Settling into Korea, the Pyeongchang Olympics, and Holy Shit It’s Been a Year Since I Started This Blog
View from the top of Ansan Mountain, located about a 20 minute walk from where I live. Insane how nature and city clash in Seoul.
Photo by @elliottpak
Written by Elliott Pak
This article was initially supposed to be just a quick little peek into my life in Korea. But of course, it turned into something much more. Me saying I’m going to write a short article is like me saying I’m only going to have one drink. Who am I kidding?
If you don’t have the attention span to read the whole thing or you’re short on time, do me a favor and skip down to the Pyeongchang Olympics section and start there. That’s where the real juice is.
It’s been over a month since I moved to Seoul.
It’s terrifying that it’s already been a month. And it’s terrifying that it’s only been a month.
The amount of things that have happened to me since I’ve arrived could fill a book, and at the same time it went by so ridiculously quick that I get that sinking feeling in my chest when I think about how fast it’s already passed.
Chaos would be an understatement.
Moving to Korea has been one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life, and not one second of it has been easy whatsoever. It’s been amazing and stressful and insane and fun and magnificent and frustrating.
But what did I expect, right? I’m not complaining. I love it here. My inexperienced, one-month-in ass is loving it here.
I don’t have many pictures. I probably won’t be able to recall a lot of stuff. But I’m going to try to summarize a few aspects of my life here and a few safe-for-work stories that have happened in the past month, in as concise an article as possible. Just to let people know that I’m alive, that I haven’t fallen off the earth, still grindin’ – just in the Far East now.
Anyway, to answer a few of the initial off-the-top questions that a lot of people seem to be asking me.
-“Wait … You speak Korean? I didn’t know you speak Korean.”
I don’t. Being Korean here and not being able to speak Korean is a whole special kind of fucked up, but I’m learning. My life in Korea right now is basically a culmination of every single time any adult has ever told me “you’ll regret it when you’re older if you don’t do it now!” during my childhood, and then me saying “okay!” and then ditching Korean class to play video games or smoke pot.
Hey ma! Yes I regret it. A lot.
-“Are you seriously a teacher? I could never see you as a teacher.”
Yeah me neither. Here I am though. Had you told me a couple years ago I’d be a teacher I’d tell you to kick rocks, but now that I’m here with over 120 adorable psychopathic students … it just feels right. Feels pretty natural.
-“Anything you miss?”
Strong coffee. Still have not received a clear answer to why all the coffee here is just expensive hot water. Also stop snapchatting me In-N-Out. I get it. You get to eat In-N-Out. I do not. I fucking get it.
So anyways, back to the mini-update, the I’m-not-dead post, the near-non-existing amount of evidence I have that I actually live here.
Let’s Start With the Food. The Fucking Food.
I’m not going to start at the beginning, I’m going to start with the best.
Do you guys remember a couple posts and many months ago I put a little excerpt about what the best food cities I’ve ever been to was? And it was kind of hard for me to decide, but narrowly made the decisions?
That list doesn’t matter any more, the only thing that matters is Seoul.
(Just trying to be dramatic, of course those places matter)
Yeah I’m Korean so I might be biased but I’m literally living in food heaven over here. I totally knew to expect amazing food over here but just the sheer volume of top quality here is ridiculous.
Y’know a main ice breaker with many other teachers (or people just in general) is “Why did you choose to come to Korea?”
And my answer is usually, “Well, y’know, to connect with my roots, and the food.”
And then they laugh, then they see my facial expression hasn’t changed at all, and then we stare at each other blankly until they come to the realization that I wasn’t trying to make some weak ass joke.
The food. I’m here for the food.
The jigaes. The banchan. The gogi. The gooksus. The bbq. The chimaek. The gimbap. The mandu. The ramyuns. The galbi. The kimchi. The samgyeopsal. The donkasu. The bibimpaps.
I could just talk about this whole post about food, which I won’t do now. Maybe in the future. But I will do something I’ve never really done before…
Put some pictures and videos!
I lost my phone a while ago, the quality of the pics go down when I upload them here, this obviously isn’t everything…whatever disclaimers I can say to let you know that these aren’t even scratching the surface of Korea. Click through them, they have captions.
These next few are at the Naryangjin Fish Market. Crazy huge warehouse with tons and tons of vendors selling the freshest live seafood. You go, some salesman accosts you, you haggle down and get what you want, then they take you to a little restaurant where they prepare it for you. Me and my buddies Eric and Dylan got a huge slab of salmon sashimi (with REAL wasabi), barbeque’d abalone, and of course, live, still squiggling around octopus. Videos below. So delicious.
