Resolutions

I’m not really a New Year’s resolutions girl, but I’ve also heard that it helps to visualize where you’d like to be to help you get there.  So, I’m going to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and get out some solid goals to help make my 2016 as productive as possible.

1. Do my first pull-up

2. Do a handstand (Bonus: a handstand push-up)

3. Get $15,000 in savings by the year’s end–a lofty goal, but if I keep at this saving thing, it could happen.  Plus, if I want to move abroad again, money in the bank is a requirement.  A bit nervous as buying a car will suck up a lot of my savings, but let’s put those excuses aside and see what kind of magic I can work this year.

4. Get back to England to visit friends before year-end–this works against #3, but it’s important to me, and where there’s a will, there’s a way.

5. Read 20 books. (I have a Kindle!  Send recommendations if you’ve got them!  Ideally a series that I can get into.)

I wanted to have something career-related, but I have a lot of things up in the air, so I’ll work on solidifying that goal after I get back state-side.  Right now, I don’t have something solid in mind that I can make into a resolution.

Steps

I just wanted to do a follow-up on that last post.

I’m feeling better than I was when I wrote it, and I’m pretty sure it had to do with the vent-session, but you never can tell.

The problems themselves haven’t gone away obviously, but I feel lighter now than I did before.  I’m a bit of a worrier and I often over-analyze things, and I think I work myself up.  The things I get frustrated and upset about are valid, it’s just that I pick and pick at them and then make a big mess.  (It sounds like a toddler picking at a scab, haha.)

Anyway, worrying less is something that I’m working on.  I just saw a quote which is actually the reason I logged back on.  It hit home with me and I wanted to share it before I forgot.

“I never thought things could change so much in only a year.  I wonder what next December will be like.”

And, goodnight.

Kayak.com is Dangerous Past Midnight

Or rather, I need an automatic disconnect from the internet feature when I browse travel sites past midnight.

Or maybe not…?

So, I was poking around with different flight combinations…just to see…and honestly $500 to go to a country that I really want to visit again before returning home isn’t that bad.  In the grand scheme of things.  (Or maybe all those Asia->North America flights have warped my brain,ha.)

Anyhoo, I have a few friends to see, yummy food to eat then I’d be on my way.

And…might be able to use some miles to discount the flight.  I have to do a bit more research on that but it would be great.

ALSO!…I just found out that with IcelandAir you can get a FREE stopover in Iceland!  Granted you pay for any activities, but you don’t need to buy any extra flights!  How cool is that?!  You can stay up to 7 days thn carry on.

It really is late, so I really need to get to sleep, but I was laying here bursting with excitement that potential detour and had to tell someone.  Lucky you 😀

On Returning Home…

It’s been ages since my last post, which has been becoming more of an occurrence.  I guess no news is good news.

A handful of updates:
*I’ve begun studying for the GRE exam, which I plan to take in January
*I’m leaving Korea and US-bound in March–after FOUR years (contract ends at the end of February)
*Classroom stuff is going swimmingly and I’ve been able to try my hand at video editing, which is pretty fun.

GRE Exam
In case you weren’t aware, the GRE is a graduate school entrance exam.  It’s not required by all schools, but as I want to keep my options open and I have some free time, I figured it couldn’t hurt to have it under my belt.  I bought a big (and I mean BIG) book with lots of practice questions and it’s really helpful.  I’m feeling dumber than a bucket of rocks as a lot of it has leaked out of my head, but I have a nice frosty winter to re-learn a thing or two.  ha

