Every Ending Is A New Beginning

So, I think this is officially my last post as StaceyInKorea as I’m sitting at Incheon Airport waiting to board my first of three flights back home.

For good this time. The sadness has been replaced with a good portion of anxiety and I guess fear (of the unknown, most likely). It feels like I’m about to take a giant leap but I can’t see where I’m jumping or how far down it is or what lies at the bottom. Here’s to new adventures and as one of my favorite quotes states “Everything will be alright in the end and if it is not alright, then it is not yet the end.”

And with that, 안녕히계세요! Thanks for sticking with me on this whirlwind of a journey. Onto the next adventure and to whatever lies ahead!

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“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

(Saved post from February 29, 2016)

The Tide is Turning

Woooow!  What a week.

*Moved out and in with a co-worker
*Closed my bank account
*Had my last days (MWF and T/TH) at work
*Had a pizza and wine night last night with my co-workers
*Caught a cold (not surprising–stress, being super busy and lots of sick kids…)

And here we are…my last weekend in Korea.

I’m actually not doing anything major to mark the occasion or anything.  I’m just exhausted from this week so just mostly hanging out around my friend’s place and grabbing coffee with a few peeps.

I broke down on Thursday when I was working 1-1 with one of my favorite girls.  We were working together on her homework and I ended up having to excuse myself because I couldn’t stop crying.  Er..
I’m not sure how I feel about crying in front of kids…I just felt like I shouldn’t at the time because I didn’t want her to feel worse or whatever, but then it also shows how much I care about her.  I mentioned that I would write to her if she wanted, and she came in the next day (Friday) and reminded me about it.  I didn’t want her to feel forced to when I mentioned it on Thursday during our 1-1, so I’m happy that she came up and said something yesterday.

Also, I just wanted to give a shout-out to myself.  I am sort of amazed at how much I’ve gotten accomplished this week.  Granted, I’ve worn myself into the ground and am physically and emotionally drained..but I got everything on my to-do list done.  Woo!  It was hard because I basically worked right up until the day of my flight and only had a few hours each morning to make sure that I got to each of the various government offices and sold everything that I needed to sell.  Just a few small things this weekend and…the flight on Monday morning (morning starting at 4am to catch the airport bus…hoo.rah.)

Anyway, this post is a grammatical mess and is as disorganized as my own brain, so here are some pictures.

 

And another favorite song:

All Of Me (Cover)–Max and Zendaya [John Legend]

 

Learning to Fly–Part 2

I’m probably going to be updating a lot more in the days leading up to the flight home.  I’ve got a lot of emotions swirling around inside me and it seems like they change every hour or so.  I mainly just want to try to document all the things I’m feeling now so I can preserve them for future years.

I’ve been asked a few times now how I’m feeling and it’s quite  difficult question to answer.  I’m excited (and nervous, but mostly excited) about whatever lies ahead, but also heartbroken over the friends and students that I’m leaving behind.  I love the friends I’ve met here, but I’m not feeling as sad about that because there’s always the possibility that we’ll cross paths in the future.  It does feel weird though that we can’t (won’t be able to) call each other up and go out for drinks or coffee.
I’m more upset about leaving my students.  Like, heartcrushingly upset.  I’ve had a handful of them for the whole two years that I’ve been at my school and it feels a bit like I’m their parent.  I’ve watched them grow up and change.  They’ve learned a lot and have developed into wonderful young people, and…the fact that it’s just going to end and that I won’t see them again just makes my heart ache.
In a regular elementary school or if I were staying and they were leaving the school, there’d still be that chance that I might run into them on the street or at the grocery store, and this just feels very final.  I also don’t really know how to tell them that I’m leaving without making a big announcement or whatever.  I do want to tell them though because I don’t want them to wonder where I am the following Monday.

