Two weeks into my Fulbright Year in Korea: Loneliness

Now that I am getting settled in to my life in Korea, I have more space to think about the future. And to miss home. Being here is a wonderful, wonderful gift, but the other day I realized that I’m not open to staying here long term. In my heart I know my future is back in the US teaching piano. (Although the desire to get a doctorate in piano performance faded after my first practice session here––funny how fleeting feelings can be.)

It feels strange to let myself love this place, to know that Korea will always hold a special place in my heart, but that I will ultimately leave it. The transience of life confuses me sometimes.

It’s been a long week. I not only feel physically exhausted, but emotionally weary. There is something particularly tiring about being alone in the midst of a crowd.

In the halls of the music school, on the street, on the crowded bus and the packed subway, I am surrounded by people but completely anonymous. I literally rub up against people, but am barely noticed. (To the point that an apology from a guy whose Smoothie King cup bumped my face on the bus actually brightened my day.) I also miss having someone to come home to. (I knew I would. To all my former roomies: I miss you!)

But, when I am weak, God carries me.

I’ve been having a lot of interesting and encouraging conversations with people these past couple days, my journal entries in Korean are getting longer, which is exciting, and the first movement of my Beethoven Sonata is feeling pretty good––I will never stop loving music. But without God, it would not be nearly enough.

I am ever comforted by this secret knowledge: He is jealous for me.



Posted by

Elizabeth is a teacher, preacher, musician, and writer. She has a Master's of Divinity and a Master's of Music, which represent her two great loves: Jesus and the arts. A half-Korean, half-white American, she spent seven years in South Korea teaching English. Elizabeth is a perpetual learner, a deep feeler, and a pursuer of beauty and truth.

Add your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.