Get Up & Grow

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

A lesson in Letting Go pt.1

I was awake at 3:30 this morning. I woke up from a disturbing dream and automatically reached for my phone. What I found there was equally disturbing and it brought me around to realize that I needed to finally let go.

AJ has been my friend since I first moved to Arizona. I met her at a local club honestly, I didn’t like her. She was drunk and obnoxious and had a hard time keeping her hands to herself. I refused the drinks she offered to buy but the friend I was with gladly accepted. “You know your friend is just selling you to me, right?” AJ slurred in my ear.

At the end of that night, I was feeling a bit differently about her. Maybe she wasn’t always like this. Even though her friends had warned me that she was an a**hole, I could see something in her eyes that told me otherwise. I thought that maybe she was friend material. We ended up becoming friends and soon we were inseparable. The only problem was that sometimes AJ got a little weird.  There have been about 3 or 4 times during the course of our friendship when she has just kind of gone crazy. The first time, it was because I ended up not going to a concert that she invited me to because I was sick. She called and texted me during the concert and called me every name in the book. She basically told me that I was worse than scum. I was totally confused about what had happened.

So we didn’t talk for a long time. I was convinced that she was unstable at first. Later on, I started to miss her friendship. She was funny and loyal and I needed that in my life. I soon started to blame her behavior on alcohol. She has always been just a little too dependent on alcohol to alter her moods. ( Along with marijuana…but that’s a different story…) I started hanging out with her again. It took a while but her strange behavior came back. This time she snapped because I was trying to get her to talk to me about her upcoming time in jail. She’d been arrested for drinking and driving and she’d run into the back of a car in front of her. She was having a hard time because in her mind, jail was just like the horrible times she’d had in the military before we’d met. When I tried to be there for her, she snapped. Again she called me names and suggested that I was the worse friend in the history of the world. This time, it was about a year before we spoke again. I missed her again.

So this morning,when I looked at my phone, I found her response to my last message. I had commented about the pictures she posted on Facebook of herself and her girlfriend at a Turn About party. She is a stud and her gf is a femme. The point of the party was for them to switch roles for a night. We were always joking around about how doing something like this went against a stud’s sense of identity. It wasn’t unusual for us to express our feelings about such things. For some reason, after I told her that she looked nice but didn’t look comfortable or natural…as we usually say…she snapped on me. I woke up to two long messages about how even overseas, I’m a rude bitch. She said that I was use to being inside a box…me..of all people.  She said that it was one of many reasons why we don’t work.

That was the last straw. I decided then and there that I would let go of her friendship because with it came the pain from the things that she says when she gets drunk and angry. It’s hard to let go of someone who you’ve been through so much with…someone you care about so much. I have decided that I care about her but I care about myself more and I don’t deserve to be treated that way. I will not put myself through this anymore.

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March 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Things I’ve Learned About Myself Lately

The past few months that I’ve been here in Korea have been full of growth and realizations. I have learned some things about myself….some good things…and some things that I need to work on.

1. I am highly sensitive to anything relating to being a Black person and what that means. I have come to dread any lessons in the book that have Black characters in them because I’m afraid of what the kids might say and how I will react. Today, there was a lesson in the 4th grade where a Korean boy went to visit his Aunt and her husband, who was Black. I totally expected the kids to make a huge deal out of it or at least call the Black man in the animated clip “Obama” but they didn’t do either of those things. I heard nothing. It seems as though my students are growing and changing. Looks like it’s time for me to do the same and learn to trust them.

2. I am entirely too old for playing hookie. I am that person at your job who takes the concept of “mental health day” to the extreme. There are days when I wake up and I just don’t want to go to school….so I don’t.  I was always using up my sick days in the States and I started out doing the same here. I am starting to see though, that me being absent from school does effect other people. I realize now that sometimes you have to do those things that you don’t feel like doing. There are plenty of people in this world ( hell, in this SCHOOL) who wake up in the morning and don’t want to leave the house and come here yet I’m the only person who is consistently taking those “mental health days”. I need to take them only when I really need them and stop making my co-workers so concerned for my health!

3. There aren’t many people in this world stronger than me. I am working my way out of depression and anxiety without therapy and without meds. The therapy I wouldn’t mind but I’m pretty sure that I will never take another antidepressant in my life. I can pretty much do anything I set out to do. I know that sounds corny but as someone who used to have so many doubts about herself, I take it as a big deal. When I think about my options from here….staying in Korea for another year or leaving to go to Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, UAE, or Saudi Arabia…I am amazed. I could even go back to the States and I know that I have options. While I am weak in some areas….I am strong in others like school. I have given myself so many different options for the future and I love it.

4. I really f*cking love my parents. The other night, I was waiting on my order at a local chicken joint and I sent a message to a friend about how much my Mother loved that place when she came here. That got me thinking about my parents and how much I missed them. By the time my order was ready, I had to duck out of the place quickly because I was fighting tears….and losing the fight. I guess I hadn’t really realized how much I missed them until then. I spent 4 years in Arizona and I didn’t seem them much then but that’s really not the same as leaving the country and knowing that it would take at least 12 hours to get to them if I needed to. They aren’t getting any younger…and sometimes I worry about that. Sometimes I feel selfish for taking off and doing all of this as my parents are getting older. The Skype calls, the words of encouragement, and the care packages have all shown me that they love me and they support my decisions. I can’t wait to see them this summer.

5. I don’t need a relationship but I would like one. Something that I’ve noticed lately is that I have become less desperate to find someone and more hopeful. I find that I had more success with people that way too. Something about the way desperation makes you act…it just runs people off.

So…there’s my short list! It’s 3 minutes until 4:30 so I’m going to get the hell out of work!

