It is Monday 5am Korean time, but my bewildered body clock and anxiety has stricken me awake against my will. I have just returned from a nightly prowl around the school. The stillness and darkness were palpable, making my lurking feel mischievous and delightfully naughty. My mission was to find the computer lab since the internet in my room is not working as of yet. As I secretly tip toed around the school unsuccessful in my mission to find that which I have already been shown in the haze of my arrival, I felt a twinge of excitement. It possibly is the first I have felt since loading the plan in San Antonio. As the flutter of excitement began to flutter away, I snatched it and held it in my cupped hands, tucking it away into my candy cane striped socks. I want to hold on to any shred of positive adrenaline that flutters my way.
I have dreamt in my multiple daydream escapades about the miraculous moment of stepping off the plane into South Korea, and feeling overwhelmed with happiness for having overcome adversity to finally achieve what I had set out to do. Although my heart did wiggle inside it’s ribcage hovel with a tad bit more animation when our wheels touched down, my reality was far removed from my fairytale vision. Of course in my vision, my dear darling hubby was with me making the trip generally easier and more enjoyable. In my vision, I didn’t have to push a cart while pulling my bag the twice the size of me through the very large and unfamiliar airport trying to avoid crashing into other travelers as I difficulty maneuvered the cart with one arm all the while lugging the body bag behind with the other arm. In my vision, someone waited as I exited the baggage claim to welcome, hug, and empty my pockets of the anxiety. In this vision, the phone call I made to my homecoming party was received and did not end in confusing Korean with no beep indicating to leave a message. After hauling my luggage what seemed a mile, I exited to airport. With sweat dripping down my back, the explosion of cold air was welcoming, but only for the span of 60 seconds after which I hastily found my jacket to ward off the icy wind. found my bus counter, paid for my ticket and loaded yet another mode of transportation. The hour and a half bus ride flew by and as I slugged off the bus, the sweet sound of my name “Vanessa?” was said. Two fellow teachers greeted me, took my bags and loaded everyone and everything into a taxicab. Relief swept over me, as did exhaustion. Tucked away in my candy cane striped socks is still the fluttering of excitement. Tomorrow with any luck, other friendly flutterers might flutter their way either to my heart or my socks.