Standing In Front of You (Winter Intro Pt. 1)

You say it’s easier
Alone and undisturbed
You said yes and danced before
And got your feelings hurt
You say most days you’re good
It’s not so bad this room
What chance it’ll rain today
Even though it’s clear and sunny
And you fight it, so hard
How to tell if it’s real or not

Take a breath and listen
Open up stop wishing
All that you’ve been missing
Standing in front of you
Everything you’re fearing
All the walls you’re building
Take a chance your reason
Standing in front of you

Standing In Front of You by Kelly Clarkson


As from my previous blog post, it’s safe to say that I definitely went from a high to a deep low all because of one person… even though I swore that there is no justification for my feelings. Writing that previous blog post only really served as a way to straighten out my thoughts–to remind myself what is right and what needed to be done. But hey, writing a blog post never really solved any of my problems. Even though it seems like I’m being a completely logical person in my blogs, well, not really. Remember that really old post I wrote ages ago about shipping? Yeah, I never really followed my own advice. No wonder I’m still an messed up person… until I somehow realized something:

I’m such an ungrateful idiot all this time.

Now let me tell you what had happened a week or two ago.

That Wednesday, after denying my heartache and laughing it off, I went down into a slump–getting upset and hating everything about how my life had turned out. It wasn’t just because the guy I liked got a girlfriend that I was upset, it was also because everyone seemed to be easily making deep connections and I can’t. And even if I do make friends, they always leave me right after (just like Yukari 언니). Is there something wrong with me? Am I really a cursed nomad–set adrift in the wind, unable to gain any roots? Am I really cursed to roam alone forever? When will I stop drifting off? When will I ever settle down and be with the same people or stay in the same place? I crave familiarity. I am sick of all this change. For once I’d like my life to be predictable. I’m sick of all the plot twists and all the drama. I’m sick of feeling lonely. Why can’t I have friends?? And so my thoughts were immersed in that familiar negativity. Oddly, even though everything seemed to change, my loneliness still won’t leave me alone. No matter how many new people I met, I still felt alone.

 

Then, Thursday evening came (Bible study day), and the pastor suddenly invited himself into my Chinese friend 종언’s house. Of course, the poor kid was surprised since he never expected the pastor to just hold our little meeting at his house. Even though I was still feeling heartbroken, I forced myself to go out there and meet them. And as we were there in 종언’s house with the pastor, 종언 lightened up and asked me, “Hey there’s that international students party thingy tomorrow and there’s free food. If you’re gonna come, wanna go together, 누나?”

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And I was like “Sure, why not?” He’s one of those people who brightens up my mood so I decided to go with him to that party thingy. Besides, I could use some cheering up after my dream boy unknowingly broke my heart.

So the next day after starting the day horribly, riding my bike in cold weather and going around looking for shoes on sale, came back to my room all tired and upset. Then not able to hold back any longer, I just broke into tears. Why isn’t anything going great for me? Why does my life suck so bad? Why is it so cold? Why isn’t anyone here to give me a warm hug? Why isn’t anyone here for me when I’m upset? I’m not asking for a boyfriend; I just want someone to be here for me! I want someone to want me and to care about me! God, please, I’m suffering here!

While I was crying, suddenly my phone rang. It was 종언. I immediately wiped my tears and remembered, Oh right, I was supposed to go to that party with him!

“누나, where are you?” he asked over the phone. Ugh, ever since he started calling me “누나” I just don’t know what to feel about it. He’s just one year younger than me and he never called me “누나” back then. Now every time he calls me that, I feel like I just got myself a freakishly tall baby-damulag little brother. Even though he acts like a kid most of the time, he actually takes care of me more than I take care of him. Really, why even call me “누나”…

“I’m at home,” I replied, feeling like an idiot forgetting the time we were meeting. I’m late.

“Well, do you wanna come or not?” he asked again. “Coz if you don’t want to–”

“I’m coming.” I didn’t want to break my promise with him.

“Okay, I’ll wait for you so we can go together.”

And so I went along with him that afternoon even though I was pretty emotionally and physically drained. I also promised my small group leader and very caring big sis, 진솔 언니 that I will attend the church overnight hangout thing, but after everything I just feel like I don’t want to go. I just want to rest after this party. Nevertheless, I already promised so I have these two energy draining events to attend in one night when I barely even have any energy in the first place.

As 종언 and I were walking and talking together on the way to the party thing, surprisingly I felt so much better. Then I realized, 종언 has actually been such a good friend to me for the past few months. He probably doesn’t know it, and I probably will never tell him, but I was really happy when I first saw him in church that summer. He used to be this idiot weirdo in class back then who liked to joke around with me, but ever since he broke up with his girlfriend and started attending church, there was this whole new side to him that was just, um, how do you explain it… human? I always viewed him as this funny, casual friend back when we were classmates, and that was it. But ever since I got to hang out with him more in church, I got to know more of this deeper thoughts and realized that he was more than those stupid jokes he made. He actually thinks about life, death, and God and has definitely gotten more serious throughout the past few months. Nowadays he talks to me about his life and how he’s doing, and he’s quite honest with me too. When he’s not feeling well, he tells me. When he is happy, he tells me. We also ate together and went home together a bunch of times, just the two of us (but don’t get the wrong idea just because he’s a guy). And that’s when I realized that I actually have made a really good friend: 종언. If he’s comfortable talking to me about more than just jokes and hangs out with me willingly, I realized that he’s actually more than just an acquaintance now. He also cheers me up and I enjoy being with him.

