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My First Korean Friend

19 Feb

I never had Asian friends in my school days. It wasn’t that I didn’t want one–it was simply the numbers were against me. I didn’t actually get to know any Asians until College, and even then, it was limited. It always felt like an outsider trying to get in.

After college, I needed something to do with my life. I wasn’t sure where I should go. My compass wasn’t set into a particular direction. In the senior year of High School I had written a senior thesis about anime. I had contact with an American CEO of a manga translation company from that senior thesis.

So I decided to internship for them. And once I was interning there, I found that I had finally found my ground. I grew. If the horror of college had taught that I knew exactly who I was, then this company for me was finding the direction I wanted to go with my life. It was as if a million doors were opening.

And there I found my first Korean friend. I learned to accept being Korean in a way I couldn’t learn before. I mean, I found that things about Korea weren’t that different from the United States. Sure there were differences, but there were still things I could be proud of. I learned a lot from her. I learned to br proud of my heritage. I learned more things about Korea and for once I felt like I truly belonged. She helped me. And for once I felt it wasn’t out of duty or paying back a favor. It was because she wanted to.

This freed me immensely and then I began to understand that Korea was just as I had thought. It wasn’t a war-torn country. It was a country with a rich past and present. And that’s when I started to search deeper.

I also began at that time talking to adoptive parents. I began to accept parts of adoption more and more.

If I knew who I was, I needed to also know how to grow. And having these two things helped me on that path.

 
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