Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Avoidance

I have truly been trying to avoid the countdown which started as good fun and has become a countdown to an anxiety attack.

Here's something I now know about myself: I feed off of whatever emotions I decide to create for myself and this is also heavily related to the music I decide to surround myself with. For example: the other day an innocent journal entry unfurled into a tear-filled declaration of fear and anxiety about my future. It didn't help that I was listening to a playlist called "the end" which I listened to when college was over. Oh gosh.

Anyway, in an attempt to trick myself into being happy, I'm trying to remind myself why I'm making this move (I need to be independent/ grow up, I need a new adventure in life, I want to challenge myself, I want to see if I could be a good teacher, I want to make international/ expat friends, I need to arrange my health and lifestyle, etc.) I know I'll miss Antoinette's bachelorette and bridal showers and that's sad. There are things I'm missing out on. But I have to remind myself... it's just a year. It's just a year. And maybe I'll love it so much it will become 2 years. Who knows? But for now, it's just a year.

So lately, Margaret (my sister) is in town for a few weeks before she goes back to Paris. She's super into the show "Mr. Selfridge," which is great except Jeremy Piven's really stale acting. Me and my mom and Margaret have been watching that, ordering pizza in the day, running errands, and laughing really hard. (See my twitter account for my dad's insane quotes lately). We've also been shopping, going to church activities, having dinner with our adorable neighbors, and just generally hanging out. Oh and my mom plays solitaire. A LOT.

In my free time I've been ringing up my credit card bill at an alarming rate and stressing about not speaking Korean. Also I've been obsessing over the sky here and my sister's dog.


This is blurry because my mom slapped my phone out of my hands.
Ignore the dirty windshield. What a sky!
Ah I love Dallas. I mean I hate it... but I love it so much.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Current Fears

Did you know that time moves really fast when you decide you don't want it to anymore? Because it does. I swear a few hours ago it was 51 days until I was supposed to leave and now it's 45? What? I'm sorry, I'm not nearly ready.

I have lived a lot of my life being afraid of things and though I've made great strides in reducing silly fears (like reminding myself that worry is a wasted emotion and to just chill out), I still often find myself afraid of silly things. Here's a current list of my fears, some silly some not:

1. Missing family and friends. I really do have it all in Dallas, including tex-mex, my best friends (most of the year anyway), and my family. These three things (tex-mex, family, friends) really get me through life and that is no lie. I have no idea who or what I will lean on when I arrive in Seoul. I have a feeling kimchi and other panchan will be poor substitutes for fajitas, no offense Korea. 



2. Teaching. The job itself is teaching English and even though I'm very proficient in this field (this field being the English language), I'm worried about disciplining in a classroom, being monitored frequently by various managers and teachers, and being convoluted in my descriptions. 

3. Food. Did you know I'm a picky eater? I'm a very picky eater. And even though I've recently added olives, asparagus, avocados, and cauliflower into my diet, I'm still very picky. I don't like onions (including chives, spring onions, etc.), seafood (except a few white fish), fatty meat, meat with bones in it, eggs, and I think I may be coming around to mushrooms but I'll get back to you. I also might be allergic to shellfish and I heard they just don't care about shellfish allergies in Korea/ don't really know about them and a lot of food has seafood, onions, and egg in it? Literally how will I survive. 
Photo Source // I will probably weep when I look back on this post and am not eating tacos de brisket

4. Language. Did I mention all the languages I know are English and then romance languages? No Asian language experience here. I have to teach myself this language, and that's scary! Of course I can do language exchanges and stuff like that but how effective are those really? And also, how would they teach me? Exactly. Sigh. How do I buy cleaning supplies? What is detergent called? What is the name of this vegetable I'm buying? I have no knowledge of anything. Everyday life immediately becomes harder. Oh, what's in this soup? Squid? I had no idea because I don't speak Korean and now I'm in the bathroom crying, that's a situation that will probably happen.

5. Meeting people. So I'm lucky that I went to a high school that's super legit and we had Korean boarders and several of them are living in Seoul. That's awesome and something probably not everyone has. I'm also lucky that I have a few friends in cities near(ish) to Seoul that I can visit. They are study abroad friends and should hopefully make the transition easier. But as for every day friends that I can call my besties, who I can club and norae bang with.... yet to be seen. At present I'm joining a knitting club, an international expat club, and a Nordic appreciation club. 

All in all, there are many things to be excited about. A new adventure is always great and always life changing. And things that make you afraid are usually worthwhile. I need to work on tossing aside my fear and setting sail. When I was in New York I was speaking with my (new) friend Catherine who is French and traveled throughout Asia during the 70's (Vietnam War anyone?) She insisted I absolutely MUST go about my life without fear. Less people will bother me and I will be much happier. Catherine, I will do my best! 

