As you can tell from the title of the article, I am not that keen on expressing my feelings – especially emotions of love and appreciation – towards people.
Now, this might not be that big of a deal if it was towards a random stranger on the streets, but when it comes to the people that I care for and love so dearly, it is a constant struggle I face.
Being an international student studying abroad in the United States for more than 6 years now, I appreciate my family back in Korea more than ever.
I constantly think about them, wish they were with me to explore Los Angeles, and just spend every minute and second with them while I'm home in Korea during school breaks. When I FaceTime my parents while I'm in school, I always have the words 'miss you and love you!' on the tip of my tongue but the call is over before I can gather up the strength to say the words. On the plane ride home I rehearse over and over in my head about how I'm going to give my family the warmest hug and tell them how much I missed them and love them. But once I see them I almost just blank out and cave in despite my strongest intentions to shower them with all my love.
I cannot say with 100% certainty if I was like this my entire life, but I do believe that it might be innately a part of who I am. Although some might disagree, it's pretty widely known that people are not born as blank slates; we are born with certain personalities and I believe I was born with the lack of ease in expressing my emotions. My culture hasn't been much help either in that it's not that common to be overtly affectionate within families. Of course I'm not saying all Korean families lack affection, rather affection tends to be present in a more indirect or unspoken form. For instance, my parents get so excited to take me to restaurants that I missed out on while I was in school, stock up on my favorite ice cream flavors for when I come back home, always ask me if I ate, etc. Despite my personality itself and my Korean culture that shaped me into who I am, I still wish I was better at expressing emotions of love. I'm more aware of the inexpressive person that I've become as I've grown older and the more I am aware of this particular trait, I grow weary that the people that I love will feel like they're not getting enough from me.
My family and friends probably know that I love them (at least I hope) but life is short. It's hard to change who I am and have been for so long. The three words 'I love you' are easy for some but hard for many, especially me. Although those who are around me probably already know me well enough to sense that I am not the most expressive person despite my true feelings, I hope this article acts as a vessel to reconfirm my deepest appreciation and endless love for you all.
I love you!
So so much!