Emily – Korea/US

Contributor on ‘2020 – A Year’s Worth of Ruminations’


January 31, 2020


1. Today is… sucks. The grammar of that sentence pretty accurately reflects my mental capacity today and also my lack of motivation to fix my mistakes, or anything else. 

It’s my first real day in Seoul during this vacation and you know that Seoul puts me in a weird mood. Yesterday a 편의점 (convenience store) attendant was rude to me. Today I almost got denied entry to a university campus because I was a foreigner (no tourists allowed, probably because of coronavirus, but the signs have no indication of the reason). Then, I got to the spot on campus I had lugged my big film camera to (and was excited to practice shooting with it!) and the whole thing just jammed. So, i made my way back to the gate of the campus where the security guard was still exclusively harassing non-Asian-looking people. 

Currently I’m sitting in a coffee shop that I chose only because the one I really wanted to go to has inexplicably turned into a sketchy bar, waiting for my endlessly-supportive boyfriend to return from Daiso with a screwdriver to open up this camera and see if I can avoid returning it (and paying exorbitant international shipping prices). 

I promise, I’m normally not a negative person. Seoul just brings it out in me.


2. (Based on my responses to tinder messages)

Today was not my day. I traveled kind of far to take pictures with my new camera and it broke immediately. So I’m eating my feelings, haha. But it’ll be fine, I’ll just go to sleep and wake up better in the morning. 


3. Good: yoga everyday, even when you don’t want to. Just having some kind of consistency in your life. 

Having a supportive partner or friend who knows when to indulge your bullshit and when to pull you out of it. 

Trying new things. New restaurants, new foods— go the whole mile and get a new hobby! Sometimes you can feel stuck when things are too consistent. You can’t count on anyone else to make things interesting in a way that’s right for you. 

Positivity. This one needs work sometimes, but overall I think I am a person who always tries to find the best in things. 

Bad: naps. They’ve gotta go, but they’ve become a staple in my life. 

Depressive cycles. One thing goes wrong and then the whole day is fucked. I need to learn to let things slide sometimes. 

ANXIETY gets out of control when I’m put in a position where I feel I’m responsible for other people’s happiness. Having my boyfriend here is GREAT but also I feel pressure to make things worthwhile for him. It’s hard to sleep at night when your brain won’t shut up about all the things you should be doing.