So squiggly and strong and the suction cups still worked. Such a weird experience. But it doesn’t get fresher maaaaaan throw some wasabi on there and some gochujang, straight fire.
Again, not even scratching the surface. You’ll probably notice I have no pics of KBBQ and other common traditional Korean foods because every time it comes, I can never bring myself to waste even a second of enjoyment by taking out my camera to take pictures when I could be eating.
Don’t know how food bloggers do it, man. A whole special kind of patience.
You can follow me on Snapchat or Instagram (@elliottpak) if you’re the kind of person who likes to molest food pictures with their eyes.
Korean food, man. If there’s anything that could keep me here forever…
Do I need a whole ongoing article about the kids? Yes probably. So I won’t give too much away here. Man these kids are crazy. And smart. And creative. And intuitive. And innocent (some of them are just exiting the innocent phase, turning into moody irritating middle schoolers – who am I to judge though, I was the fucking worst back then).
But yeah, they’re great. I’m learning so much about them, learning so much about myself, learning so much about child management, it’s awesome. A huge culmination of everything I’ve learned, twisted in a wonky way that I never would have even thought about before. Kids are crazy. They’re little puzzles you gotta figure out.
To get them to actually be interested in learning, to have fun doing it, to play nice with others, to help them connect topics to real life, and to keep them engaged over a three hour class (and this is an academy they attend right after leaving a full school day, the education culture in Korea is nuts), it’s this huge puzzle.
And the reason why I keep saying it’s such a puzzle is because I’ve managed staff teams in the hundreds, I’ve managed college interns, I’ve managed people twice my age. Yeah there are intricacies about it, but it’s so straightforward. Adults are easy. Give’em fairness, breaks, money, and a purpose, and you’re basically good to go.
Children, though, Jesus H. Never know what they’re thinking. My appreciation for actual teachers has skyyyyyyyyyrocketed since I’ve been here.
I’m just a foreign English teacher, so I only get a glimpse into the life, but schoolteachers in general do not get the praise and respect they deserve. Or the money for that matter. Or the support system.
Really makes you think what could be if America put more money and time into education. It’s so important, yet somehow still keeps getting brushed off. Pretty unbelievable. The jobs these teachers have to do to try to inspire and entertain and teach these growing little monster’s minds, it’s a huuuuge job, especially when they aren’t given the resources they need.
Ah but that’s all I’ll talk about teaching for now. I’m sure I’ll come to some revelation in a future article once I get a little more experience under my belt.
At some point I’m going to do a post or Instagram story titled “inside the mind of a bunch of little psychos” and show you some of their projects they’ve made me…man oh man. They are crazy. Why do I have so many projects involving death…
So fun quick little story I promised myself I’d throw in somewhere, it’s not crazy in any way. At least compared to crashing motorbikes in Vietnam or running with the bulls in Pamplona (just realized I never published that one, maybe one day.)
It starts in the most interesting of places – the Korean immigration agency. (sarcasm)
Let me paint you a picture.
Imagine a big DMV.
Now imagine it bustling as annoyingly and disorganized and as smelly as possible.
Possibly kind of damp? I’m exaggerating, you get it.
Now imagine you don’t’ speak the language, and you need about 40 of the EXACT forms to get the EXACT right thing (basically just an ID card) or you get kicked out of the country. To anyone familiar with the Korean dealio, it was my Alien Registration Card for an F4 Visa. (If you guys listened really closely, you heard people familiar with the situation go “oooooooh fuck that sucks”).
So I make this appointment at the immigration office, and I’m halfway there, and realize I have none of the right forms. None. Didn’t have a single correct thing printed or anything. So I basically already chalked up this whole process as an L, but decided to go there anyway and see exactly what I needed for next time because the lady on the phone was not being very helpful.
I take the green line metro, get off, transition to the purple line, yada yada. Oh also my hands are full with big bags of shit I bought because I’m dumb and bought the wrong stuff for my apartment. Just painting you a picture of how burdened and stressed I was at this point. Had to go straight to work after too.
But, this is 2018 Elliott.
This is POSITIVE Elliott.
This is CHIN UP TO THE FUCKING SKY Elliott.
This is KOREAN ELLIOTT MOVING TO KOREA TO BECOME MORE KOREAN Elliott.
You know, maybe, someone will speak good enough English to help me find what I actually need.
