When I first met Misun, I spoke to her very slowly in a very loud voice. I know I tend to speak hyper-quickly. And I’d lived in Austria when I was in high school and spent a lot of time missing pretty much everything that was being said around me, or to me, even though I’d been studying German for 5 years. I thought I was being considerate, but as our friendship has developed, I realize I was being pretty narrow-minded – just seeing her as a cardboard cut-out of who she actually is, just focussing my attention on one aspect of her being – a person for whom English is not her first language – and that is really the least interesting thing about Misun.
Thankfully, our kids have been skiing together, and that bond has given us opportunities to spend some time together, and thanks to that time – sitting together, chatting, drinking tea, asking each other to share the stories that brought us here, connecting over our kids, and even watching her parent, or respond, when things got hairy between our pre-schoolers as they navigated play and sharing together, and being cooked an amazing lunch at her house – I’ve realized how many more dimensions there are to her. And how much more there is to learn, as our friendship develops.
A fantastic recent study has put a number to the amount of time it takes to make a friend: 200 hours.
The study revealed that it takes between 40 and 60 hours to form a casual friendship, 80-100 hours to transition to being a friend and more than 200 hours together to become good friends.
“We have to put that time in,” said Associate Professor of Communication Studies Jeffrey Hall. “You can’t snap your fingers and make a friend. Maintaining close relationships is the most important work we do in our lives—most people on their deathbeds agree.”
When I asked Misun to takeover our instagram account, I didn’t anticipate how much more I would learn about he – about her passion and knowledge about bush foods and cooking and wildcrafting, about her Korean alter-ego (snobby-fancy), about how psyched and motivated she is to start mountain biking this season, about how funny and witty she is.
I had thought that maybe it was too big an ask for Misun to do the takeover because English isn’t her first language. How quickly I seem to want to put her into that little box.
Her introduction addresses that square on. And then her week at the helm of the takeover, and her patience with me as a friend, has kept opening my mind and my heart.
It takes 200 hours of time in, to become close friends. But first, you have to get past your own blind spots.
My hope for the Wellness Almanac’s instagram project is that here, within this little community of ours, we can fast-track a few of those hours. Because life is short. And we are in this boat together. And it’s so nice for me now that I don’t have to yell at Misun any more.
안녕하세요!🌞,this week I will be taking over the wellness almanac. My name is Misun and I came from Korea 10 years ago. I was a teacher in Korea and now am working with kids in Pemberton. Throughout this week I will be sharing my Korean culture living in the bush with two kids and a husband -whom I believe was a Korean in a past life – and what wellness means to me. We keep my Korean culture in many different ways: food, speaking only Korean at home, and even sleeping traditionally on floor mats. I look, think and at times even feel different but that is very special for me. I am happy that I am different and a participant in this community which is on Lilwat lands. People make me feel special here.
I am a smiling person: my smile bring me good strength and good people in my life. I used to smile because I didn’t always understand the English conversation around me. I would smile in the face of awkwardness. Now my smile is one of happiness through being connected with this great community.
My life is full of happiness, gardening, and outdoor sports as a Korean-Pembertonian. I am excited to take you for a one week journey into my life and explore wellness through the lens of an immigrant.#시골여자#misun lammens takeover#Pemberton life