I was thinking of giving them my American address and letting them know they can write to me if they want, but I also don’t know how to do go about doing that.  I had a classroom up until our new semester/term started in January and now I’m in our school library (easier for me to leave in the middle of the term, than if I had my own room) and now I see all of the students.  So, I haven’t had a chance to get as close to them as my own kids that I had in my classroom.  I don’t want to be playing favorites or anything.
I personally haven’t said anything to the kids yet (it’s also frowned upon if you do it too early because parents might pull their kids out( loss of business for the school) if you start mentioning it too early, but apparently one of the front desk ladies had mentioned it to one student’s mom and the girl is upset.  She’s one of my favorite kiddos…just a star.  She’s so smart and kind and just a great kid.  I’m thinking of having one of my Korean friends translate a sentence or two for me so I can tell her how proud I am of her.  She’s good with English but we haven’t gotten to words like “proud/proud of” yet, and I don’t want anything to get lost in translation.

Anyway, I’ve also been getting hit with waves of “this is the last time that I’ll be doing x”.  I haven’t cried yet, but I have moments where I get hit with nostalgia and just different memories.  The reality is starting to sink in and I just keep telling myself “You’re doing so great.  Everything is going to be fine.”
I’m also trying to keep myself in the present to try and…I guess cement the memories and emotions as best I can.  It’s pretty easy to get swept away with all the things that I have to do and to get caught up in future plans.  I’ve got a fairly good balance going and I think I’m right on track as far as getting things done.  I have to remind myself of that from time to time.  Thankfully I’ve trained that inner voice of mine and I’m usually pretty kind to myself.
As far as keeping in the present goes, I think I’m also mentally a week ahead because it feels like I’m leaving in a couple of days rather than just over a week.  Which, thankfully I still have that week because I still have stuff to do, but I’m trying to keep myself from getting too far ahead to where I start missing out on the present.

Tonight (it’s 10pm on Saturday here) I met up with one of my best Korean friends and her nephew.  (He’s visiting from another city and staying with her for a few days.)  I’ve met him a few times and apparently he talks about me a lot, ha.  So tonight we met up at Starbucks and he drew me a picture and wrote a little message (in Korean) and then we all went for dinner after.  It was a goodbye dinner of sorts as well.  I’m going to see that friend next weekend (my last weekend) as well, so that will be the official goodbye.
I think all these “last x” and goodbyes actually make it more difficult and painful to leave.  Part of me wishes I could just get on the next bus to the airport and just get it over with.

Anyway, 5 days til I move out of my apartment and 5 more days of work!
We’re in the home stretch now!

(Note: Moving out of my apartment early because I have to be out of my place when they do the inspection–moving in with a co-worker on Thursday, last day of work on Friday, flight on Monday.)

Learning to Fly

So, I’ve got 15 days now til I’m (hey–mid-route) back to the US.
In case you haven’t been following along, I’ve been here four years and will be making returning home at the end of this month.

I’ve been feeling a lot of emotions, especially this month in particular.  I feel like the past few months have been me just saying “Oh yeah, I’m leaving in February” and it officially hit this month.  It still comes along, the reality of it slamming into me every few days or so and there’s excitement and anxiety and stress and joy and stress, all rolled into one happy little vortex of emotions.

I’m definitely ready to come back and it’s turned into a sort of “anywhere but here” kind of thing.  I’m just done.  I’ve got my lists of things to accomplish before the 29th and I feel like I’m plugging along quite nicely, but the panic is still there.  I think it’s more to do with the worry that I won’t get everything done in time.
My last day of work is the Friday before my flight (Monday), so I’m trying to get all of this done on the weekends (typically when I meet people to sell things) and during the week before work (when I do anything that involves government offices/post office/etc.)

People have said they’re surprised at how “early” I’ve started doing everything, and honestly, moving overseas is no joke.  It shocks me in return to see so many people who leave it all til the last minute and are scrambling to pack suitcases the night before their flight.

For shorter trips, I do pack fairly last minute, but when I have to have my apartment completely empty, and I essentially can’t do anything in the days leading up to my flight (weekend) plus I’m moving out on the Thursday before (next week!)…I feel like I’m on the right track.