That dream was quickly dashed as I walked in.
She looked at my papers, said in Korean I didn’t have anything right, I had to go to yet another Korean agency to get two other Korean forms that she didn’t even tell me what were for … Basically I was completely lost, and no one really wanted to spend the time of day to explain to this dumbass why or where he needed to get such and such.
She told me at the very least, there was a public computer downstairs where I could at least print out the other stuff I had, i.e. birth certificate, visas, passport pics, yada.
So sweaty me (it was like below freezing, why am I always fucking sweating) runs down to print my stuff. I’m utilizing my above average Microsoft Office skills, and I quickly print what I needed. It felt nice to actually know how to do something for once. A line was starting to form behind me. I collect my things, stand up, and just as I do, I feel two hands grab my shoulder.
Two ajumma’s (older Korean women) had grabbed my shoulder, and started begging me in Korean to help them with their forms and such. I guess they saw me quickly handle that old desktop that must have looked like a foreign object to them.
My initial gut reaction was to say no, no, no, ahneeyo, sorry. And dip.
Didn’t they understand how stressed I was? How lost I was? How probably not capable I was to help people at that point?
But one thing I’ve been learning to do is not just say the first thing that come to mind. To wait, and think before speaking. Stay empathetic in all situations, so to speak.
They looked very kind, and very lost. Lost-er than me. And as a lone foreigner who had just moved to a new country, your boy needed some good karma points. And friends, for that matter. (Do karma points reset when you move to a new country? I feel like it does)
SO FUCK IT.
Let’s try and figure this out.
I sat back down, explained to them that my Korean was really bad, and they nodded their understanding, and we got to work trying to interpret these files they had.
We worked for a solid 20 minutes, and finallllllly got’er dun. (I was basically setting some future appointments for them for the immigration office).
When we finally finished, we were literally all cheering at that little table. I swear the line behind us was cheering too. (or booing us and saying to hurry the fuck up, I don’t really remember)
They were so thankful, they begged me to go to lunch with them, and I ended up spending an extremely pleasant afternoon with them full of delicious mandu (dumplings).
Pics or it didn’t happen?
And as a plus, but they even translated all the forms I needed, and even took me to the second agency I needed to go to, which eventually lead me to figuring everything out that day. The day I had chalked up as an L became a win.
Love those kind of unexpected events that happen, y’know? Those kinds of things, they don’t really happen when you choose that initial “nah, nah, nah, fuck that” route.
Taking that slightly less comfortable route, especially when you know it’s the right thing to do, I have found, usually always leads to better experiences. New friends. Funnier stories.
What is life without these pleasant stories where shit just ends up working out in the end?
I don’t have their contact information and will probably never see them again, which was the main reason why I wanted to throw this little story in. Maybe they or someone who knows them will stumble upon this? Who knows. Cheers ladies.
The Pyeongchang Olympics, the Pride of Nations, and the Ultimate Dreams of Immigrants.
Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet.
Funny, it seems but, by keeping its dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared
You see you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals.
On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity.
We would all love its will to reach the sun.
Well, we are the roses, this is the concrete –
and these are my damaged petals.
Don’t ask me why, thank God, ask me how.”
-Tupac [The Rose That Grew From the Concrete, Vol. 1]
So a couple weeks in, after my initial training, one of my fellow teachers Noah and I decided we had to go to the Olympics.
Shit like that doesn’t really just “work out” in life very often. Like who decides do move to a new country at the exact time the Olympics were being held a couple hours away?
Had to do it.
We bought our tickets for a few events, and on the morning of, we got on the bus and took a ride a couple hours out to mountain city of Pyeongchang.
The atmosphere was electric. So much energy and happiness and smiles all around. It was like a really amazing festival, with countless attractions and events and activities happening in every direction you looked.
It was such a universally diverse collection of people from all over the world. You’d just be walking down the street and hear like 10 different languages, all cheerful banter deciding where to go next or what to eat or a passionate nervousness for their country to do well.
It was a really unique event that really made you stand back and look at a lot of different things, because there is really nothing else like these international events like the Olympics or World Cups.
We’re talking almost every country in the world, sending their most prized athletes, the people who represent them, the people they cherish – to compete in a beautiful, good-hearted competition.
Yeah, maybe for some of the bigger countries like America and Canada and others, we send like hundreds of athletes, and most of them aren’t household names. But these other smaller countries, every single person in that population knows their athletes inside and out. And feels connected and represented by them. Just such an honest pride in what their country produced.
