5 things I’ve learned living in koreatown

5 things I’ve learned living in koreatown

This blogpost should really be titled, “5 things I’ve learned living on my own.”  Circumstances being what they are, I admit and acknowledge how peculiar the months leading up to moving out was.  It’s almost unfathomable to believe that my last album release party for …and then I woke up occurred in the same year as this coronavirus pandemic and its constituent lockdown and (first wave of) stay-at-home orders here in California.  So let’s recap: 

February: Album release party
March: Coronavirus cases grow in the United States; California implemented lockdown/stay-at-home orders
April-June: Found myself quarantining at 2 hotels, free of charge.
July: Moved to ktown at the apartment complex I’ve been eying for already 6 months prior.

It was a necessary move, and in one fast month, it was a move that’s proving rich with life lessons already.

  1. Your first place brings out your inner romantic.

Do you ever miss your living space like you would a significant other?  For some reason, I do, and whenever I pose this question to friends and coworkers that have been in my situation, they agree.  Sometimes when you’re out, whether at work or some sort of social gathering (er…I mean we should be social distancing, but that’s a post for another time), all you can think about is your place.  It’s odd, but I find it easy to go out of my way to stay home.  Another interesting finding I’ve noticed is that for whatever reason, I realize I’m never this diligent with the upkeep of other personal belongings or living spaces.  As weird as this sounds, like a relationship, It takes genuine effort to make a place feel like home.  

  1. Spend your days off wisely.

Just as it was when living in hotels in the Westside, living on your own comes with similar responsibilities and even more similar options in regards to what to do with your time.  For me, the honeymoon stage of “the big move” consisted of several wine nights, binge watching Itaewon Class, and having several of my coworkers stop by for a drink or two, or three…

And to be honest, I can completely understand why the majority of the people I know spend their days off like this.  Work is stressful.  The whole fucking world is stressful and weird.  I don’t blame nor do I judge anyone who partakes in the following:

  • Binge watching netflix, youtube, etc
  • Mindlessly swiping and staying very active on dating apps
  • Drinking every weekend
  • Online shopping
  • Dicking around with friends

I believe the items listed above are acceptable in moderation, but for myself, even in moderation,  I can’t help but think that the individual actions of doing any of the aforementioned items means that I’ve subscribed to the idea of escapism.  If you know me, I’ve always been about self-improvement and strictly operating in the frame of reality.  As of recently, I have a pretty regimented schedule on the days I don’t go to work.  I read, workout, write, and work on one of my businesses.  This strict itinerary decreases the likelihood that I would get caught by surprise when something unexpected arises, all the while I’m indirectly promoting productivity.  Each day I truly strive to become a better version of myself while taking small steps towards my goals.  The only caveat is that it may seem like a boring lifestyle (if I were to document my process and post it on social media), but truthfully, I’m okay with that.  Live like no one else now, so you can live like no one else later.

  1. Every rumor you’ve heard about ktown is true.

It’s not too difficult to network here.  Growing up near Diamond Bar, you know people who know people, and those people know other people and now you’re at Liberty Park minding your own business when an unleashed Boston Terrier decides to take a piss on your water bottle.  A couple runs after the dog then scolds it and then vehemently apologizes for your water bottle, now drenched in dog piss.  They invite you for drinks at a nearby (converted) pocha where you meet their friends; you also find out they know a couple of old friends back in Diamond Bar.  You all get drunk and one of the guys lets it slip that the new girl he’s dating is a doumi.  I’ll end this lesson here.

  1. In solitude, you get to realize what’s important to you.

Living on your own is its own form of meditation.  Which, in turn, makes it its own form of healing.  You learn very quickly about the art of balance and how “adult life” is just a binary push and pull tug-of-war with your sense of responsibility and your sense of freedom.  And once you reach that balance, that’s where and when you’ll find what’s most important to you.

  1. You were never really lonely.  You just weren’t present.

Perhaps the most unexpected discovery I’ve made since moving out is that my personal brand of loneliness I’ve experienced pre-move had nothing to do with being alone, but had everything to do with my lack of being “present.”  I mean this in both the literal and figurative sense.  Since the move, I’ve felt more social. I feel like my circle of friends have increased tenfold.  And this is probably due to the closer proximity I am to the majority of my friends.  Ktown is definitely a central location.  And because of these meet ups and off-chance encounters with people whom I don’t normally associate with, I’ve become more mindful of the small moments that occur each day.  The practice of being “present,” I’ve learned, doesn’t come from the amount of things you do, but how you choose to internalize said things.  Living a happier life is merely a byproduct of not taking these small moments for granted.

So who knows what the next 11 months will teach me?  Will I even resign my lease.  All I know is that whatever life throws at me, I’ll be here for it.  I’ve always been here.

-JD

Oh yeah. Unofficial lesson 6) your alcohol tolerance WILL increase if you specifically move to Ktown.