I went to my first happy hour in Seoul last week. It was at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents’ Club. There was a guest speaker who’d been working for AP for years in Korea. The speaker was cool. But then all the mingling started. And I awkwardly bumbled through my introduction each time.
“Hi, my name is Salgu and I’m a photographer,” I would say.
“So where do you work?” The inevitable question would follow.
um….. “I don’t work anywhere right now. I’m a freelancer.”
One guy offered, “Oh, so you are on vacation.”
I thought that was good. Everyone wants to be on vacation. So I tried that line out a few times. “I just moved to Seoul and I’m on vacation right now.”
But then M told me, “Anything can be work. Don’t devalue the work you are doing.”
What she mean was I’m not just sitting around sipping pina coladas at the beach. I’m busy working on myself everyday. I’m cooking- that takes a lot of time. I’m researching and applying to grad school. I’m working on my photo projects and a video project. I’m working on my art. I’m doing yoga. I’m meditating. I’m interpreting my dreams. I’m processing. I’m recovering. All that stuff takes effort. It’s like I don’t even stop working when I’m sleeping because I’m concentrating on observing my dreams intently in order to remember them in the morning.
I realized just how much work I’ve been doing when I had to take some sick days this week. I took a week of sick days. I had to put all my “work” aside and just sleep, eat, and binge read young adult novels. I read a novel a day for the the last 4 days. I guess today is the last day of my sick day, because I’m out of novels to read at the moment.
I realized instead of saying I’m on vacation, or feeling awkward about what to say, I just had to come up with my spin. I have to spin it right. Still working on that. But I like where this is going.
Hi, my name is Salgu and (insert spin here).