It has been almost a month since I graduated and said my goodbyes to campus and many of my friends and mentors. For the most part it has been a good month – I spent a weekend in Virgina Beach with friends before saying another round of goodbyes, I spent a few nights in Myrtle Beach reconnecting with friends from high school and eating lots of desserts, I then came home and vegged, and then spent a week in Bahamas with my family. But what is often forgotten in the retelling of these memories is the low moments. It is important remember that life is a balance and that is what I hope for my blog to capture. I want my writing to be honest. In about two weeks I leave for South Korea on a Fulbright ETA and I will be faced with a new language, culture, and 60 new peers all preparing to teach English to elementary and middle school students. I don’t know what to expect in this adventure. I do know that not everything is going to be easy or happy, but I will do my best to be express my feelings sincerely and authentically.
When I first learned I was accepted into the program a good friend of mine encouraged me to write down how I feel and what I hope for before I leave so on the days I am stressed, home-sick, and over-worked I have a reminder why I’m there. While I have thought a lot about this I haven’t been able to articulate my answer. All I know is I chose to title my blog Mathew’s Realm because for the first time I hope not to live inside my head. For most of my life I have clung to the image of myself as a small kid with big eyes and wide glasses escaping into my imagination. For the first time I feel not afraid to live in the present and be seen. I want to call Korea home for the next year and I can only do that if I let myself be vulnerable and no longer hide in my fantasies. So I still don’t fully know how I feel or what I hope for, but I all can I ask of myself is to be try at everything and don’t be afraid.