Get Up & Grow

"We're adults. When did that happen? And how do we make it stop? "

It’s a New Year…new me?

The last few months of my life have been all about growth. Even when I didn’t realize it, I was changing and learning to be better to myself. I think that I have always been pretty good at loving others and doing things for them but not so much when it came to myself. I think I would like to make that my focus for 2012. I find myself getting annoyed with people who insist on making resolutions every year and making them such a huge deal all over the internet but I also get annoyed with people who take such a strong stance against resolutions. I guess I don’t really know how I feel about them. One thing that I can tell you for sure is that I wrote some on paper every single year but I never go back and look at them and think about my progress. I have had so many journals and blogs that I have no idea what my resolutions have been in the past. I think that I, like so many others, got caught up in the action of writing them and forgot to take action.

So won’t use the word resolution but these are some things that I would like to do and focus on in 2012:

1) Finish my first novel and become a better writer I am off to a slow start with this but I think that’s because I am putting way too much pressure on myself. I am forgetting that writing is something that I love.

2) Let go of any unnecessary anger and sadness – In any given day, I go through the entire spectrum of human emotions. It’s exhausting and I want to try to be more easy-going. I am always getting angry or sad over things that really don’t matter and all it does it shorten my own life.

3) Get in the gym twice a week- Ok so I don’t need to lose weight and I’m not in bad shape but I think that a lot of my medical issues could be avoided if I just got more exercise. I have only been to the gym once since I got my membership and that’s a shame! I know I would feel better physically and emotionally if I got more active.

4) Make better food choices- Finding out how my body reacts to different foods and developing a good diet for myself should be a priority. There are certain things that I need to stay away from and things that I need more of. I have already started to increase my fruit and veggie intake as well as water. I’ve also put myself back on daily vitamins.

5) Have more fun/Make more friends- I am not super social like I once was but I think that going out the other weekend helped me to see that I don’t have to be all uptight about going out anymore. If I can make a couple of new friends for going out and maybe one new friend for my emotional needs ( someone who will be there for me and allow me to be there for them…) I think I would be ok. I’d like to make at least 5 new friends this year….and I mean FRIENDS…not just someone whose name I learned.

6) Organize and manage my sleeping- Part of the reason I got sick recently is because of my awful sleeping habits. As it is, I really don’t sleep that well and haven’t for a few years now. I wake up a lot during the night. I would like to do some research and try to understand why that is. The sleeping issues are going to get dealt with this year.

7) Go to the doctor/dentist regularly- It’s so easy to overlook this when you are feeling fine and have no health emergencies. I have a doctor’s appintment set up for this week already and I’m looking for a dentist. I have to take better care of myself. It doesn’t make sense for me to have this great medical insurance and not use it to take care of these things. I have had some scares in the past couple of years and I should be monitoring my health a lot better than I have been.

8) Date casually and have more fun with it- I don’t even think I would want to call what I want to do dating. I mean…a better description would be hanging out. I don’t want to narrow it down to one person anymore. There is too much pressure and I don’t do well when I am so focused on being with one person and making them my BF. I will hang out with whoever I choose and do whatever I feel like doing. I won’t make up a bunch of corny rules or over think things. Don’t misunderstand though…I’m not going to stop respecting myself or start doing things that make me uncomfortable just to do them. I’m still not bringing people into my home until I know them and I’m still not going to sleep with just anyone.

9) See more of Korea- I have been here for 6 months and I really haven’t seen that much outside of the shopping areas. I would like to see more and learn more. That also means getting back into learning the language and not being so lazy about it. ( Although, I am reading, writing, and listening pretty well!)

10) Enjoy my own company- These last few days, I have really been doing this and I want to make it an everyday thing. It has made me less desperate to find someone to spend my time with. I start the day with plans for what I want to do to make myself happy or to fulfill a goal and I get so busy that I’m no longer thinking about how I don’t have a man in my life. It’s pretty awesome.

11) Finish my Administrators certification- I already have my Master degree in Educational Administration and I passed the AZ state administrators exam back in March 2011. All I have to do to be licensed in the state of Arizona is get my 45 hour Structured English Immersion class out of the way. Then I can get my documentation together and pay for my license. I plan to take the course online and then apply for the license from here. I think that having the actual certification will help me if I decide to change to administration even if I end up in a different state.

