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november

Another four pages of my calendar book has passed. As I flip through it, I see many names of people I love. On one hand, I’m confused as to how I managed to not exhaust myself but on the other, I can feel that my heart tank is extremely full.

November was spent mostly on preparing—preparing for IELTS (for the working holiday visa application), preparing decorations for Danny and Mandy’s wedding, preparing to fly out, preparing accommodations in Korea, preparing my heart.

The most exhausting part of it all was the process of making myself obsolete. As a leader of lights team at our church (we rent out a night club every Sunday morning), and as the only person who had official education in lights, I micromanaged a lot of things. But I really didn’t want it to be this way. I knew what empowerment looks like and it took a lot of conscious planning and training courses for my team to run totally independently. I’m just happy to say that the special Christmas service ran super smoothly and I was a proud retired mum.

November was also a month of endless films. Golden Horse Film Festival got me waking up really early or stay up unreasonably late. I only bought three tickets but Fanny got like… 7? I also know someone who bought 10+. I reasoned with myself that I am in no situation to be spending that much money.

Then November closed with an exam. Everyone said I’d do fine on the IELTS but I honestly wasn’t too sure. Everything about the exam was intimidating—it was early in the morning, one of the test takers didn’t make it on time and got disqualified immediately, they make you do finger scans, take an ugly picture of you, and the room was extremely cold. I never was good at exam taking and this one took a lot of concentration I was lacking maybe because I’ve been out of school for a while. Oops, oops, oops. But I came out in one piece and my scores were satisfactory.

Another unexpected occurence was a thanksgiving party hosted at church. The decor was on point, and I helped set the mood with lights covered with lots of amber gels. When I set down to eat, it took me straight back to McGill dorm thanksgiving meals where Aunt Sharon would decorate the tables with all her favorite autumn things and we were required to talk about three specific things we were thankful for. As I love to say, home is plural. I’m excited and terrified at the increasing number of homes I have yet to still accumulate.

december

It ends with a plane ride. The buzzing sound of construction and the loud commands of walkie talkies are somehow comforting. Airports are homes. Wizard of Oz never made sense to me, Dorothy is just a whiny, spoiled little girl. Announcements ring. I never line up until the last minute—who wants to be inside a plane early when you’re going to be in it anyways? As the engines roar a bass line of white noise and umma falling asleep next to me, I pray with a silent hope. You’re at the beginning.

Honestly I don’t remember what happened in December other than the rush of adrenaline preparing for Danny’s wedding, actually decorating Danny’s wedding, and the aftermath of it all. The toughest part of this wedding was the flowers—three gargantuan boxes of fresh baby’s breaths. Everything had to be done the day before and I had a troop of Kate, umma Kang, and anyone at the church office who had free time. Chaos ensued as we tried to call two Uber XLs then arriving at the venue to find that it was still confetti-ed and trashed from the event that just took place. The table arrangement communications were all wrong, little things here and there seemed missing, and I missed my bed terribly. But thanks to little wedding elves who love Danny and Mandy so much to the point of staying to finish up decors until 11pm then coming back the next day around 8am, this was probably the most enchanting looking wedding that I have ever decorated (no offense to my other ones, they all have their own adjectives). Let’s just say I slept 20 hours per night for the three following days after the wedding.

The map says we’re currently hovering over the southern tip of Korea. Turbulence shakes. My fingers are dry. Whispers are heard. I always emphasize that I’m not “going back” to Korea. I can never go back to where I only belonged in my vaguest memories.

Forty minutes till I land. It was just Christmas a few days ago. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I won’t be seeing Taipei 101 explode when the new year rolls around. Frustration and bitterness aren’t the words I’m looking for. It’s not even excitement nor happiness. Right now, I’m grateful with what it is right now—high above the ground, thankful that airplanes work and that I’m privileged to be even in one.

Peace and serenity. There’s a storm and I’m in the eye.

Thirty-five minutes. Captain just announced that it is -9C in Seoul. I hope it snows. I think I’ll be warm enough. I’ll just have to step out. Step out and dance in the snow.

PATREON

I always joked around saying that I need someone ridiculously rich to support me in all my endeavors (kinda like the Medici family in the Renaissance). Then I realized that this is still possible through the internet, though it’s not just one filthy rich person but a community of supporters backing me up. So yes, I am now on PATREON. You have probably heard of this platform if you follow Youtubers or indie artists of any kind. This amazing portal allows anyone to support me on a monthly basis which is basically a steady income for someone who is going through so many instabilities but still loves to create (like moi).

If what I do is pleasing to your eyes, ears, nose, senses, anything, please consider becoming one of my unicorns. I will appreciate you so very much.

www.patreon.com/amieko

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