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8 Months of Grieving

It has been about 8 months since I moved to Korea, but it still feels like I just got here. I’m trying not to feel so upset about leaving my friends because I’ve had to do that a handful of times in my 16 years of living… but this time is different.

Normally when I PCS to a different place, I will obviously be upset for being forced to leave the friendships I made, but I’m always able to find my footing in the new area and begin to make it my home. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Korea and the friendships I have made here! But for the first time in my life, I am continuing to grieve the fact that I’m not with my friends in Virginia.

When living in Virginia, I met a group of people that made me feel grounded and appreciated in a way that was different from any other friendship I have ever had. When I was with them I felt completely confident, it was as if the rest of the world stopped and I was genuinely content with myself and completely in the present. Moving during the summer of ‘21 was the hardest move ever. I remember bawling my eyes out on the plane ride here because it felt like a part of me was being left behind.

I have made connections with people here, but I notice myself closing off on people because of a wall I’ve put up. I try so hard to “move on," but I’m constantly reminded of my friends in VA. Lately, I’ve been reminiscing about the bike rides we used to go on around this time of year. One time in particular when we biked all around town and it was SO windy, we went on top of this hill near my house and we jammed to music as cars passed by.

The nonstop heart-ache worries me and those around me! I tell them it's fine, but I know that it really isn’t. I’ve tried crying it all out, talking about it, even trying to be friends with people who remind me of my friends in VA. None of it works. And I’ve accepted that.

I’m taking this 8 month grieving period as a sign that I have made some lifelong friends - and that's pretty reassuring! I used to apologize to the people around me when they see me get upset over this, but I’m done apologizing! The healthiest thing to do is to sit in this feeling and be at peace with the fact that no one is ever going to be like those friends - and that’s what makes that friendship so unique and so much more heartwarming.

It’s been about 8 months since I moved to Korea and even though I still miss my old friends, I am learning to appreciate the new people and new experiences! Yes, this was the hardest move I’ve ever done, and it won’t be the last. But hey, that is the beauty of being a military BRAT!


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