Get Up & Grow

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

Just enjoy it!

Getting your hopes up and then failing or being let down is an awful feeling. The fear of failing sometimes keeps us from doing things that we are capable of doing or enjoying blessings that come our way.

Here’s to enjoying my blessings! I got offered a new job and I will be able to stay in my city. The people in the school are so much warmer and more respectful. They are jumping through hoops to get me in their school and it feels great. I get to pick my own apartment and I can move in as soon as I’m out of my current one. The school is going to give me a housing allowance so I can live closer to the main drag and the subway. They are also still going to furnish my place for me!

I’m still interviewing at other places until the contract is signed but…its pretty much a done deal. I get to stay near my friends and work in a supportive work environment. Can’t wait to go looking at apartments…and to decorate my new place!

I get a second chance!


June 8, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation | 3 Comments


I’ve decided to delete my teacher Facebook account. It’s just too much. I realized that I am depending on my former students to validate me. I am obsessing over the thought that their new teacher is better than me….that she is giving them all of the things that I couldn’t. I need to step back and take a deep breath…remember that it was ME that started that program and I did a hell of a job. I not only taught them about dance but I also made them want to be better people. I care about them. I was an amazing teacher to them.

So…getting off of there will make things better. If I’m not constantly looking at pictures from their latest show or thinking about what I’m missing out on, I can move forward. I will keep in touch via email but that’s about it. There is no reason for me to have one foot in my new world and one foot in the old one. I have to let go.

I think that part of the problem here is that when it comes to my new world…there is still so much that I don’t know. So much is still being decided and I really hate not knowing where I am going and what I ultimately want to do with myself. I know that it’s my dream to open a dance school but until that dream can happen…what will I do? I know that I don’t plan to teach English in public schools forever. University I could stand to do for a bit but…once I finish this counseling degree…what then? Will I go into counseling? Go for another degree? Hell, two weeks ago I was sure I wanted to change my program of study to TESOL and the only reason I didn’t was because I’m in the middle of a financial aid year. Then I decided that I will stick in there with counseling. It isn’t easy but I am genuinely interested in it. The thought of helping families and couples through therapy really appeals to me.

Here I am…I am finding that the closer I get to 30…the less I know about what I really want to do. This is a really scary place to be right now. I think that I need to let go of any notion that 30 is the magic number and that I must have everything figured out by then. I need to stop planning and start living.

May 3, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation | , , , , , | Leave a comment


I am more determined than even to learn Korean and to be effective in my English teaching methods.  I have a student in the 5th grade whom I knew from the start had special needs. She is in the regular 5th grade classroom though she doesn’t really participate or communicate with others. Yesterday, her class group was rushing her to finish an assignment so that they could get points for being the first to finish. They are never the first to finish and that’s because she rarely finishes at all.

So suddenly, she starts to cry and the co-teacher takes her aside as I continue class. She offered to be there for her when she needed it but she was not at all interested in what other people could offer her….except that she said that she wanted her friends to kill her. This 5th grader has expressed that she would like for her life to end and nobody is doing anything about it.

I started asking questions and trying to figure something out. Was there something that she was interested in that we could get her involved in? The co-teacher explained that because of her special needs, her parents had run away and left her with her grandmother. They didn’t have a lot of money so she couldn’t afford to go to any academy after school and most days she sat here at school with her home room teacher after school. My heart was broken.

I asked again if there was something that she was interested in…what could we do for her? My co-teacher said that they only person she showed any interest in was me. She’d mentioned that she liked me and wanted to talk to me but she couldn’t speak English.

Wow….just when you think you have nothing real to offer….when you think that nobody cares…just wow. Before I leave this school, I will have a conversation with her…in Korean…English…I don’t care. I will connect with this girl. Nobody else is trying to do anything to help her but I will.

April 24, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation, Less than 3 | , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Expect A Lot…

In the past, when someone has accused me of “expecting a lot”,  I have quickly taken offense and denied it. I saw it as them judging me and that was not something that I could deal with. I think I’m at a point now where I can admit that I do expect a hell of a lot from people….especially those I date. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that either. If I’m going to try to be the best person I can be and to deal with them in a way that is pleasant and fair…why not expect the very same from them in return? There are many things that I realize that I expect from people but they are also things that I expect from myself when I am dealing with them. Do I sometimes fall short? Yes…and so will they but that effort is what matters and lets me know that they actually give a damn. So here are some examples of things that I expect from others.

– If a person is going to make me a part of their life, I expect to be treated like I matter. If I don’t matter…don’t be fake and pretend that I’m a real part of your life. Don’t make me someone to talk to when you are bored or someone to go out with when you have nothing to do. I don’t let just anyone into my life and neither should you. If someone is there, they should have a purpose or a place.  Take an interest in who I am and what I like and actively try to get to know me. Don’t treat me like I’m just one of many options. See me for who I am…the one and only original ME.