I will miss the south, southern hospitality, being called sweet pea, being understood, being able to small talk with staff, fitting into clothes from most stores around me, my family, my friends, my home, my room, my dogs, the big tree in our backyard, our cute neighbors, my car... and Texas sunsets. 




Monday, September 1, 2014

Horcrux

So one of the best things about tumblr (and there are a lot of great and a lot of terrible things) are the excellent quotes I come upon an any given day. Sometimes I have to check the source because you never know, but here is one I'm just really in love with and it describes a lot of the feelings I have with travel and change.

You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.
— Azar Nafisi


This is something I think about a lot and I've written several journal entries about it.

So, you may know I went to Norway in January. I visited a secluded island in the arctic circle called Andenes. It was a beautiful island full of fjords and low mountains, and home to some truly wonderful people. My days there kind of blended together because for a while I didn't even see the sun, there were only a few hours of hazy light, like a constant sunrise and sunset on opposite sides of the sky, and then a blanket of darkness, stars, and sometimes the aurora borealis would wander across the sky. It was a truly beautiful place and a very magical feeling settles over Norway in the winter.

When I had to leave I was on the bus in the very early morning. As we made the two hour long trek to the local airport, I looked over the island, watched the sun slowly rise and cast this amazing gold glow over the frozen water below which was nestled between two small mountains covered in dark green trees. I remember closing my eyes and feeling so conflicted because in my heart I was excited to go to Paris and stay with my sister for several weeks, to be among the exciting bustle of the city, to make friends and lounge for hours in cafes. I was very excited to do this. But a part of me was attached to the land I was leaving.

I am very lucky, very blessed and very lucky, to have traveled throughout so much of the world over and over again, to make friends, get to know the locals, and visit secluded areas people only dream of visiting. I do not take my upbringing for granted. It has, however, created this kind of horcrux like splitting of my soul. A part of me will always miss and love Dallas, crave the high school comfort and friendship I have here. I will always want to be, simultaneously, in Hawaii at the beach, in Paris with friends, in Vienna on an autumn day, in Munster as a 17 year old riding bikes with a new friend, in London in 1997 buying all the Spice Girls' paraphernalia I could find, and on and on. There are an infinite number of little moments and times I miss being alive for various cozy, safe feelings or new and growing feelings.

I have lived at home for two years now. This was not planned at all, in fact. I thought I would move out after half a year. But as happens to so many people, my degree took longer to finish than I had anticipated. And the decision for work was not as easy as I thought it would be. So I settled into a familiar, childish routine by living at home, driving around and running errands for my mom, and socializing with friends when I could. Looking back on it now, as I prepare for a new adventure, there is a certain taste to this time at home. Not quite as comfortable and safe feeling as being a student and studying and living here, but still secure. I've allowed my mind and my heart to be blank and recover from several years of pretty traumatic social adventures throughout college.

I know that I am on the verge of becoming a new me, which has happened many times before and will of course happen again. I don't know how Seoul will change me or what memories I will forge. But I know I'll kick myself for rushing out of home and not lapping up every moment I can with my family.

So this is my homework. Rather than spend all my time buying Korean food and analyzing Korean culture, I will hold off until I arrive. For now, I will enjoy the last month or so of who I am at this moment, I will try to make all decisions with a firm and wonderful purpose. I will connect with people and bake and laugh until I cry so I can really look back on this time fondly.

Friday, August 29, 2014

So the Big News...

I'M MOVING TO SEOUL, KOREA.

So it's offish guys, I signed a contract and took passport pictures and everything. Look at the double chin the lady at wolf camera gave me and look at my murderous eyes:
SO yeah, that happened. I'm sure after this whole thing in a year I'll look back and look completely different. I just have a feeling I'll be changing a lot when I'm there. 

Even though I'm not leaving for 52 days or something like that (honestly who's counting) I'm trying to document all the pre-trip stuff as well because I'm so nervous// excited and I know I'll want to look back and remember what I was thinking and expecting and things like that.

First things first (I'm the realest). First things first, I've signed to work in an area called Sungbuk-gu in Seoul. I won't put the name of the school I'm working for b/c I don't want to get in trouble or say something I don't mean one angered day, but hopefully they will take care of me! I will live next to a women's university in the Northeastern-ish part of Seoul. I had no idea how large Seoul was, I assumed it was like Paris where you could get from one important area to another one in about 30 minutes or so but NOPE. The areas I want to visit, the parks I've looked up online, and all the other cool areas of Seoul I want to explore are mostly one hour away by metro. Uhh, homie say what? 

