In Progress… Part 1 – Physical Changes

– COMEBACK – (as they say in the kpop industry). I have been away for quite a while, but I’m back! The reason for my unannounced hiatus is that I am on exchange in South Korea right now and honestly, I just got distracted by e-ve-ry-thing: so much to see, so much to do, so much studying for uni that had to be done (that I’m not used to), and oh so many people to meet and hang out with. Don’t even get me started on the nights out (or some days after). BUT I’M BACK and I intend to stay active. So HEY, HO, LET’S GO.

I’ve been in Seoul (South Korea) for quite a while now. Today 100 days exactly (yes, I’m keeping track). You know how people always say that if you travel abroad for a longer period, you return as a different person? Well, I get that heavy extent now. I thought that my perceptions of Korean culture would change regarding different cultural standards, but honestly, I never thought that my own behaviour, values and interests would change. Nor did I think that I would get closer to getting my life together. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am still a giant mess. Not even solely self-proclaimed… I can support it with tons of new facts from the previous week alone… However, I feel less bad about it. Let me explain.

[Side Note: This was gonna be a huuuuuge post. It was a summary of thoughts I’ve developed over four entire months. A lot happened. A lot changed. A lot had an impact. I’d like to share at least some of those thoughts. Therefore, I’ve cut it up in 4 sections about Physical Changes, Home Sickness, Education, and Passion. I’m gonna upload one section every few weeks to make it a bit more readable. I hope you enjoy!]

Physical Changes

Just a sunny day in uni
Just a sunny day in uni

I got two piercings in my ear and might get a third while I’m still here. When I’ll go to Spain in summer I’ll get another one, together with a very special guy haha. I also dyed the bottom of my hair blue. Like, full on blue. I’ve been wanting to dye my hair for years, ever since I got my completely natural hair colour back actually. You may call it a fashion thing, self-expression, or subcultural influence (whether that’s from seeing people at rock concerts to K-pop music videos). You can call it whatever you want. I have no idea what the biggest influence is. All I know, is that I really wanted it. So I saved up money, and went and did it. Over six weeks later, I’m still immensely happy every time I see my hair, whether on a picture or just falling off my shoulders. Isn’t that enough?

Thinking about the piercings: I didn’t want them for years. I actually never thought I’d get any, even not in my ears. Actually, it all happened really spontaneous. But. I absolutely love it. So why not?

I always feel as if I have to argue why I make certain choices. I feel that I have to provide rational evidence to why every decision I make is justified. Sometimes this becomes pretty exhausting. What about stuff that you just feel? What about making decisions based on that gut feeling instead of reason? What if “because I want to” and “because it makes me happy” could actually be valid reasons on its own? Doing what makes you feel good, while it doesn’t hurt anyone else, is great. It makes you feel good, empowered, and free, and has no “real” negative consequences. The only thing holding me back was the idea that other people would judge me, or that I would show of a certain image that I do not intent. Basically, that’s fear of your peers (and family and job opportunities to some extent). Should I actually be afraid of that? I never thought about this. Who am I supposed to convince? Who am I supposed to explain myself to? Why would that be necessary? Would it make me a lesser person? No. Would people think differently of me if I didn’t explain myself? Or better yet, would people I care about and who I love think differently about me because of choices that make me happy and don’t harm other people?

Yeah, all of that took me weeks to realise. It might sound really obvious, but I didn’t act according to this, even though I’ve liked the idea for a much longer time than just a few weeks or months. Let’s say lesson learned. Obviously this does not only apply to changing your physical appearance. Stepping away from feeling necessary to explain myself also influenced my behavior. What I find right and wrong is not necessary the same as what is said to be appropriate behavior. But more about that in the fourth part.

We’re all works in progress I suppose. Every stage has its own side of beauty. Let’s enjoy every little bit of it.

– Katrin –

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