Then I thought as I walked with 종언, Why do I have feelings for the guy who is time zones away from me, and hasn’t talked to me in about a year? Why do I care about him when he probably doesn’t even care about me anymore and is busy being with his girlfriend? That guy–has he ever taken me to a restaurant and ate with me when I craved meat or when I had nothing to do on a holiday? No. Has he ever complimented me and told me that I looked pretty? No. Has he ever complimented me on my talents? Has he ever given me a gift on my birthday? No and no. And yet, 종언, who I consider as nothing but a “very good friend,” has done all of that. Hey, aren’t I in love with the wrong person? Why am I an idiot? Not saying I should date 종언 but really, why am I still in love with someone who isn’t a part of my life anymore?

Anyway when we got to the place of the party, the most annoying thing in the world happened to be there as well. One of our old classmates and her annoying-a$$ American boyfriend were there. I actually have nothing against that classmate because she had always been nice to me, but I cannot stand her freaking boyfriend. Tell you what, I am definitely not jealous that they’re in a relationship even though I just got hurt after seeing my crush with someone else. That American dude is so annoying, like who would even date him? He’s such a flower boy (prettier than his own girlfriend tbh) and is so hyper and crazy and so all over his girlfriend and makes stupid jokes that I don’t find funny. Really, I don’t understand why she would even date him. Well, she has said that she wanted to marry a white dude so I guess this freak is her dream guy. But man, I’d rather jump off a cliff than be in the same room with a guy like that for an hour. I think there would be higher chances of me surviving that jump off a cliff than trying not to kill myself while being in the same room with that moron. Anyway, 종언 is good friends with that guy since they attend some classes together and the guy is really good at basic Chinese (coz his girlfriend is Chinese duh). 종언 even whispered to me that that guy taught him about “sexy stuff” and I’m like “Dude why are you telling me this?” (See, I told you 종언 is weirdly too honest with me.) So when they were chatting I was just there, trying not to roll my eyes so badly. I didn’t want to give off an attitude in front of them. When 종언 saw that I was feeling out of place, he smiled at me, and patted my shoulder. I’m glad he remembered I still exist, but I’m not glad when that American idiot started to giggle after 종언 paid a little attention to me. For goodness sakes, I know what you’re thinking, American boy. But 종언 can be nice to me and affectionately pat my shoulder as much as he likes, and I don’t care what the likes of you think about how he acts around me because to me he’s my friend and I like it when friends are nice and considerate that way, whether they’re the opposite sex or not!

Then after a while that white freak probably thought it would be funny if he left me and 종언 alone so he and his girlfriend left to buy whatever at the nearby convenient store. Thank goodness they left because I’d really rather be alone with 종언 than having to feel out of place. 종언 and I are totally comfortable with each other anyway and we’re not awkward at all. While we were waiting for this party to start, 종언 and I decided to talk about the coming overnight church outing. I decided to change my plans and go with him in 태환 오빠’s car so that I wouldn’t have to worry about how to get to church that night. And so as we were just waiting there, 나연 언니 contacted us. She usually comes to Thursday Bible study with the pastor to explain things better in Chinese for 종언 but she wasn’t able to come this week due to her Master’s studies. Now she wanted to take a little break and see me and 종언 even for just a short while so she contacted us and asked us if she could join us in this free meal. We then ran out to meet her by the west gate of Yeungnam University (near the dorms) so she can join us. It was a really cold evening that day, and yet it surprised me when 나연 언니 ran to give me a long, warm hug.

“Nina!” she exclaimed while holding on to me. “I’m so cold!!!” I guess at that point I can safely say that winter–what I realized to be ironically the most heart-warming season of every year in my life–has finally come.

I warmly hugged 나연 언니 back. I was absolutely delighted to see her. She’s so nice and fun to have around. In fact, she was the one who started the Thursday Bible study, (which was originally a Wednesday dinner), and that’s how I got to know her more. She is very friendly and liked teasing our little 종언 often so we always got a good laugh every time the three of us were together.

The three of us then walked back to the party and waited for the free food. Of course, we were only there for the food, so after eating, we immediately ran out and walked back through the university campus. We talked and laughed and had such a good time even though it was short. While I was laughing and with them that cold evening, I thought once more, Why was I even upset earlier? I’m not lonely. I have these good friends who go on these eat-and-run adventures with me. Being with 나연 언니 and 종언 is such a joy. Everything I really need is right here with me. Not just standing in front of me, but right here, walking and laughing beside me.

At that point, I knew I had no reason to be upset. My joy was rejuvenated. I giddily smiled, not just because 나연 언니 had another funny remark about 종언, but because God has given me friends.

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After meeting 나연 언니, 종언 and I bid her goodbye and went off to our homes to prepare for the church outing. As expected 태환 오빠’s car was already parked near my building, waiting for me to arrive so he can take me to church. I quickly packed my stuff and headed out.

To be continued…


3 thoughts on “Standing In Front of You (Winter Intro Pt. 1)

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