Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Pepero Day, Veterans Day, and Birthday to me.

Usually birthdays are somewhat awkward for me. Generally, the day feels the same as any other day of the year and my age, the same as all previous adult-ages. This birthday, however, felt different.  Being in a foreign country as I hit my mid-twenties surely added to the effect, but what stood out most was how much I have grown over the past year, maybe two. This growth felt worthy of celebrating. In my entire life, never have I felt this confident, this wise, this sure of every decision I make and my ability to do whatever I put my mind to. Never before have I cared less about potential failure or whatever others might think of my actions. Sure, I still have insecurities, like all people, but I don't feel like these insecurities will ever define who I am or what I do, as they may have in the past. Get ready for major cheese, but I feel like I am a strong, independent woman. No longer do I feel like I'm still a 20 year old girl, and that would be the reason I finally felt different this birthday. The past two years threw some pretty intense hurdles my way, just up until my breaking point, but never past. I've grown, I've learned and I'm just ready for this new year.

November 11th was not only my birthday, but one of my students birthdays, Veteran's Day in the states, and then, here in South Korea, Pepero Day. Pepero Day is similar to Valentines day, only instead of shitty Barbie and Rugrats cards, students (and lovers) pass out the tastiest of treats: bread-like sticks dipped in chocolate and sometimes rice krispy treats, peanuts, sprinkles, etc. Unfortunately, my school canceled the celebration of Pepero Day because it is "too commercial." Certainly true, but come on, they have me teaching about Christmas, Santa, and elves this week...

Despite Pepero Day being canceled, I was welcomed with kind birthday wishes, gifts, and company on both Thursday and Friday from co-workers, students, and friends. The best gift of all was receiving a spare key to my bike lock and unlocking my bike from its dwelling outside my school where it has been stranded for two weeks. To my surprise someone had attempted to burn their way through the lock, but fortunately, were unsuccessful. So what did the pesky thief do? They stole my blinkers and a little heart sticker placed on the bike by the previous owner. Way to be! 

Unlocking the bike meant a ride I've been meaning to take since I got the bike: biking to The Han River, Seoul via the Anyancheon River. I DID IT! About 35 miles and I was there, rode along the river, and back. It was freezing and my nose running uncontrollably, but it was so incredibly invigorating.Especially when I stumbled upon a Samul Nori group playing along the river.

Samul Nori on the Anyangcheon from Lana Wright on Vimeo.

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