USA-Bound
It’s true, it’s happening.  I’ve mentioned it on and off for awhile now, but it’s really happening.  I’ve been reading a lot about reverse culture shock and repatriating online as I’ve been experiencing a wide range of emotions.  At first it was relief and excitement, and everything around me seemed to be brighter, warmer, crisper and more cheerful.  Now, I’m feeling so…lost and I guess anxious would be the right word.  I keep going back and forth (with feelings, not on the decision itself) about whether I’m making the right decision, or whether I should just keep traveling for a bit.
Leaving feels right and it frees up a lot more possibilities, but the money is so addicting.  The other part that really gets me is that I’ll have a good amount saved up by the time that February gets here, more than I’ve ever had in my bank account at one time.  Ever.  Then I go home and buy a car and it’s all but gone.  Not even an expensive car…just a general used car.  It’s so depressing.  I was thinking about how far that money would go if I were to keep traveling after Korea, and I could go for about 8 months.  Maybe longer if I stayed in SE Asia.  It hurts me knowing that cars are essential in the midwestern parts of the US.  :-/

I feel like I’m on an emotional roller-coaster.

With the reading that I’ve done though, it’s really reassuring that I’m not alone in this.  I’ve also talked with friends who have already returned and they’ve given me advice as well, mainly: have a plan and keep busy.

I’m half-tempted to make a pit-stop in England before returning to the States because (1) I love it there (2) I have friends from Korea there who I haven’t seen in about 2-3 years.  (3) The Harry Potter Studio Tour in London
I do have a free return flight from Korea, which would get me there…I would just need to pay the return from London to Chicago.  Which takes away from the car fund.

I also really wanted to fill up my passport pages before it expires (in 2019, I believe).  I know going home isn’t permanent, but it feels like it.  I think that’s where part of my anxiety is coming from.

Anyway, this blog in particular was really helpful in fighting back the current anxiety that I’m feeling, especially in the comments.
*Have a plan B
*Make time to travel in your own country–which I’m actually working on as well!  I want to drive the PCH next summer.  It’s been on my bucket list for a very long time, and it would be great to see the west coast during the summer.  PLUS, I could stop in Cali and visit a friend from Korea who lives over there 😀

This is from the above-mentioned blog:
it seems that in life doors are always opening to us that we didn’t even see when we were all the way down at the other end of the corridor, so be brave, take one step at a time, and remember that even in going back, you can still be moving forward!”
(Steph 5/24/2013)

Anyway, that’s enough for now as it’s late (as usual).

I just found this and it.is.perfection.
boundaries

Anyway, goodnight! 😀

Books worth reading, as recommended by Bill Gates, Susan Cain and more…

ideas.ted.com

Find repose by exciting the mind. Some of the world’s leading thinkers offer the books that inspired them and their work. Skim the list for your favorite speakers, or get nerdy on a topic you’ve always wanted to know more about. Below find 52 books, recommended by TED speakers.

Creativity

Creative Confidence, by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
Crown Business, 2013
Recommended by: Tim Brown (TED Talk: Designers — think big!)
“‘Creative confidence’ is the creative mindset that goes along with design thinking’s creative skill set.”
See more of Tim Brown’s favorite books.

Creating Minds, by Howard Gardner
Basic Books, 2011
Recommended by: Roselinde Torres (TED Talk: What it takes to be a great leader)
“Gardner’s book was first published more than twenty years ago, but its insights into the creative process — told through the stories of seven remarkable individuals from different fields —…

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+: Continuing my research for post-Korea and the program at U. of Oregon looks really nice for my Masters
+: I’m wearing my favorite shirt today
+: I took down my Christmas tree, did the dishes and finally put away the laundry (con of having a laundry rack to hang things to dry is that it slowly turns into a storage unit)

-: still feeling bummy
-: lots to do for work before tomorrow (finish report cards and make book worksheets/comprehension questions for the inside of 10 books/weekly assignment for everyone)

I’ve been having a rough time re-adjusting to life here so I’ve decided to do a post series (until I forget) of two good things and one or two negatives to help me get back on my feet.

“Square peg, round hole” describes how I’m feeling of late.

+: My classroom looks better than ever.
+: I’ve missed my kiddos (especially class 2)
+: The girl at the noodle shop surprisingly spoke great English
-: Reaaaaaallly tired of being gawked at (not in a good way) by old men…about ready to punch someone in the throat