Not saying the bigger countries don’t have that pride, but I guess there’s more of a concentration of it for the smaller countries.
You can bet every Korean knew when every Korean athlete was competing. Every single one of my students’ eyes light up every time I talk about Kim Eun-jung, the cute Korean girl with the glasses who lead the “Garlic Girls” of Korea in curling (ended up with silver), or any of the speed skaters who won their respective golds.
Man those “Garlic Girls” didn’t even win gold and they’re straight icons over here.
That pride. That swelling of pride, all centered in PyeongChang, it was AMAZING. I’m not just talking about Koreans, or Americans, or Canadians, all of which had huge followings over there, but every country, all proudly repping and screaming for their athletes.
It was just so cool, I’m sorry I can’t come up with a better description of the feelings of seeing so many people, so full of pride for their countries.
Me and my buddy Noah attended the Germany vs. Finland men’s hockey game, and it was just electric. We were down near the glass in the Finland section, and they were going nuuuuttsssss.
It was like me, just being proud to be in the vicinity of that pride. Does that make sense?
My buddy Noah who I went with is a vlogger! Check out his episode on the Olympics.
As for my own pride,
you can believe I went fucking nuts when Chloe Kim brought it home for America. Not just America, but for Korean-Americans. But not just Korean-Americans, but children of immigrants in America. But not just children of immigrants in America, but immigrants anywhere in the world.
I am an immigrant right now. I am an immigrant in Korea.
But they don’t call me that. For some reason, they call me an “expat.”
Straight up, it’s some weird backwards shit.
It’s some weird backwards shit that some people are degraded and labeled a negatively-charged word such as “immigrant” when they are escaping poverty, the terrors of their old country, or simply risking it all for a better life – but when my well-off, privileged ass comes over to live in another country, I don’t get called the negatively charged word “immigrant” – I get called the swanky “expatriate.”
Immigrant (noun) – a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.
Expatriate (noun) – a person who lives outside their native country.
I’m not a language expert or anything but that sounds like the same fucking thing to me.
So why do less fortunate people get the lower status label while I get the more “worldly, cultured” label?
I’m not actually asking, I’m making the point that yes, I believe it has everything to do with race, skin color, privilege, and the status of both the country you’re coming from and going to.
Man, if only people really understood how much sacrifice, frustration, hate, and misunderstanding really lied behind that word.
I did this “immigration” through choice – a mere experiential adventure that I fully chose to do for myself. If I really wanted to dumb it down, I could basically say I did it because, well – I fucking felt like it.
And it’s fucking hard. In so many small ways that stack up against you, in a system that isn’t really made for you. To be an outsider, you can never just expect things to work out for you the way it does in your native country. It’s just hard.
Put the bureaucracy and paperwork aside – the social aspect. Especially in Korea – they have their own very manicured, judgemental, social structure that doesn’t make it wholly easy for a “Gyopo” (an outsider Korean. often has a negative connotation) to so easily fit in. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving it and have met a bunch of great people, but really comes easy. It’s tough.
And all that is me – an “expatriate” by choice.
So now put your shoes in the feet of real “immigrants.” Real immigrants that have gone through poverty, hopelessness, or the horrors of their old country, fighting tooth and nail, just to give their kids a better life. A better future.
I can’t even imagine what they had to go through, and not just the little inconveniences of bureuacracy, the abiding of pointless rules, the paperwork – but the ridicule, the pain, the constantly being brushed off as someone who doesn’t belong – someone who doesn’t deserve to live the same good life as other people who did nothing more than be lucky enough to be born a certain race or in a certain place – by people who have no idea how hard it is to learn a new language and the discomfort of being that person who doesn’t understand anything – all while bringing along confused children who want nothing more than to play with their friends and be accepted.
It fucking breaks my heart to think about that stuff.
Obviously now there’s a lot of immigration issues in the world, and I’m not just trying to denounce one side – it’s a really complicated, multi-layered issue.
But it’s heartbreaking to see people so easily brush off empathy and to not even give two seconds to consider what it actually takes to be an immigrant or to be a race or skin color that automatically starts off a couple steps behind everyone else.
I guess, understandably, it’s really hard to put your feet in those shoes if you’ve never gone through anything like it.
My parents went through that shit. My grandparents went through that shit.
My own family and blood went through that shit.
I won’t even get into the horrors that my father’s father ran from in the Korean War – never seeing his family again – watching his friends killed in front of him – the concentration camps – and coming out the other side a humble, ever-smiling pastor who, after all that, had the grit to bring his family to America.
