Why do I feel like Nemo? (I)


He is a cute and popular fish and I am just a normal person. We are whole lot different creatures. However, I often feel like Nemo who was confined to a small tank in Sydney and eager to go out to the ocean to reunite with his father. Yes, I am nobody who is limited to a Korean community in Houston and eager to make her appearance out there. I will tell you a little story about me.

Right after college graduation 16 years ago, I came to the US just to improve my English. That was all. I didn’t even have a major in mind at the university I enrolled as an ESL student and wasn’t sure how long I would stay in this country either. It was Omaha, Nebraska, and I liked its quiet and clean environment and small Korean community from the beginning. In the first week of my arrival, when I was sitting at the university library, it seemed I was a lone audience watching a reality show of other people’s lives in a strange language. Everybody except me functioned normally. I was the only one who was not functioning and disoriented. The first three years were full of culture shocks, home sick, excitement and confusion. It is also true I have been feeling as if I was a small sail boat in the vast, deep and dark ocean, and still I do now with more survival gadgets.

My graduate school years were good years despite of financial hardships and academic struggles. I learned a lot and gained confidence probably as my English improved and hopes in life grew. After graduation, I felt I could do anything I want. Who wouldn’t after all those years of difficulties one went through. Omaha was my second home town.

A big change came into my life. I moved to California with a new job.

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