-I expect for people to take responsibility for their actions and words. I used to be the type of person who always had some great excuse as to why I was acting a certain way and it usually involved me pointing a finger in someone else’s direction. It’s easy to do and of course I’m human and sometimes I still do it. The older I get though, the better I am becoming at identifying patterns in my behavior and their effects on others. This is something that I wish for everyone else too. I can admit when I’m being difficult and I can usually figure out why. I expect for other people to take more responsibility.

-Respect me as a person! Do not make assumptions about who I am because of my gender or my skin color. I guarantee you that women are not the only ones with emotions and some of us are capable of controlling them. Do not assume that because at any given time I disagree with you, it’s because I’m on my period. Please be advised that I am not going to launch myself into a neck rolling, finger-snapping frenzy when I am angry. (Believe it or not, Black women don’t all have attitudes.) You don’t have to comment about how articulate I am as if it’s some kind of surprise. I’m a 29 year old, educated woman. I’m not going to be ghetto and obnoxious just because I have brown skin. Stop acting surprised because I listen to music other than hip-hop and R&B and speak languages other than English. Respect me enough to avoid doing/saying things that you know hurt me or make me angry because I’m going to do the very same for you!

-Be yourself! There is nothing worse than dealing with a person whom you feel is not being completely honest about who they are. Ok, so you aren’t rich, trendy, or ripped…some of us don’t care about those things. If I start out not knowing the real you, we don’t really have a chance at all. I’m going to be who I am. ( I’m still working on not being so apologetic about some of the aspects of being who I am but….I’m me nonetheless.)

-Express yourself! If you feel something, say so! This doesn’t just mean telling me that you like me….I also want to know if you have doubts, fears,etc. If you have a problem with me or something I’ve done/said….let me know. I have found that in the past I have missed many opportunities because I just didn’t speak up. I have also seen that holding on to issues and fears can come back to blow up in your face when you are unwilling to get them out on the table. They never really go away unless you confront them.

Ok so my brain just shut off…must be on a timer. I’m sure I will think of some more things later.

Feed your faith and starve your fears….


April 14, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation, Bitching, Less than 3 | , , , , , | 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

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

5 Things He’ll Just Have to Accept

All I’ve been hearing lately from people is how relationships are about compromise.  ( Usually I’m hearing it from a man who wants to change something about me…) I agree whole-heartedly that there are times when you need to compromise with the person that you are with for the good of your relationship. I don’t, however, believe that it should be one-sided, with one person constantly pointing out “flaws” and expecting changes to me made. There are also some things that my future man will just have to accept about me:

1) I have  a dog. My dog is loved and spoiled. He sleeps in the bed with me and pretty much has the freedom to roam my home and do what he wants within reason. I do not obsessively clean his feet or vacuum his hair off of things. I like to keep a nice apartment but I do not go crazy over it. Anyone who has a problem with dogs, or my dog in general need not apply.

2) I have tattoos. I have lots of them actually and I love every single one. In Korea, tattoos are becoming more popular and I was very surprised to hear my co-teacher say that she wanted one. I was told before I came here that I would be stared at and pretty much hated for my tattoos and that hasn’t really been the case. There are still some people here who think that women with tattoos have connections with gangster or they are prostitute and that’s fine. They can be ignorant if they wish. My tattoos are obviously permanent and I don’t want to date anyone who has crazy ideas about what having a tattoo means about a person…or someone whose family is going to make a huge deal out of it.

3) I am emotional. It has nothing to do with being a woman or having PMS. I am just a naturally emotional person. I tend to be very sensitive to the things that certain people say. I don’t keep a lot of people around me so when I do let someone near me, I care about what they think.  I am always working on improving the way I interact with others so some of the sensitivity has worn off over the years. There are certain things that I think are rude and unnecessary and I’m not going to say them to people who I care about and I expect them to have the same respect for me.

4) I’m a casual sort of woman. I have two points here. You are not going to catch me out in public each day wearing heels and make up. As much as I love those things, they are a pain in my butt and I only wear them when I feel like it. I don’t have to wear them everyday to feel good about myself or to look good. Some women like to dress up to the nines everyday and I love the different styles and looks that I see but that’s just not me. I can throw together a hot outfit and beat my face with makeup just as well as the next woman but I’m not going to do it on a daily basis. Second point… notice my use of the word WOMAN instead of girl.

