I don’t know that I have ever been content. I know there have been moments in my life which gave me the warm fuzzies and during which enthusiasm for such moments surely led me to say I was content… but those were always fleeting and obliterated seconds later by minute details of life, which I unfortunately have trouble seeing as anything other than “earth shattering” and “epic.”

I have never been able to read books, or watch movies or hear songs or listen to stories without a very strong reaction of “I want to, I have to, I must be a PART of that.” I read books with a sort of woeful adoration. I love them for their stories, their characters, their adventures, their insight into life and the complexity of humanity in general. I hate, loathe and despise them for only taking me so far… for showing me worlds I cannot inhabit, characters I cannot sit down to tea with, ideas I cannot find places to live out. For getting me riled up and then letting me down.

It’s the same with movies, especially documentaries or those more based in reality. I cannot watch a video of New Zealand or sword fighting and think, “Gee that’s lovely, I’m so grateful I got to see it through this documentary.” Instead I think, “Damn it! I HAVE to go there now! I want to do that now! I will never be content, knowing full well this exists and is actually accessible!”

I fall in love easily… with real people and fictional characters, with previous centuries, songs, stories, words, the way a cloud looks on a certain day or the extra little touches of decorative paint someone put on a bridge. I notice things and give my heart too readily to them. And it fuels this constant restlessness within me… for new things, new adventures, for people (who ALL consistently fascinate me!), for what is around all the corners I haven’t taken yet. For what WAS around the corners before I existed!

I hate knowing about things and not being able to do them, or have them or see them for myself. I love and then hate when I read something that resonates deeply within me because my reaction is to want to meet the author. I build certain people up to be kindred spirits in my head and when life doesn’t allow for such meetings or friendships to take place I feel more despair than I ought to admit. It’s silly, I know this full well. And yet it’s there… always.

This inability to remain content or even perhaps ever BE content, is also part of why religion has been such a wrestling match throughout my entire life. Faith and Christ and all that is wrapped up in him demand more than snatches of thought or a weekly Sunday visit and as I am an “all or nothing” person there is no middle ground. I cannot think about it without devoting my entire heart to it and when I fail in that, I want to wrench completely away again.  I can’t call myself something if I know full well I haven’t been living it. I can’t see it as a piece of life instead of the point of life.

And usually the reaction of people I try to explain this to is to simply “calm down” and stop thinking about things so much. But they are not me. If they were they wouldn’t suggest something so foolish. They would realize I don’t possess an “off” button for if I did, I’d surely have pressed it long ago!

You’d think coming to Korea would satisfy some of the craziness within but instead I feel as though someone poured a drum of gasoline over me and lit a match. Now that I’ve tasted a little adventure, I only want more.  Like my old habit of constantly turning the radio dials “just in case” an even better song was merely a station away, I find myself thinking, “What else is out there!?” in spite of genuinely loving my current surroundings. The new, wonderful and fascinating people I’ve met are also a source of agony, because now that I know they exist, I want to stick them in my pockets and have them with me always!

Sometimes I fear I’m channeling Veruca Salt and singing,

I want the world

I want the whole world

I want to lock it all up in my pocket

It’s my bar of chocolate

Give it to me


But the comparison stops there because in all honesty,  the most torturous part of this entire experience thus far has been wanting to share all of it with other people… especially the people I love.  I am unfortunately possessed by a need to share that which I am passionate about, which extends to a vast array of things, including the very small and miniscule. When I would purchase a new and grand smelling tea I used to run around my work office in Minneapolis making people smell it, while expounding its many virtues. 

So you can only imagine what it’s like to be in an entirely new country, finding far more than good smelling teas to share.

Sometimes I sincerely think my body is going to wrench itself into pieces or that I’ll end up in an asylum someday. Sigh…. Does anyone else feel this way? Where ARE those singing oompa loompas when you need them?