantly became a zombie after a melodramatic fall to the earth.

Not all airports have bookstores.

Spoiled from LAX’s masses of books, magazines, and snacks, I scoured Incheon Airport convinced there had to be one stand or food mart with something, anything, to read on the 5-hour flight back home.

A beautiful building yet lacking. Even more interesting or sad is that there’s no need. I looked around to see no one reading, though it’s hard to tell if people are reading or meme-ing in their death stares.

In an anxious mind, the land of multitasking, I FaceTimed my brother and sister-in-law, wrote my travel notes, prepared career-building reading for the flight, and sexted my boyfriend.

There’s a quote by Publilius Syrus.

To do two things at once is to do neither.

Though I’m pretty sure I got wet while working on my professional development.  

I’m not an opportunist, more of a human desiring machine-like efficiency with growing diligence and delivery. Another quote to reflect on is by DJ Quik.

Stay ready so you don’t need to get ready.

At half an hour before boarding, I reflect on my to-do list once I land: pack up to move home, start making money from teaching English online, find other work, establish my writing routine, start my real estate course.

The list will always be there, I realized yet again, finely aware of the death and rebirth cycled in so many forms recently. Then I boarded, wondering how to survive, first, the 5-hour flight without a book.