Here are the things I'm worried about at the moment: 
#1 I don't speak this language at all except for a couple of phrases I learned from k-dramas. So I'm worried about the stress of trying to find basic groceries and also wary of the inability to have small talk with people. Language miscommunications just suck and I always feel like an idiot. 
#2 I really don't like seafood and from what I've read it's everywhere and even in soups, you'll just find little shrimps floating (?!) Not sure if this information is accurate but also I might have a shellfish allergy so I'm a lil' afraid
#3 I'm worried about people staring at me already (b/c of my eyes, hair and skin for one) but I feel like my weight and height will just draw negative attention/ comments from people. We will see if this is justified in about two months.
#4 Missing my family. I've lived at home for a little while now and am used to the creature comforts in this area, instant access to best friends, and the instant emotional access of my parents. Losing all of that will be hard.

Other than that, I'm pretty excited about a lot of things. I've been trying to listen to a lot of Korean songs and have watched a lot of Korean shows in an attempt to understand the culture better. There are bloggers like eat your kimchi who live in Seoul who I want to meet. There are also boarders from the high school I used to attend who are from Korea and are currently living in Seoul. I'm excited to reunite with them and go singing and shopping and eating and everything. I'm also really excited to teach cute little children. I know there will be devilish ones but I'm holding out for the cute ones I want to hold until the end of time.

Well that's about the end of this rant. I hope everyone is enjoying their night and get excited for more blogging guys. Who knows, maybe I'll start vlogging. Ohhhhh. Ohhhhh. Oh wait, I'd need more memory on my computer to do that -.-

Here's a new k-pop video for your enjoyment. No idea what they are singing about and I don't necessarily like the video but they are a new band and I like this song.




Saturday, August 23, 2014

Big News on the Horizon...

Knowing that I have some big news coming up reminds me that I really want to document my life better, especially the next year of my life. Because I'll want a forum to come to where family and friends can find out what I'm doing with my life and know that I'm alive and if I'm ever struggling with homesickness.

So I don't want to get into the details yet because I have yet to sign the contract (yes this is job news, I'm finally 99% sure I'm getting a job) but if/ when I send all the documents off, I will be facing a very very big and daunting move.

So stay tuned, by early next week I'll know all the official details. Just know that around October 20-24th I will be boarding a big jet plane. And leaving Dallas. And all my friends.... EEK.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Changes, I've Never Been Good with Change...

So here's the thing with living at home as a twenty something:

I love being at home with my family and I appreciate all the things my parents do for me. Seriously they both work so hard and I know that I've lived a blessed life. I don't even mind the embarrassment of being caught eating cookies out of the freezer at 1:30 in the morning.

I feel an anxiousness to move on with my life. I will be 26 in  a few weeks and feel the weightiness of not having my life together. Oh you want a checklist?

"real" job
boyfriend
savings
not having an emotional crisis over who gets the remote

Nope on all fronts.

What I have done with my time:

make exceptionally specific playlists
daydream about the book I want to write
avoid meaningful relationships

All joking aside I know when I do leave I will be moving from Dallas. As weird as this place is, Texas has been my home for many, many years. I can't imagine not being close to my family. Or the warm nights and balmy mornings. Roadtrips and the way the sun sets over the flatlands. Mexican food with my friends and rolling down the windows at night and looking up at the sky and knowing my place in the world.

I am dramatic and a romanticist by nature. I know change is essential for growth and I appreciate what change can bring (so many unexpected adventures, Frodo). But that doesn't make change easy. I am scared of applying for jobs because I fear rejection and I also fear an answer. I'm afraid of what yes might bring as much as I'm afraid of what no brings.

I can't live here anymore but leaving here is leaving all the memories behind. I know I will visit but... growing up... ugh its just final and it sucks. I think if one facet of my life were nailed down the transition into adulthood would be easier, more graceful. But from where I stand, I think I'm just going to keep stumbling into it until by accident I find myself with a career and maybe a car. Or a dog.

The weirdest thing is not knowing where I'll be in a month from now... two months... next year. Will I be in the US? Will I still be here? The future. Ever changing.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lorde of the Land

You may have (probably have) heard the song Royals by newcomer Ella Yelich O'Conner aka Lorde.
If not, it's here.

I've read several quotes from this girl and she's just really awesome. Did you know she's 16 years old? 16!!! THAT'S AWESOME. Proof that you can do anything at any age if you work hard enough. She's a New Zealander (more proof that it's a perfect place??) and from this interview in Elle it seems she's pretty down-to-earth. I like that she's straightforward and is in creative control for her look and everything. Her voice is so good and her lyrics totally raw. You can listen to her upcoming album Pure Heroine here on VH1's website

I don't know about you but I'm a big lyric person. There is nothing better than listening to a song, hearing a lyric and all of a sudden your situation just becomes so crystalized it gives you butterflies and just is like an icicle to your heart it's so amazing. And even better, when the lyric isn't about love but about something really deep, ah, it's just so good. 

Which is why I like Lorde so much. Her music is just really straightforward. You can tell she thought about these words after a bad party and maybe a walk alone in the street, or when she was leaving a movie or whatever. The point is, the lyrics are awesome and I'm really excited for her album to come out, which, by the way, is September 30th.