This difference in opinions is popping up when people say they want to meet to pick-up stuff, can’t meet for x reason this week, ask when I’m leaving, then ask to get it like two days before I move out.  Then, if they bail then, what am I supposed to do?  I’ll likely just pitch everything that I don’t sell, but I don’t need added stress if I can avoid it.

Also, I had my Farewell Party thing last night, which is the norm for all departing expats–also got people asking why I was having it “so early”, which shouldn’t matter, but whatevs.  Anyway, I had a nice group of people saying they were going to be there (as of Friday, party being Saturday) and then I ended up with two people coming because people were sick and/or didn’t want to get out because of the rain.  Then they said we could just reschedule and do something later.  Honestly, I don’t even want to bother anymore.  I just felt really disappointed and had it early because I’m moving out soon and don’t want to come back to someone else’s house after a drunken night out.
I know everyone has their reasons and I didn’t complain or say anything about it because I didn’t want to come off as some whiny, selfish brat.  It was nice though for what it was, but I definitely don’t see myself organizing any other events in the near future.  I’m also trying to save money for my return and for my England trip so I haven’t gone out to eat in awhile or gone out for a drink since like December (partially also because I don’t like being cold/winter), so heading out for another dinner and drinks night isn’t high on my list of priorities.

I think after I head home I’m going to take a social media break.  I need some time to unplug and pull away from all of this.

 

February: Let the Insanity Begin–Part 2

So, I’ve sold off about 90% of my baking stuff and…I didn’t realize how much I had in my kitchen.  Nearly all the cupboards are empty.  Feeling a wee bit strange.

And while we’re talking about selling things, what is it with how weird people get when I try to sell stuff.  I’ve gotten so many messages essentially demanding that I meet these people at x time.  Yeahhhhhhno.  Actually, meeting should be a negotiation.
Taken directly from the chat:
Girl: i wanna by yur pancakes
Me: Hi! Ok great.  When are you available?
Girl: tonight
Me: Friday morning?
Girl: Ok, friday morning

Lawddddd.

Also, this other chick messaged me saying she wanted x items from a for sale photo album from six months ago.  The only one I had posted was my newest one.
I re-sent the link to her in the message and she asked me to send her pictures of each of the items that she had written that she wanted…which were already in the photo album.
Later asking for me to tally up the cost for her for the four items.  Also listed in the album under each picture.

Ugh.

Setting it all on fire would just be so much easier.

February: Let The Insanity Begin!

Well, we’re a day into February here and going by this first week, it’s going to be one heck of a hectic month.

Today’s Monday and I’m already booked with stuff to do through Saturday, starting with as soon as I wake up in the morning.  Most of it is meeting with people who want to buy my stuff, which is good, but also exhausting.  I met with 5 people yesterday–every few hours.

I’m also about 2/3 finished with part 1 of my online CPR course, which I’m hoping to finish tonight if possible.  I’ll review a bit closer to when I get home then take the practical portion of the exam when I get back home.
Other stuff: meeting with my landlord to make sure I’m not forgetting anything for my move-out date, a birthday party, and misc. errands.
I also have to break down my closet organizer thing and find some boxes for it.  Hoping to do that tomorrow…which also means I’ll begin living out of suitcases…hoorah!  haha
Then tomorrow, a co-worker and some people from her church are taking my oven and a ton of my baking stuff, so now my kitchen is nearly bare.  I’ve got like 5 bags of stuff for her, haha.  Adding in some Tupperware and all the flour and sugar I’ve got since she’s buying so much already.

I think the hardest part of selling stuff is actually getting all the pictures taken and uploaded.  I have to take all my stuff off, clean up the surrounding area and then put everything on again.  It’s like having a toddler.  Making a mess then cleaning it up again.  On repeat.

Oh, and I’ve organized my farewell party, which is surreal in itself.  I’ve been to so many of them myself and now it’s my turn.

I’m also not going to have time for the gym at all this week which kind of sucks.