12) Get all As in my Professional Counseling program of study- So far, so good with this. I want to maintain  and graduate with a 4.0. I have a long way to go before I will be finished but I’d like to focus on this year for now and make all As my goal. I’m 3 classes in and I still have my 4.0.

13) 100% effort in teaching- Too many times, I like my depression or my feelings about my current situation get in the way of my teaching. So I’m not teaching older students…these kids can’t help that and there is no reason for them to suffer. I wouldn’t say that I have done a bad job teaching thus far but there definitely been days when I didn’t put forth my best effort. Sometimes I go in there and just feel physically and emotionally drained. I think that I can fix that by focusing on some of the other things that I’ve listed above.

So, I have exactly 13 things….I’m not going to think of 13 as an unlucky number because as of right now, I am creating my own luck!

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January 8, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

30 days of Truth: Day 18

Your views on gay marriage:

First of all, I would like to say that people who believe that gay marriage goes against the sanctity of marriage need to take a look around. We haven’t done a very great job thus far of preserving it and allowing gay people to marry is not a threat. People are breaking their vows everyday and not honoring their spouses! How are you going to argue against something and say that it’s going to break something that is already broken?!

Anyway, I believe that people who love each other should be allowed to marry. Period. Man+Woman, Man+Man, Woman+Woman!  It’s all love and gay people should have all the same rights as everyone else! We live in a society where straight white males live in privilege and if you don’t fall into those categories, you are constantly being told that you can’t do something. Gay/Bi/Transgendered. Minorities. Women. We are all being held back from our potential because of something that we can’t control or change.

If gay people want to get married, I say go for it! Marriage is supposed to be about love and sharing a life together and two gay people are just as capable of those things as any heterosexual couple!

January 8, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation | , , , , | 1 Comment

They always want to know why…

I switched off my profile on that dating site and I did so without that uneasy feeling that you get when you know you are doing something you’ll regret later. I will go back to it at another time…when I’m in a better place that is more conducive to dating. I hate how they always want to ask you two or three times to explain why you are leaving the site. There are only so many ways that you can say ” I just want to enjoy being single!”

A friend of mine sent their wedding pictures to me this morning and I really enjoyed looking at them. I had no idea she was so creative. The wedding and reception were very simple but elegant. I really loved her ideas! It was the first time that I was able to look at wedding pictures and changed marital status posts without feeling jealous or sorry for myself. I felt nothing other than awe at the things she was able to do with her wedding. I told her that if I got married I would love to hear her ideas.

I said IF not because ” it isn’t looking good” or because I think there is a possibility that I won’t find someone for me….I said IF because I have a choice.

I love these moments of clarity and I never really know how long they will last. I am enjoying this! I’m in Korea! I am about to take an 18 day trip to Malaysia and Singapore! There are things to explore and experience and I’ve been too busy being miserable to get out there!  I’m about to pick up this damn camera that I paid so much money for and get it poppin’.

January 7, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation | , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Great Things About Being Single

I bet you never thought you’d see a post like this coming from me! I’m  a little surprised myself but earlier I was thinking about this and thought I would share.

So….this list represents some of the things that I dislike about dating and turns them into positive things about staying single. ( Same concept with a more positive twist I think!)

5) You don’t have to feel guilty about having a life. If you are a workaholic or you like to spend a lot of time out on the town with your friends, that’s ok! You don’t have to feel like you must check in or spend a specific amount of time with someone. ( Although, if you really like/love them enough to be in a relationship, you should WANT to spend time with them!) On the other side of this, you don’t have to feel guilty for wanting more attention from a BF or GF.  I find that I am usually on that side of it….making someone feel guilty for having a life. There’s no checking your messages to see that the message you sent has been read and then wondering why the person is not replying. No wondering where he/she is and if they even care that you are missing them.

