14 In Korean learning journey (:

Finding back 설레임

And the first thing I think of is…


Incidentally, one of my favorite ice cream (?) in Korea!

(This picture was taken long long ago on my one of my long, random walks in Korea. I remember that I walked around Hannam-dong, ended up somewhere else, took a random bus, and ended up near Sinsadong lol)

No. I’m not talking about the ice-cream. But rather, finding back the “fluttering feeling” that I had. The feeling that I once associated with Korean.

I think I’ve mentioned it several times before, but didn’t dare to actually say it outright. But here goes:

My passion and love for Korean isn’t burning as bright as before. 

I hate to admit it, but it’s true. I’ve talked to a few people about it, and most of them give me the “see, it’s time to stop making Korean such a big part of your life” advice and that I should “move on from this hobby”. The bottom line of their advices is that “I have dedicated enough time to a language. Move on.”.

It’s funny how the word forever tends to be used less and less as we grow up. We grow more cautious to using this word, seeing how things generally come to an end at some point or another. I did believe that I can love Korean as fiercely as I did for the rest of my life. But it turns out that I’m faltering.

Now comes the big question. WHY.

Simply put, I’ve began to associate Korean with stress / reality as I try my utmost to bring it to the central stage in my life. The harder I try, the larger the role the country/language plays in my life, the less I enjoy it and the more miserable I got.

Also, I’m in the midst of looking for a job. Job hunting is really tough – it makes you question your own worth(lessness), what you really want, what you actually can do, finding the balance between reality and your wants, and to deal with the stress, guilt, fear that inevitably builds up when you realize things are harder / reality is harsher than you think. I’m trying to think positive and treat the whole process as another learning experience.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to remain productive and spend my free time on languages. However, I can’t help feeling guilty that I’m sitting at home and I can’t help but think that I’m not working hard enough to find a job. I wonder if I should still indulge in my therapy (language learning) and if I deserve to spend my time learning languages. Trying not to let the guilt get to me. It’s a vicious cycle. >.<

A friend once said that Korean, which used to take away stress, induced stress when she started to associate Korean with negative emotions she had of other stuff. That’s what happening. Whatever stress I had been feeling has nothing to do with the language directly, but somehow it just got associated.

I did wonder if I should put it in my blog. Saying how I started to lose passion for a subject that I’ve been basing my blog upon doesn’t seem to be the best idea. But then again, this is a probably a stage that I have to pass to test my love for Korean hahaha. Having negative feelings is not wrong. It’s normal. What is important is whether you can be honest with yourself and learn to deal with things positively. Writing it out helps to put everything into perspective and forces me to think about how I really feel about Korean.

mmm at the end of the day, I still love the language which has been a source of therapy for me for the past few years. ❤

p.s. I ordered a Japanese grammar dictionary (in Korean) online and I can’t wait to have it. 😀

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  • Reply
    8 October, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    I guess what you wrote is true.i’m exploding with 설레임 with japanese because there’s so much japanese media i want to consume. It’s a blast. Unlike you, I never tried to go to japan or get a job that’s related to japan/japanese etc etc and I don’t tell anyone that I know Japanese (It’s no longer I learned japanese, it’s just now I know japanese lol. You should say it like that too and you’re just improving your already kickass korean) so I don’t have any negative associations. I’m not sure how much you know about americna culture but there’s tendency to hate lol
    this video explained it pretty well. i don’t know why people can’t just leave well enough alone. That’s also one of the reasons I keep it a secret not that ‘im in high school or anything lol.

    i just enjoy my free time doing stuff that happens to be in japanese (I word it like this because I want to be absolutely clear that i am NOT COMPROMISING. it’s just awesome and kickass and japanese)

    • Reply
      11 October, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      hehe it’s awesome that you have so much love for Japanese! 😀 hehe somehow I’m having more fun with Japanese these days. I guess cos there is no negative associations and i’m still super new to the language – so much to discover and learn!

  • Reply
    9 October, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    It’s normal for some things to fade in importance while others grow. Besides, at some point all learners hit the same ‘tired of Korean’ stage.

    I can’t say that it ever goes away, but reassessing what it is you want to get out of Korean helps regain a sense of enjoyment. I used to have a dream of becoming absolutely fluent in Korean and moving there permanently.
    But now, honestly, I’m content just to be able to have daily conversations, read an occasional book or news article, and watch a program or two without too much trouble. It’s not that I want to stop progressing or want to ‘settle’, but rethinking my goals really took off a lot of the pressure I had come to associate with Korean.

    Also, good luck with the job search! Don’t bothering worrying or comparing yourself too much to others because every twenty-something is pretty aimless and vague about long-term goals! Uncertainty and self-doubt just comes with the territory, but eventually things slowly fall into place as you pick a direction to follow.

    • Reply
      11 October, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      thanks for sharing! Yeah, I always wonder if my new wish to just have fun with Korean is sorta wanting “to settle” and a compromise to my dream to stay there. Then I’ll start to wonder if I feel like that because I really want it or that I’m just saying it because I can’t achieve what I originally wanted hahaha. Okay maybe I do think too much xD

      hehe yeah I need a direction!

  • Reply
    9 October, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    The quest for job hunting is stressful and working life is even more stressful. I can attest to that being a professional in my field for many years. However, what I want to say is that don’t feel guilty just because you have language learning as a hobby, or therapy as you put it, to “de-stress’ yourself. Learning is a life long process and nothing can be more productive and fruitful than spending your free time learning new things. More so if it gives you the benefit of maintaining your mental balance. Working life is stressful and reality can be harsh, but those two factors cannot stop you from enjoying the process of learning, unless you decide so. All the best and don’t give up!

    • Reply
      11 October, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      thanks! Definitely not giving up 😀 Just trying to find a balance between both.

  • Reply
    9 October, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Thank you for actually making the posts where you confess that you feel some stress from Korean. It’s great to let people know the good, but it’s also great to be honest about the bad so that if someone is in the same boat as you, they don’t feel alone. I love studying Japanese and Korean, but lately it’s been stressing me out probably because I’ve decided to major in it and I’m not sure what to do. The same thing happened to me and music. Playing bass and piano was my life and I still love it, but after attempting a music major and trying to be on par to other people’s standards, it just stressed me out. I actually haven’t touched any of my lovely instruments in MONTHS. That has never happened before. I used to not be able to sleep if I didn’t play something that day.

    I want to hear the bad and the good from you and see you get to a point where you understand where you need to be and where the balance is for you. You’ve really encouraged me to work at what I love and I feel like I can relate to you.

    “Also, I’m in the midst of looking for a job. Job hunting is really tough – it makes you question your own worth(lessness), what you really want, what you actually can do, finding the balance between reality and your wants, and to deal with the stress, guilt, fear that inevitably builds up when you realize things are harder / reality is harsher than you think. I’m trying to think positive and treat the whole process as another learning experience.” << THIS. IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. OTL

    • Reply
      11 October, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      Mm I’m still trying to find a balance. >< I know that these languages have a role in my life, just that I can't decide what kind of role lol. Mmm yeah I would think that majoring in a language and studying it for fun is very different! For me, I never had to worry about tests / exams. Even though I do take proficiency exams, there's no stress. I can fail it and there will be no consequences (except wasting my money). But when these exams are totally linked to your grades, scholarships, opportunities, career progression etc, it does make a huge difference. Having a syllabus means that you subconsciously study within it, and you are more likely to be worried about whether you have covered the syllabus (required grammar/vocab and what not), rather than thinking of studying beyond the syllabus. hehe finding a temporary job before you start your studies? 😀 heh

      • Reply
        12 October, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        That’s true. Since I’m not yet in a Korean class or completely declared for both majors, I get to study Korean kinda freely since there’s no syllabus. For Japanese, I do think about if I know what’s required for the class and if I know stuff outside of the class so that I’m not completely dependent on classes. I’m sure you know this scenario: What you’ve already learned in the class should be enough to say/write a good range of things, but instead of retaining 100% of what you should know, it’s more like 60% and it doesn’t come near 100 unless you’re also studying on your own time. (Did I explain all that right? @.@)

        I wish someone would throw a job at me. $10/hour would be nice. OTL

        • Reply
          15 October, 2013 at 11:43 AM

          Yeahh totally agree! hehe it’s awesome that you can major in both! We don’t have that in our universities here.

  • Reply
    Clayton Wong
    9 October, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    I feel that when things become more than a hobby they become less fun. For example, when I was studying engineering, math and applied science wad fascinating, but when I started doing it for a living… Oh well. My piano instructor is the same way. Perhaps you are experiencing something similar? As for me, I intend on keeping language study just a hobby for the reason stated herein before

    • Reply
      11 October, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      yeahh i think so too! I thought I’ll be really happy to incorporate my hobby into something more, but I guess not

  • Reply
    10 October, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    That ice-cream looks really good :p

    • Reply
      11 October, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      hehe it is!

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