Tag Archives: bucket list

What Are You Doing with Your “Korean” Life?

I wrote this post with the intention of having it published by the Daegu city blog, but after careful consideration, I decided to publish it on my own. 

If you don’t live in Korea, that’s okay. Instead of reading it like you’re in Korea, insert your own life circumstance. It could be your physical geographical location, your job, or whatever you want it to be. But no matter “where” you “are” in your life right now, take a good look at your surroundings and consider what you’re doing with your opportunities. If you’re not happy, where can you make a change?

As we exit the first month of our new year, to me, it always seems as though people (myself included) lose sight of the goals and aspirations we had when we broke into our new calendars. This year, reignite that flame you had. Chase after those dreams you dreamt. Pursue the things that matter most to you.

Make this your year, Reader.

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If you’re like me, you love living in Korea. The day I arrived in Seoul, I was scared out of my wits, but I knew I had made the right decision – literally the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.

I decided to come to Korea to teach because I was tired of being in dead-end jobs that I loathed. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology and like so many others of our generation, I realized too late that I didn’t want to work and retire in my chosen industry. So, what did I do instead?

I worked in sales. And I was really good at it. But I effing hated it.

There is nothing in life quite like doing a job you hate. I was always stressed, always sick to my stomach, and I watched as the companies I worked for turned me into someone I wasn’t. I was tired of standing on the sidelines of my life and whispering to myself that there had to be “more out there.” I decided to do something about it.

I came to Korea to teach for a year. And lo and behold, a year has turned into nearly 3.

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starting the end off right…

As promised (more to myself than you, Reader… no offense), I’m going to keep tonight’s entry short and sweet.

I made a ton of intentions (because I can never seem to keep up with “goals”) for this year, which you can read about here. Needless to say, I’ve kept up with my usual not getting around to keeping said intentions. While this new list is meant to be completed, chances are, it simply won’t be. I’m just telling you now so you’re not disappointed later.

I’m really bad at this. As I’ve previously made clear, I can’t be trusted with my own goals. Intentions. (Whatever.)

Assume that everything I list here was probably an intention I totally blew. With all that said, and without further ado, here’s what I’d like to accomplish before the end of the year:

  1. Bake that effing cheesecake I’ve been talking about for years. I have cream cheese that’s ready to go and needs to be used, so it’s a win-win.
  2. Run a minimum of 50 miles before Dec. 31.
  3. Write 4 letters a month to people that mean something to me.
  4. Cook once a week (at least) at home. Suck it up, do the dishes, and just make something.
  5. Plan an epic Christmas party for my other expat friends and KBFF. Blog about it (because you know you want to know how it goes!).
  6. Start producing stuff to use for my own business next year.
  7. Redesign A Little Bit Brave (again).
  8. Drink more wine.
  9. Finish NaBloPoMo without missing a single day.
  10. Visit Bali. (It’s happening, Reader, Christmas 2015!)
  11. Participate in a temple stay. Meditate and stuff.
  12. Read 2 books.
  13. Make an appointment at that laser hair removal place on the opposite side of town. (Time’s a-wastin’.)
  14. Wake up no later than 8:30 every morning. Also, be in bed by 12:00 and asleep before 1:00 AM.
  15. Take more photos. A lot more.

That’s it. Well, for now anyway. I’m sure I can think of others, which I’ll add later. Peh. Here’s hoping I can get my shit together and accomplish these. As always, feel free to hold me accountable. (I need you, Reader, more than you know!)

Image via Flickr user johnonolan

it’s finally here… hashtag NaBloPoMo…

It’s no surprise: I’ve been absent a lot this year (and intermittently every year since starting this blog in 2013). I promise you, I’ve been legit busy.

I completed a writing course taught by my writing guru, Karen Marston of Untamed Writing.

I’ve been working as the editor and occasional writer at Charm House, which has kept me busy since June.

I ran another 10K in Gyeongju, South Korea in October – a city I previously visited in February. It was beautiful and fall-y this time, though.

I went to the DMZ and actually looked into North Korea. I also watched North Korean soldiers at a countryside post go about their daily business via a live video feed from some fancy, long-distance camera. It was, without a doubt, one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had.

For months, I’ve planned to “get back to business” in November. I’ve let months slide by without giving my goals a second glance, which I feel totally guilty about… I had such big plans for this year – my year – and then I ignored them.

So this is it, Reader. I’m getting back to business and you get to read about it (if you so choose) every day this month. Prepare for stories from recent months, strange encounters, sites seen, and a new list of goals for the year’s end and 2016.

a little bit brave… life and love in the land down under…

Reader, I’m so excited to share the next installment of my series, “A Little Bit Brave.”

Each month, I’ll be posting an article by another blogger who took a leap and moved themselves away from everything that was familiar to find the next “right” step in their life. You can read other women’s stories here.

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Koalas. Kangaroos. Australia has this amazing mystique about it. It always has for me. I remember when I was 14 or 15, my mum told me she just had this feeling I would live far away when I grew up. I’ve always had an adventurous heart, but I can honestly say that I never expected anything to end up like this.

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When it came time to go to university, I left my parents’ house in Shawnee, Kansas to go two hours away to Kansas State. It was basically like high school, round two. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but wasn’t without its challenges. The day after we moved in, I played football with my roommate and two new friends. One of these friends would impact my life in a big way, and give me the illusion of a safety net that would help me to jump into the best decision of my life. 

I decided in December 2008 that I was definitely going to study abroad in Australia for my sophomore year. The whole year. Not the measly six months everyone else did. I wanted the full cultural experience. I was now also dating this previously-mentioned friend. I was in love. So I packed my two suitcases. Whoever invented the 50lbs/23kg limit never knew a 19-year-old girl packing for a full year. You have to be able to have nice things to go out.. Aussie summers are hot… Nobody has central heating… It’s a delicate balance!

I fell in love with Australia. Head over heels in love with Australia. But how could I stay? About as soon as I landed back on American soil, I was homesick. I can’t explain the tie this country has to my heart, but I knew I had to find a way back. I was prepared to make plans to leave my family, everything I really knew, to spend exorbitant amounts of money on finishing my degree, and to create a life halfway around the world.

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a little bit brave… and uncertain

Reader, I’m so excited to share the next installment of the “A Little Bit Brave” series.

Each month, I’ll be posting an article by another blogger who took a leap and moved themselves away from everything that was familiar to find the next “right” step in her life. You can read more of the series here.

So, without further ado, here’s a little bit brave… and uncertain. Enjoy. :)

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At 27 years old, I had finally decided it was time to test my wings. Like a free-spirited bird, I jumped from my nest with hopeful abandon. I spread my wings wide to the open sky and embraced the tickle of the wind in my feathers. And then I plummeted straight to earth.

At 26, life had been pretty comfy-cozy. I thought I had finally made it. I had the job, the car, the downtown apartment, and the professional wardrobe of my poor girl dreams. I had the PTO and the 401(k) and the HSA. I had the friends and the family and the kind of coworkers you actually look forward to seeing every day. I thought I had it all.

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So why did I feel like I was suffocating in a glass coffin every night as I lay in bed? Why did I want to scream and pound my fists against those imaginary walls as I tried not to cry myself to sleep? Why did I feel like everyone was skipping around outside my prison while I lay buried alive?

Perhaps I needed therapy, but all the psychobabble in the world wouldn’t have been able to tell me more than I already knew. I was simply afraid. It was fear that put me to bed every night and lingered with me as I went to work every morning. It was fear that made me dread waking up thirty years later only to realize I was still going to work every morning. It was fear that kept me wondering if I would hit retirement only to regret all the years I had worked to save for it.

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