4) There are no arguments that cause you to lose sleep or feel bad for any period of time. You don’t have to worry about not seeing eye to eye. There’s no pressure to be with someone who has the same views on marriage, children, or really anything for that matter. There’s no going into work the next day in a pissy mood because you had a fight with your GF/BF the night before.

3) It gives you time to focus on yourself. You can figure out who you are outside of a relationship. You are more than just ________’s girlfriend or ________’s ex.When you are single, it’s a great time to learn to do things on your own and enjoy it.  Find out what you like and what you don’t like rather than what you are willing to tolerate for the sake of your relationship. ( which leads into my next point….)

2)  You can live your life  your way without apology and without compromise. Even when you are in a relationship with someone who is not totally bossy, you will find yourself doing things to please them even if you don’t want to do them. Sometimes this means wearing certain things that they like or styling your hair a certain way. They might have some pet peeves or habits that you don’t understand and then you feel pressured to make them comfortable even if it may make you uncomfortable. (And that sometimes leads to resentment!)  For me, this means being able to let my dog sleep in the bed with me without a big issue, wearing what makes me comfortable instead of feeling like I have to wear heels and a skirt to please someone else, skipping the make up, being a homebody, etc.

1) You don’t have to worry about being hurt. Even when it’s unintentional, it really sucks to be hurt by the one you love. There are so many ways that a bf/gf can potentially hurt you. Lying, not trusting you, taking you for granted, hiding your relationship, and making you feel inadequate are just a few painful things. It is nice not having to worry about the behavior of another person. No matter how long you are with someone there are going to be times when you will hurt them and they will hurt you. Working through those times is part of what being in a relationship is about.

For a lot of people, being free to mingle would be part of the list. I just don’t see it that way.  I see a relationship as an opportunity to love someone and let them love me. To me, that’s much better than being free to carry on with a bunch of other people. ( And have I mentioned that I really HATE the beginning states of dating?!)

I think that I would still love to be in a relationship but I think that at this point, I am more willing to wait for the right person because…if I’m going to put in the work involved with a healthy relationship, it’s not going to be for someone who isn’t right for me.  I am starting to see the perks of being single. Do I want to stay this way for a long time? No. But I do think that I could benefit from it if I can see the positive side rather than being in a funk because I don’t have a man.

January 6, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation, Bitching, Less than 3 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

30 Days of Truth: Day 17

A book that you’ve read that changed your views on something:

Please see this post that I did a little while ago about the books that I like to read. I think that I more than answered this question there. :0)

January 6, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation, Bitching, Less than 3 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Until your well runs dry…

 

The following is a status update from one of my former students in Arizona:

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iReally Miss Ms. Harper Dude, iWas Actually Switched Out Of Dance For Second Semester Because It Wasnt Fun For Me Anymore, But After iGot On Staqe And Got To Dance By MYSELF. iRealized iBelonq In Dance And iKnow Ms.Harper Wouldnt Want Me To Give Up Because Of Some Teacher. Ms. Harper Yu Tauqht Me To Believe In Myself And Always Be Open To New Types Of Choreoqrapy. Everytime iWalk In The Dance Room iThink Of Yu :] iJuss Want To Say Thank Yu Ms.Harper Yu Made Me A Better Dancer And Helped Me Get Over My Fears ♥ iLove Yu And Miss Yu :]

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This really made my day when I read it and every time I go back to it, it brings tears to my eyes. I have heard from a lot of my former students since I have been here and many of them did not completely understand or like me when I was there but now that I’m gone, they have a better understanding of why I did the things I did and who I really was. Now that they have a teacher who doesn’t seem to really care about them as people, they have come to see that everything that I did was out of love and consideration for them. It’s a bittersweet moment because I don’t want them to have to deal with someone who doesn’t care but…I think it’s a lesson that they needed to learn. So…maybe they will learn to appreciate the people in their lives before they are gone. ( Even if they don’t totally understand them.) I also think that the other people in the school…the admins and other teachers….have come to appreciate me more as well.

I really love everything that this message stands for. I am thankful for a lesson learned and for the affirmation that I made a difference in a child’s life.

