Thinking About Korea

I went to a potluck hosted by my old dance group yesterday morning. It’s amazing how much has changed in the five years since I was in the group. I also stayed for a planning meeting about a trip to Korea they’re taking in the fall. It brought back so many memories of my trips to Korea, two of them with the dance group.

I miss Korea. I haven’t been back in five years, not since the trip right after I graduated from high school and went with a group of friends from my dance group (as well as assorted siblings and parents). I miss the food and the shopping. I miss the markets and all of the signs in Korean and seeing seas of Korean people. I miss that feeling of having roots, that connection I felt. I miss so much about Korea, even though enough time has past that my memories of my trips almost feel more like snapshots than actual memories of substantial length.

I’m planning a trip in 2013, most likely (I think 2012 is a bit too soon, given everything that needs to be done). It seems so far away. Actually, it seems as though nearly everything in my life right now is a matter of waiting, but this — it’s already been five years. By the time I’ll actually be back, it will have been seven (if I manage to make this trip happen).

And when I do eventually travel back to Korea, it will quite obviously not be the same. Part of the magic of Korea trips was being together with a group of the dance girls. We were together, and we were in Korea, and it was a dream come true. I miss being in Korea, but I also miss what I had with the dance group.

Hearing about the group’s plans for Korea this fall has just made me a bit nostalgic. A lot has changed since I was in high school, but spending time with old dance friends and visiting the dance studio makes me think of how important the dance group once was to me. And despite how central my trans and queer identities are to my life, the dance group always reminds me that being a Korean adoptee is also a part of who I am.

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