It is so hard to leave a place you’ve called home. I remember, as a kid, being sad to leave campsites we occupied for two days. We are presently in the stage in our move from Seoul to Seattle where we count our remaining time in days and sometimes hours. We are all walking around, smiling but carrying around this foreboding feeling in our stomachs. It is a feeling that sharpens your senses. We notice details like we did when we first arrived. We are re-appreciating everything. In three days we will roll down this hill past this “Goodbye”, but unlike the thousands of time before, it will hold much more meaning.We have lived a blessed life here on the SFS campus and it will be a painful trip to the airport but the nine and a half hours across the Pacific will be just the time we need to refocus our attention on the joys of Seattle and the love that awaits us there. It is time to go; That is clear. But, as anyone who has done this knows, it is not easy. Our goal these next few days is to maximize time with people we love and appreciate all our blessings, every hour we have left.
Maybe this is something we should do all the time.
This will be the last post. I did start this blog as a possible way to continue documenting our lives online. Who knows if that will actually happen. I sometimes think that approaching our move to Seattle as foreigners would be wise: maybe help us to marvel at this incredible city, to be more adventurous, to explore and appreciate more, to forgive flaws more quickly and laugh at crazy things more easily.
What a blessed life we live. Thanks for reading.
About six years ago I posted about a yard sale we were having in Seattle as we prepared for our move to Vietnam. Last weekend we did it again, and I was reminded of why I hate yard sales.
First, there is the embarrassment of all the @#!& you have collected over the years.
Next, you have priced something that cost you $40 five months ago down to $2 and the lady on the other side of the table is trying to talk you down to $1. You dig your heels in and feel ridiculous when she walks away.
Finally, and this hits me every time, you are emotionally attached to much of the @#!& people are now pawing over.
I was walking to work this morning past a table in our apartment building where people put things they no longer want and are giving away. Many things from our yard sale that did not sell are there and on top was a boy’s plaid, button down shirt.
For some reason a flood of memories hit me and I jumped on my Flickr account. Sure enough, I found this photo from many years ago of Trevor in that same shirt.
Moving is emotional in so many ways. It is so painful to say goodbye to people you’ve connected with and places that hold strong memories. But also it is the permanent feeling of closing a chapter in life, with all the good and bad that happened in it. We will miss this place, just like I miss that little guy in his plaid, button down shirt. But I would never trade what I have now for that. We have so much waiting ahead for us in this next chapter. For now, I plan to appreciate every step this last month we have here in Seoul.
Last night Colin was back on stage. This time as one of the evil witch’s minions in our school’s faculty pantomime. He and his best friend Zander got to act together one more time and they were amazing. It is such a treat, as a parent, to see your child do something that comes so naturally and they enjoy so much. As an added bonus, Trevor (you can see him in the cast photo) worked in the booth helping with the audio/visual side of things. Two more shows this evening, then we all head out to celebrate!
We have begun the long process home. Hard to believe we only have 4 months to go. Tickets are purchased, moving companies are giving us quotes and we are even starting to intentionally use ingredients in the kitchen, with a goal of throwing away as little as possible. Thankfully we have not begun the emotional side of the departure; we’re fully present, enjoying our friends and this place, eagerly awaiting the Spring Break visit by Ben, Molly, Will and Isaac!
Last May we walked to our favorite Korean BBQ spot (there is a photo in the second slide show). I brought up that we were coming up on the last year of our contract with Seoul Foreign School. We went around the table and each person, for their own reasons, agreed it was time to go home. This was not an easy decisionWe spent last summer sharing our news with family and friends and it was so great.
Now we are going through the less-great task of slowly saying goodbye to this place. While all people we tell completely trust and support or decision I don’t think they fully grasp why we’d choose to leave this rather ideal teaching, learning and living situation. Here is a slide show to give them a peek at why we are feeling drawn home:
I imagine there will also be some people back home that can’t fully understand why this transition might be so challenging for us at times. So, here is a window into what we’re leaving and what we’ll miss so badly next year:
I have always thought that I want to live my life excited about where I’m headed and sad to be leaving where I am. That means the time here was spent well, with good people.
We have been planning this trip for about 15 years, always waiting until we live closer to Australia. Turns out, unless you are New Zealand, you are never “close to Australia”. Seeing as this would be our last year in Seoul, we took advantage of our three week Christmas break to visit my cousin, Pete’s family in Brisbane. It was an incredible trip that went by all too quickly. Here are some highlights:
It is incredible what can happen in only seven months. I am cutting out the vast majority of it but these are the photos I have.
Since our last post we…