January 6, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation | , , , , | Leave a comment

30 Days of Truth: Day 16

Something or Someone that you definitely could live without:

I could definitely live without dishonest people. Some are just flat-out liars and some just let you have the wrong idea so that they can gain something from it. Life would totally rock without people like that in it.  There really are a lot of people out there who can lie and not feel bad about it. There are people who cheat and steal their way through life and they never get caught or punished for it.

I could definitely live without being given the  ” I’m the perfect package” speech from a guy and then finding out that they are nothing like what they said.

“I’m sick of all of the dating. I want to settle down” LIE

” I’m in no hurry. You are worth the wait.” LIE

” I think cheating is just wrong and I don’t do it. ” LIE

” Looks aren’t the most important thing.” LIE

Don’t get me wrong…I haven’t give anyone the chance to tell me much of anything lately so this isn’t coming from recent experiences but…it has happened quite a bit in the past.

There are people out there who are exactly what they say they are and I really appreciate that. There is no reason for a grown people to fib like a little kid and misrepresent themselves. I think that recently I have met a lot more honest people and you really can tell the difference in the way they carry themselves. I used to think that there were no warning signs that someone was a liar….now I’m not so sure of that. I think that before I just wanted to believe that everyone was basically good and that most people would not do anything to hurt me. Not that I have turned into a completely paranoid person, but I think I’ve gotten better at watching my own back.

It’s kind of sad the things that you have to learn to do to survive in today’s world….some people are really shitty…here’s to meeting and hanging on to more of those people who aren’t!

January 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Adventures in Dating Korean Men

I have always been really open minded when it comes to dating. I don’t like to assume anything or make generalizations about people because of their race, religion, or lifestyle. I really hate to hear other people doing these things as well. While I lived in the States, I dated a number of Asian American men. I believe that dating a person is a unique experience and you can’t just lump people together and say what they are all like as boyfriends/girlfriends/wives/husbands or in bed.

So…I have noticed that the Korean men that I have dated here so far have been obsessed with asking about the other Korean men that I have dated. They want to know if I have dated Korean men before and they seem so surprised when I say that I have dating Asian and Asian American men before coming here. One guy said ” C’mon, Black women don’t date Asian men…didn’t you ever see Romeo Must Die?” I’m not sure what the hell that was supposed to mean but I told him that I would think that at his age he would have learned not to make such generalizations. ( Esp. to a Black woman who DOES date Asian men.) Not all Korean men are going to be this way and I understand that but why do I happen to be meeting all of the Korean men who have these messed up ideas about anyone who isn’t Korean?

There are many other things that these men have assumed about me. When they find out that I am a former dance teacher, they automatically assume that I could have only taught hip hop dance. I let them know that hip hop is one genre that I actually did not teach because I was not trained in it. There was a guy who told me that I looked like a great dancer because I was wearing a bandana in my picture. Really? That’s how I figured out that he was thinking that I was a hip hop teacher.

One thing that a lot of people assume is that certain people will perform a certain way in bed because of their race or nationality. People think that Black men and women are the best in bed….that Asians are boring and have small parts….all White women give head, etc. I can’t tell you how many times I have been approached by a jerk wanting to know what it’s like ” to have sex with a black girl”.  I immediately cut off communications with people like that. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!

I always think that there is something that people are not saying when they deal with me. There is always that unspoken “…for a black girl”.

“You’re really pretty….for a black girl.”

” You’re really smart….for a black girl.”

“You’re really open-minded…..for a black girl.”

Sometimes they say it and sometimes they don’t. The surprise in their voice when I tell them that I am working on my second Masters degree, that I date men of different races, or when they are talking about my pictures says it all.

Most of the Korean men that I have dated have been really into drinking….REALLY into it. It has been to the point where they lose interest in hanging out with me because I don’t want to get drunk with them. Sorry…I don’t get drunk with anyone because I don’t like being drunk. Nothing personal but the guys that I’ve dated don’t seem to understand that I’m not disrespecting them by not wanting to drink. Others don’t want to drink because I’m not drinking….even just a beer with dinner. I can tell that some of these people really want that alcohol but I’m keeping them from having it because I’m not drinking….that makes me feel bad and then things are kinda awkward from there.