Ah well, anyway…off to work on that CPR course.  I’m already looking forward to that 12-hour flight.  Actual time to rest.  Oh, and we have a 5 day weekend this weekend–hoorah for Lunar New Year!😀 Blessss you!!!

Songs for the month:

‘The Final Countdown’–Europe

‘Take Me Home’–Cash Cash (Chainsmokers Remix)

Bliss + Resolutions Follow-Up

Just wanted to toot my own horn a bit in this post.

So, I had mentioned before that I’m not really a resolutions kind of girl.  I like to see what opportunities arise and then go after whatever come up.

However, my NY Resolutions for this year have been something that I had been aiming to achieve for awhile now.  I also knew that to make resolutions happen, they’re supposed to be short and very specific.  Not: “lose weight” or “spend less money”, but rather something you can track and actually make progress toward.  Anyway, that’s what I did with mine and so far so good!

Updates: I’m London-bound in March.  It’s a very short trip and one that I knew I really wanted to do before I got back home and essentially got tied down again.  I’ll be staying with friends the whole time so I’ll be saving massively on accommodation and I’ve already done the touristy stuff, so it’ll just be seeing friends mostly.  AND I found a great deal on a flight.  (It helps when you watch flight prices for months…)  SOOOOO yeah, pretty pumped.
Then back to the work life afterward and I’m 100% okay with that.

Also, this really isn’t anything to write home about, I guess, but one of my resolutions was to be able to do a handstand by the end of the year.  I’m not sure how realistic that is, but it seems do-able.  I actually need to edit that and make it “freestanding” handstand–that is, away from the wall. (Eeeee!!)
I tested it out last week at some point and it’s pretty difficult.  I’ve been using the wall for support, and have been practicing both yesterday and today.  So 2 for 2 then.  :D
I’m doing 3 sets of 30 seconds per day.  My hands are…about a foot and a half from the wall, but I’m able to support myself, so that’s pretty exciting.  Just gotta keep at it.

The reading 20 books resolution is…going…but at a turtle pace.  I’ve recently finished A Christmas Carol and have started on Throne of Glass, which is book 1 of a series.  Maybe I can knock out some more books on this book challenge on these international flights.

AND…I’ve registered and began part 1 of 3 of my Pediatric CPR/First-Aid course (the title is longer, but that’s all I can remember off-hand).  It’s a requirement for most pre-school or teaching jobs back home, plus a nifty life skill, so I’m excited to get that finished.
I’m doing part 1 online and then parts 2 and 3 have to be done with an instructor.  Those are the practical/exam portions.

Let’s see…I’ve got my resume updated and ready and have started selling off possessions.  I still have a lot of furniture though, so it hasn’t really hit yet.  It sort of comes in waves that I’m leaving.  It’s very bittersweet though.  I’m sad to leave the people I’ve met and my students (not looking forward to the last day with them…going to be a waterworks…), but I’m feeling very ready (or, as ready as I’ll ever be) and excited for this next chapter in my life to begin.

It also looks like I have an interview with a preschool back home as well.  I’ve been on their website and I’m so in love with what they’re doing at the school.  It looks like such a fun place for the kiddos, and I’m sure the adults too, ha.

Anyway, I’m just trying to take it a day at a time and to keep focused.  I’ve got all my to-do lists going in full-force and I feel like I’m keeping on schedule with everything, so yeah.  *exhale*

I just feel so…happy and content with where my life is going at the moment.  I was so worried for the longest time about adding in that trip to London honestly.  I kept second-guessing myself and wondering if I should be traveling so soon after returning home (two weeks after, actually), but now that it’s done, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’m going to be able to see some friends I’ve met while in Korea but during my early years.  So, it’s been about 3 years since I’ve seen some of them, but we’ve kept in contact the whole time.
I was just so nervous that I’d return home, get my car and my job and not be able to save or break out of the routine and make the trip anytime soon.  Now, I just feel relief and excitement.
I’ll be home for Easter and the Fourth of July and just…bliss.

I’ve found peace among the madness that is going on around me.

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