This is my fourth October in Seoul, and as always, it has so far been a fine month indeed. Autumn is by far the best season to be in Korea, and after this year’s brutal, never-ending winter, a non-existent spring and reportedly oppressive summer, it is a relief to ease into a season that is not trying to break any meteorological records.
But for me, this October is radically different as it is my last October in Korea. I’d like to tell you where we’ll be heading next, you and me, but I’m afraid I don’t have that information just yet. While this October should be about grabbing every last opportunity to see, do and eat, I am instead playing a serious game of Wait and See while packing for a mystery destination. I am stuck somewhere in between — between jobs, between countries, between two vastly different options and several thousand question marks. And it’s hard to prepare to leave a place when you’re not exactly sure where you’re going. I can tell you this much: it’s either going to be a whole lot of ocean or a whole lot of mountains.
The remarkable thing is that I am completely ok with it. I mean, yes, all this waiting is mildly nerve-wracking, but there’s no sense in pulling out all my hair or taking it out on my fingernails. A bald, fingernailess Stephanie is not going to speed up time, nor is it in anyone’s best interest. So I run a lot, I make too many banana smoothies, I read, I organize, I clean, I give things away, and I tie up loose strings knowing that in a month or so, the view out my window will be completely different. Basically, I’m doing a lot of this:
You may now brace yourselves for the onslaught of countdowns, 4-year retrospectives, and sappy, sentimental nostalgia. Because that is how I roll. Are you ready?