Aside from these things….the Korean men that I have dated have been similar to everyone else that I have dated. There has been a lot of pressure to forget about the future and just jump into bed together. ( I’m not with that…sorry.)

Men are not all the same. Everyone is different. Having said that, I have not had a lot of luck with the Korean men that I have dated here. I hope that if I am in a situation to date more Korean men, I will meet some who do not have these characteristics. I know that they are not all the same but I do wonder what about me attracts this certain type of man….? It’s worth looking into I think!

January 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

30 Days of Truth: Day 15

Something or something that you can’t live without because you’ve tried:

Sometimes I just want to shut myself off from other people. The painful things that I have heard, seen, or felt have often made me want to live without others. I specifically try to stay away from any situations that may make me feel anything and the touch of another person. When I am feeling this way, I don’t want to get attached to anyone or give them the opportunity to hurt me.

One thing that I have learned over the years is that I can’t live without the love and touch of another person. I crave these things and they are part of what makes life worth living.

January 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thinking About You…

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I heard the song first on Youtube. I ran across a version with Justin Bieber and Jayden Smith. ( Justin NAILED this song and I love his part…not so much for Jayden….) I thought it was just a song that they wrote to do together. I had no idea that it was a song by Frank Ocean until my best friend told me. Honestly, when I first heard a clip of Frank Ocean’s song Novacane, I was not feeling him at all. I thought he was overrated. I absolutely LOVE this song though and it has been on repeat for a few days. I’m going to post the lyrics here and then talking about why I love this song so much.

Thinking About You – by Frank Ocean

A tornado flew around my room before you came Excuse the mess it made, it  usually doesn’t rain In Southern California, much like Arizona My eyes  don’t shed tears, but, boy, they bawl

When I’m thinkin’ ’bout you (Ooh, no, no, no) I’ve been thinkin’ ’bout  you (You know, know, know) I’ve been thinkin’ ’bout you Do you think  about me still? Do ya, do ya?

Or do you not think so far ahead? (Ahead) ‘Cause I been thinkin’ ’bout forever (Oooh, oooh)

Or do you not think so far ahead? (Ahead) ‘Cause I been thinkin’ ’bout  forever (Oooh, oooh)

No, I don’t like you, I just thought you were cool Enough to kick it Got a beach house I could sell you in Idaho Since you think I don’t love you,  I just thought you were cute That’s why I kiss you Got a fighter jet, I  don’t get fly it, though

I’m lyin’ down thinkin’ ’bout you (Ooh, no, no, no) I’ve been thinkin’  ’bout you (You know, know, know) I’ve been thinkin’ ’bout you Do you  think about me still? Do ya, do ya?

Or do you not think so far ahead? (Ahead) ‘Cause I been thinkin’ ’bout  forever (Oooh, oooh)

Or do you not think so far ahead? (Ahead) ‘Cause I been thinkin’ ’bout  forever (Oooh, oooh)

Yes, of course I remember, how could I forget? How you feel? And  though you were my first time A new feel It won’t ever get old, not in my  soul Not in my spirit, keep it alive We’ll go down this road ‘Til it  turns from color to black and white

Or do you not think so far ahead? (Ahead) ‘Cause I been thinkin’ ’bout  forever (Oooh, oooh)

Or do you not think so far ahead? (Ahead) ‘Cause I been thinkin’ ’bout  forever (Oooh, oooh)

 

Ok…this song is so hot!

I love it because it’s a man….expressing his feelings! We live in a society that frowns upon such things and labels men who do it as gay. Males are encouraged to keep their emotions and feelings to themselves and be strong at all times. I’m sorry but there is nothing that turns me on more than a man who can express how he feels like this. He is admitting to crying over her, thinking about a future with her..etc. WOW! At a time when the most popular music is about shaking ass and meaningless sex…this is a big deal to me. Also, he addresses her insecurities her as well in the second verse. His lyrics there are basically saying ” You think this is bullshit….no THIS is bullshit ( beach house in Idaho/fighter jet) and the way I feel about you is real. I love it love it love it!

I think maybe I will post more songs like this that I love because this just made me feel really good.

January 3, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation, Less than 3 | , , , , | Leave a comment