Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Need for Solitude...

Departure Bay beach, Nanaimo, BC, Canada.

Ask anyone around me and they will probably say I am an outgoing and social person. Truth is, my husband is, and I play along.
Yes I do like to visit friends, chat, spend time together, etc. But more often I like, no CRAVE the moments where I am alone, just me and my thoughts.
Back home in Canada I grew up on an island. The beach was always nearby, or forests with towering trees and dripping greenery. Quiet. Solitude. The chance to think, look inward, clear my head.
Some days I hate noise. No music, radio, TV, chatter for me please. I want to just be quiet and alone. But here in South Korea it can be hard. There is constant noise where I live, 24hours a day. People are always around, and I must smile and pretend to be social.
I like it when Tom goes out drinking with his friends. It fills his need to be social and spares me. It gives me a chance to try and gather my thoughts, regroup, find some calm.
I think sometimes that is why our marriage works for us. He gets what he needs by going out and so do I.
But at times it is not enough. I need more. But now, I have a husband and a baby. It is harder to find those moments, and even more so when Tom is not around and I have Thomas to care for all by myself. I tried to go to the park, but there was still too many people, too much noise, and me pretending to be social and acknowledging all the strangers who ooh and aah over Thomas and his adorableness. I tried to go out, have a drink, listen to my friends chat and relax. But nothing has worked.
Writing this blog does help, I used to write so much. I used to pour these emotions, these thoughts, this introspection into fiction, trying to paint with words. I have a love of alliteration and descriptive writing even now, but I rarely indulge it.
I have been searching for a place to go here in Korea. Bucheon doesn't offer me any respite, Chejudo was disappointing, and Muuido just whet my appetite. I've read about other small islands, had friends talk about them, but usually it seems that they are touristy and full of sight-seeing tourists.
A few years ago I went on a trip with my former co-worker Jared and one of my adult students. We went to Ansan, and visited a temple and a lake in the countryside. I found a peaceful place but alas, I was with people and unable to take the contemplative time I needed.

The last time I really had that feeling of calm connectedness was when I was home to get married, when I walked and showed Tom the beach I grew up with. We went early in the morning and we just sat and watched the water. It was enough and he seemed to understand that I needed the peace.
But now I am stuck. How do I find what I am searching for with a husband and a child who need me? I hope we can leave Bucheon this weekend and try, but Tom works a lot and Thomas doesn't enjoy long car rides. If we do, hopefully I'll be able to get my mind back into a place that is comfortable for a while.


  1. it's called moving to vancouver island, yo!

    i haven't been so happy living somewhere than i have here in victoria... and let me just say that i am quite partial to kelowna and i love victoria even more

    canada misses you!


  2. That is our goal right now, to get ourselves financially set and move to Victoria. Tom loved it and I always have. Glad to see you are happy there, cause I KNOW you love Kelowna! Hehehe..
    We miss you guys too, hope Thomas and I can visit again soon!

  3. Hey! It's Alana (from the Expat Parents Korea website) - I've been checking out some of your blog posts! It's so great to read about another foreigners parenting experiences in Korea!! I know the feeling completely of wanting some solitude and there's absolutely nowhere! We live right next to a pizza delivery place and the motorcycles are zipping up and down out street until 4 AM! Ahhh! Anyway, we'd love to meet up sometime in Mokdong! Let us know whenever it suits you!

  4. Hey! I've just been checking out your blog (I followed the link from the Expat Parents Korea site...I hope that's okay!). It's been really nice to read about another foreigner's experience of raising a kid in Korea!! And I totally agree with you on the lack of solitude! Sometimes I take Ethan to the department store and he falls asleep in the stroller. Well, sure enough just as he falls asleep some worker in the grocery store starts yelling about the great deals on bulgogi and wakes him up!

    Anyway, we'd love to meet up sometime in Mokdong! Let us know whenever it suits you!

  5. SHUT UP
    that's seriously your goal?? OMG LOVEEEEE IT!!!

    i loooooove victoria!
    my work, erm another story.. but the city.. <3 <3 <3