When I Ought to Say Something Profound [but can’t think of anything]*

All week people have been telling me how excited I must be. “Oh, Korea! What a great vacation!” they say. “Oh, my god! The food! And the shopping!”

To which I smile and nod and say, “Yes, it is exciting…”

Exciting is such an overused term in our excitement-addicted culture that I feel like I don’t even know what it means anymore. If everything is exciting, then nothing is exciting.

Yet, when people ask how I’ve been feeling about this trip to my “homeland” in almost 30 years, I’m not quite sure what to say. I mean, how does one capture the complexity of emotions? I’m not just excited. (Actually, I’m not sure excited is the right word at all). Nor am I particularly fearful or anxious. Happy is too flat (I can’t help thinking of McDonald’s when I hear “happy”, and that’s just gross), nervous too narrow. But this all makes it sound like I’m just all hunky dory, A-OK with it all, which isn’t exactly an accurate reflection of the strange concoction of emotions, either.

Honestly, there’s a cynical part of me that feels like pretty much every version of “the adoptee goes back home for the first time and has an emotional epiphany” has already been written.

So, I guess that means I’m off the hook.

Instead of wondering what profound words I can write on my last evening in the land I’ve called home for the past 30 years, I can do other things instead.

Like…watch some West Wing. As a geographer, I love this clip. When else on TV (except the NG channel) might I get to geek out about such cartographic dilemmas such as the Mercator vs. Peters projection?

*[I warned you this was a post of little substance!]


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