But just to be in America as an outsider. Just to try to create that American dream. Just to try to be a proud American like those around them.
My dad tells me all the time about the discomfort, the ridicule, the bullying he went through when he came here, just a confused high school kid going through puberty, not knowing what the fuck was going on. His parents weren’t any less confused and thus unable to help him traverse the life of an American immigrant high schooler.
He made plenty of mistakes. But reacted, learned, and progressed – all on his own.
He eventually got a job in IT when he didn’t even speak the language, and slowly but surely built a life. It was just him, from the bottom, doing everything he could for my mom, and then my sister, and then me.
And he fucking killed it. My mom fucking killed it. They live in a big ass beautiful house in Orange County and provided an amazing childhood and education for me and my sister, leading me to pursue a million hobbies and passions and interests all over the world.
They drink expensive wine on Sundays in a house with a huge backyard containing a pool and basketball court and play fetch with my pup Daisy. They host parties for their family and loved ones almost monthly and serve whatever delicacies they please.
They are the picture of the American Immigrant Dream, all wrapped up. But it’s not one that will ever make the headlines.
It’s just the American Dream for us.
For my family, for my parents and their parents – I want to be successful and represent what could happen even in tough circumstances. Not even that I really had to go through those tough circumstances, but for my parents who did have to.
I think I’m on my way, but who knows who will ever hear the story, you know? I’m still a mess when you ask me what the future holds for me.
I have a blog with a few readers that I have all the appreciation in the world for, but there are still so many people in the world who still don’t understand, who still couldn’t give an extra care, who are still so callous to the “immigrant” – all because they haven’t heard the right stories.
It’s like every sitcom with an immigrant episode ever – The hardworking, homegrown man wants to protect his country against outsiders, until he finds out one of his friends is about to be deported, and then all of the sudden he sees it all through a different light. Now he can empathize. Now his view got a little wider.
I’m not taking a side for or against immigration – but wouldn’t it make sense if everyone could see both sides of the coin before forming rash, deeply entrenched opinions? I mean I’m sure the argument goes both ways.
But there are so many stories that have never been heard, never been shown in the right light. There are so many people who don’t have a platform to tell people the things they’ve seen.
But this is why Chloe Kim winning that gold was so important.
What she did was on the big stage. She got to represent that story, that American Immigrant Dream, on a worldwide scale. She got to represent Koreans, Americans, Korean-Americans, immigrants, the children of immigrants, and I’m sure a whole lot more – just a big group of natural underdogs.
At age fucking 17.
Like me, she was born in California, so like me, she probably didn’t have to suffer the whole immigrant story.
But for her parents, she got to represent the pursuit of not only a better life for immigrants and their children, but to be the absolute best. Pure excellence. Straight up the rose that grew from the concrete, all starting with immigrants with hope for a better future. Being the best in the world. Youngest woman to win an Olympic gold.
Her dad was an immigrant, even quit his career, just to help her train as a snowboarder. And they achieved greatness.
It’s amazing. It’s a story powerful enough to give any immigrant, any refugee, anyone stuck – the hope of a better future.
You can probably tell I got pretty emotional about it.
The word “immigrant.” It has such a negative connotation to it. It’s so fucking backwards. It shouldn’t even be a neutral connotation.
It should have a heroic connotation.
A connotation that represents the underdog, fighting against the odds, knowingly going through systems that weren’t created for them, and people constantly trying to hold them back – all to give a family a better future.
In every immigrant, there is this deep-rooted fear that no one else will ever get to understand. A fear of the unknown, the fear of being an outcast, the fear of loneliness, the fear of not succeeding – but it’s a fear that every, single, immigrant swallows, and says…
Yeah fuck it.
We’re going for it.
More Than Just Sports.
It’s so, so, so amazing to see something like sports bring people together. Man, I really feel for people who don’t enjoy sports. The stories, the passion, the inspiration that comes from sports from all over the world, there is absolutely nothing like it. The best screenwriters and showrunners in Hollywood couldn’t write the stories and drama that are born from sports.
I mean as I write this, March Madness is having more insane upsets than I’ve ever seen, we’re seeing the greatest quarterback to ever hold a football, more foreign stars are joining the NBA and MLB than ever before, and that isn’t even scratching the surface.
We’re seeing so many people bet their entire lives on being the best athletes they can be, being inspired by those who have done it before them – escaping poverty or worse. Representing their families, their hometowns, and themselves.