March 15, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation, Bitching, Less than 3 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guess what? I’ve got a job!

No…me having a job is not a new development but it’s a blessing. You know that saying, there’s always someone out there who has it worse than you? I remind myself everyday that it’s true. I have a pretty sweet set up here: Job, rent-free apartment, great health benefits, 8:30am-4:30pm workday, a school that cares enough to let me have sickdays and takes me to the doctor, a dog,food on my table, clothes on my back….

There are so many people in the world right now that don’t even have the basic things that we need to survive. I have no reason to bitch or be angry about my life. I am in a position to make a lot of changes if I feel the desire to do so and that too is a blessing. Some people never leave the States and here I am living in Korea.

Some people don’t live to see 29 and here I am….just celebrated my 29th birthday. My own ex-boyfriend died a few years ago in a car accident. ( R.I.P Chris) I’m here and I’m healthy ( for the most part).

I have parents who care about me…they raised me right and always supported me. While I don’t have that many friends here in Korea, I have people in the States who are cheering for me and always backing me up.

I am blessed and I am grateful.

March 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Interpersonal Deficit

So…in the class that I’m currently taking, the issue of interpersonal deficit came up. We learned that it is a situation where you have a lack of relationships with other people or a lack of healthy and positive relationships. I immediately knew that we were talking about me. I mean, that’s something that I am dealing with at this stage of my life. I also talked to a friend of mine who is also living here in Korea and dealing with interpersonal deficit and like her, I wasn’t always like this. I used to go out and have fun and enjoy people. The difference between us is that she can pinpoint an event in her life that caused her to be that way…her divorce. For me, there wasn’t anything like that…I just slowly withdrew from society and when I do let people near me, I make it hard for them to want to stay. I definitely think that I could benefit from some sort of therapy for this. I am not under the illusion that I will be able to “cure myself’ by getting this degree. I want to turn 30 a year from now and be able to say that I am capable of having positive and healthy relationships with others.

I want to help others who go through the things that I went through and those who are going through things that I can’t even imagine. Some times I get lost in the theories,laws ,codes of ethics and even sometimes my own touch of neuroses I wonder if I’m in the right place…if I should even be in this program. As long as I have the desire to help other people and the drive to learn more…I think the answer is yes.

March 10, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation | , , , | Leave a comment

Birthday in Korea

Even though I didn’t expect to get much birthday love, I started and ended the day with a positive attitude. Quite a few people wished me a Happy Birthday yesterday…even people in the States where it was actually not my birthday yet. I got a YouTube video from my Dance Company kids this morning wishing me a happy birthday. The thing that I need to take away from all of this is that I am loved. As soon as I start thinking that nobody cares about me, someone lets me know how much they love me. I need to remember that all year around!

So, no official plans this weekend…I decided to go with the flow and see what’s up. I’m going out at some point this weekend and on Sunday, I am meeting up with a fellow photography lover to take some pictures. It’s my birthday and I can do it MY WAY.

March 9, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

All of this for nothing?!

I am a little frustrated right now. It’s nothing that is going to ruin my week or anything but I just wish that the communication with my co-teachers was better. I’ve been asking over and over for the last couple of weeks what kind schedule they want to be on as far as starting the new semester is concerned and they told me that they wanted to start the book immediately. Now, here we are in our first full week back and they are making all of these changes. I made my unit plans according to what they told me and now they wait until the day before (usually at the end of the day) to let me know that they had something else in mind. So basically, my lesson plans get pushed out the door completely because they want to do something else. Mind you, these things that they want to add are usually really helpful things and I would have no problem with it if they would tell me ahead of time…maybe even when I ask them about it?!

We are supposed to have a meeting on Thursdays and this week I will make sure that we do…even though it will be my birthday. I want to make sure that I mention that I need more notice for things that like and also that when they make decisions about how all of the English classes will be run, I want to be informed about it. They came in this week with all of these new procedures and didn’t say anything to me! And I’m the person who suggested at the end of last semester that we come up with department wide procedures!!!

Now I’m being told that the drama class is going to be starting on March 15th and that I have to leave my classroom on Thursdays so that they can use this room for it. Ok, I offered to make preparing for the drama competition part of my enrichment class but they told me that starting now would be too early. So they are letting my co-teacher do it starting now…? They just didn’t want me to teach the class. HELL NO! Don’t let the person with a six years of experience and a degree in teaching a performing art teach the class!!! That’s too much like the right thing to do.

I’m feeling like I might not make it to Thursday and I might have to say something. I don’t want to hold it in and end up acting like a jerk because I’m holding on to it.

March 6, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

There’s Power in Words…

I am starting to really recognize how powerful an affirmation can be. It can be as simple as waking up in the morning and thinking to myself, ” I am going to ROCK this day.”  Positive words and inspirational quotes have been all that have gotten me through many a day….even words to a song as I’ve mentioned before. Words have so much power!

So, I would like to leave some encouraging words for you today! ( click the link!)

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

Birthday Cake

 

 

Nope, this post isn’t going to be about that disgusting new song by Rihanna and Chris Brown.

My birthday is next Thursday…a week from today. Right now I’m debating because part of me wants to get my friends together ( all 6 or 7 of them) and go out on the town. I thought maybe dinner and some rump shaking would be nice. The close it gets, the less I want to do a group thing. I know that it would be a nice way to hang out with some of the people that I have neglected lately and others whom I have yet to met in person but…I’m starting to just think that maybe I should just do a dinner date with one person. I will make my decision by this time tomorrow because I will need to make a FB event for the group get together by then if I’m going to have it.

How to celebrate my 29th year of life….hmmm….

This or....

 

THIS?

Ok so these pictures don’t really represent my options that well…

 

 

Any other suggestions?

 

March 1, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment