“Someone was playing a joke when they made me, you know, ‘Let’s make this guy a writer and a guitar player, but let’s make him write with his left hand but play with his right, and let’s have him born in the middle of May and give him a Christmas name like Noel, and let’s make him a dodgy, schizophrenic, two-faced Gemini.’ Cheers!”
– Noel Gallagher, Oasis
And I think I can apply this quote to myself too.
“Someone was playing a joke when they made me, you know, ‘Let’s make this girl actually Korean and look like totally Asian by giving slant small eyes, but let’s make her grow up in midwest where there is almost no Asian, and let’s make her born in 86 but treated like 85er, and give her AB bloodtype with pieces zodiac, born in the last day of pieces so in some way she is Aries. Oh, and let her have a job at university after her graduation yet deal with bunch of businessmen. Cheers!”
So where do I start? I am biologically South Korean and my parents are South Korean. But I grew up in Midwestern America, where the Asian population is either low to the bottom or nonexistent. There is a term for kids like me – TCK, Third Culture Kids, or CCK, Cross Culture Kids. I call this a blessed curse or cursed blessing – it looks “cool” and sophisticated, but often we TCKs go under enormous amount of stress and pressure. We often have somewhat easier entry to the workforce, but in the end we still feel isolated, taken advantage of, taken for granted and not getting anything in return.
I have South Korean passport and nothing else. Most of times I think and act and behave like Midwestern American and I feel more comfortable that way. But when dealing with Koreans – now I work at Seoul, South Korea – I have to flip the switch. Maybe life could have been a bit more simple if I were a mono-cultured kid.
Back in college, my MBTI was ISTJ. Recently I took the test again, now I’m INTJ. Pieces. Tiger. On multiple intelligence, I scored highest on language and interpersonal. I suck at math – not just arithmatics and stuff, I also have some trouble memorizing numbers, such as password. And I’m Asian who suck at math and science. Ha!
Hopefully I can give some first hand experience of what it is like to work in South Korea and its office culture, and what is it like to be only TCK in the mono-office…or ranting to release my stress away? I also hope to be more confident and easy with myself, i.e. finding my 居場所 in this wide world.
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