And then you got some dumb Fox News bitch telling Lebron James to “just dribble,” rather than share any thoughts outside of basketball. Fucking ridiculous.
I don’t care what side of politics you land on – to tell someone to stick to being a one-dimensional character with no outside opinions and passions besides their job (nonetheless a job they’ve achieved absolute greatness in) – And to not share it, to not try to help create positive change, to not attempt to do something good with the platform they have…
I swear some people just really commit to being a useless obstacle in the progression of life.
But I don’t want to end this article on a negative note.
Sports isn’t just sports. Just like music isn’t just music. Or art isn’t just art. Or writing isn’t just writing.
Anything anyone puts passion and hard work into… it’s always more than “just” what it is. It has the potential to create greatness, inspiration, and change.
It has the potential to be a story worth telling.
And to anyone that doubts that, well…they’re just average people, full of doubt, who likely spend their time waiting for yet another budding soul to hold back to make themselves feel better about their own fears and insecurities.
I’m super about those athletes who come out and say that they understand they’re just playing a game – but that it’s more than a game. Those guys get it. Those guys who go out in their community and do something good with their platform.
Because to little kids, it’s not just a game. It’s hope and enjoyment and escape. It gives them something to shoot for.
One small story of courage or hope or passion can inspire anyone, from an elementary kid on the other side of the world, to someone who’s already seen the better days of their life.
So keep looking, and help bring those kinds of stories to light. Make sure you share them. We’re lucky enough to live in the age of viral media, but a lot of amazing stories still need that extra push to be heard by the right people that it was meant to inspire.
Pay inspiration forward.
Reflections and Conclusions and Holy Shit It’s been a Year Since I’ve Started This Blog
A fucking yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar since I was being all sick and tired and lonely in Indonesia.
A year since I ate breakfast overlooking beautiful rice paddies, with the simple thought that – hey, people I didn’t expect to be nice to me were being pretty, uh, nice to me, and that I should expect better from every encounter.
A year since I canceled my plans for the day so I could write it down.
A year since I was so scared to share my thoughts with people, but said fuck it and pressed post.
Everyone knows it, but nobody really knows it:
Time flies by.
It flies by no matter what. It flies by if you’re sitting around doing the same shit every day that makes you unhappy. It flies by if you’re with the people you love, having a great time. It flies by if you’re hopping around the world living it up, thinking you’re “grabbing life by the horns.” It flies by when you’re struggling to make ends meet or hoping to find your life’s purpose. It flies by when everything’s going right or when everything’s going wrong and everything in between.
It doesn’t matter. Time doesn’t give a fuck about what you’re doing or what you think or how you feel. It always wins.
But there’s something very important that you can control. Your growth, your memories, and the stories you choose to make. And none of those things are easy or comfortable things to create.
When a year passes by, you are very much in control of looking back at the year and going, holy shit. I did a lot this year. I grew a lot this year. I changed for the better this year. One year ago me sucks compared to today me.
I finally got to say all those things to myself this year, for the first time. And let me tell ya, it feels damn good.
It stings how quickly it went by, but not much I can do about that.
I want to share one last video, my favorite little short film of all time. This guy, he just explains it perfectly. Just perfectly. Better than I ever could. I watch this video once a month, at least.
Do stuff my friends. Be aware of every day of your life. Be scared. Let life exhaust you by the end.
And have some good fucking stories to tell.
To every single person who has ever read a word of what I’ve written,
who’s ever laughed at a joke I’ve said,
who’s ever contemplated anything with me,
who’s ever messaged me with their thoughts on something I talked about,
who’s ever simply “liked” a post,
who’s ever silently read my writing and never told me,
who’s ever complimented me and pushed me to keep going,
who’s ever supported me in any way shape or form,
who’s ever just been a friend to me for whatever period of time…
Thank you, thank you, thank you so much. I may never be as good at expressing emotions in real life as I am typing it on the stupid computer, but you have no idea how much it means to me, and I never would have been able to pursue anything beyond “Elliott Pak’s WordPress” had it not been for you.
So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
A lot of shit has changed in my life but it really wasn’t any one big thing. Just a whole bunch of little things layered and stacked on each other, culminating in a really beautiful process that’s led me now to Korea.
One of those very important layers has been the support of friends and family and strangers all the same.
I really hope something I’ve written or done has helped piece together a layer in your process as well. That’s just about all I could ever ask for.
Til next time.