5) I demand respect. I believe that there is a certain way that men and women should treat each other and I won’t settle for less. You aren’t going to talk to me any kind of way or treat me like I don’t matter. If I don’t matter, there’s the door…please dont’ waste another second of my time. I am the type of person to treat my man like a King so I expect to be treated like the Queen I am.

So…there’s my list. I think I might expand it at some point but it’s good for now. ;0)

February 27, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation, Less than 3 | , , , , | 5 Comments

Never put off until tomorrow…

I have learned a valuable lesson today. If there are warning signs and red flags when you are around someone…TAKE IT TO HEART! When people show you who they really are…believe them.

I have come to realize that avoiding people in general is not the way to avoid drama… avoiding people who love to bathe in drama is the way to do it. Some people have to be in the middle of drama or creating drama everywhere they go. If you are not being confrontational and rude, they think you are being fake or not keeping it 100 with them. No, there are just some things in life that aren’t worth starting a war over….most things actually.

Today I have been set free from a connection from a person whose personality does not mesh well with mine. I can’t deal with people who are so angry and bitter that they make the lives of others uncomfortable. I can’t be around someone who says such ugly things about their “friends” behind their backs. I need positive people in my life.

Here’s to drama free fun!

February 24, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation | , , , , | Leave a comment

If you know what’s good for you…

I definitely have been able to identify things that just AREN’T for me. But, I’m having a harder time figuring out what’s good for me. Well really, I’m having a hard time TRUSTING myself to know what’s good for me. Opportunities are being presented and I’m too stuck in fear to take them. I have so many excuses why I can’t but in reality, it might be the best thing for me.

It’s such a sad thing when something good comes your way and you don’t know how to enjoy it because you aren’t used to that kind of good luck. You end up convincing yourself that you either don’t want it or don’t deserve it.

What’s your next move going to be?

Life really is like a big game and sometimes if you are too focused on choosing the perfect strategy, you can miss out on some truly beautiful opportunities. I am a fan of “going with the flow” and letting things just happen but how often do I actually allow that in my own life?

They always say that life is short and really it is. It’s too short to live with regrets, to live in fear, and to run away from new opportunities.  It’s also too short to let people walk all over you.
I think what I’d like to do is just have more fun and allow myself to enjoy things that make me feel good. They might not always lead to where I want them to but I can enjoy them nonetheless.

February 23, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation | , , | Leave a comment

THIS is why you didn’t deserve me

So my Valentine’s Day was really sweet and I left messages on FB for the most important people in my life to tell them that I love them. It struck me that there was one person whom I had forgotten…someone who loved me a long time ago and who taught me what love was…my ex. I don’t actually talk to my first love and now I am convinced that it’s for the best. Here is the message that I sent him privately:

Ok….bear with me…I am sending messages to people today to tell them why they are important in my life. I believe that Valentine’s Day is about love in all forms so I like to do this to show appreciation for the people who have loved me during my lifetime. This year I wanted to finally tell you some things. This is in no way meant to offend you or to make you feel uncomfortable but I would like to express myself so here goes….

We weren’t meant to spend our lives together but back then nobody could have told me that. You were the first and only person that I was ever in love with. I have loved many people in my life in different ways and for different periods of time but that is not the same as being in love. You taught me what love is in so many beautiful and sometimes unconventional ways. We shared everything ( mind, heart, and body) and by giving yourself to someone so completely, you learn to trust. What we had was a classic first love story that I never get tired of….because it helped make me the person I am today. Are we still in love? No. But I do appreciate the person you were back then and the person that you will always be. I appreciate the things that you taught me about life…love…and myself. I appreciate having the experiences that I had with you. Only now…once I’ve let go of the past and focused on wishing for a healthy and happy future for us both do I uncover the last piece of what it is to truly love someone. We don’t talk and that’s probably for the best but I did want to thank you, Marcus…and tell you that you have impacted my life. When I tell you that I wish you all the happiness in the world, please believe me because it’s completely true! Happy Valentine’s Day!

He thanked me for my message and said that it was sweet. His other comment was that we were nearly 30 and surely I had been in love again by now. I replied that no, I hadn’t but I looked forward to it in the future. That was that until this morning when I woke up to another message from him.

Especially now since u always had a thing for tiny asian penis. Now you can get a whole bunch of it!

What?! Are we in the 5th grade?! Who is this person and what has he done with the man I used to love?! I couldn’t believe that he would say something like this….esp. after the things that I had said to him about the impact that he made in my life!  So I just said

Almost 30, huh? Have a great rest of your week though. :0)

I know he was expecting the old me…the person who would start an argument over much less than this. Why waste the energy on someone who would talk to me this way after years of not speaking much and trying to sort out our feelings?!  His reply was that there was nothing wrong with a sense of humor and that I had to admit that it was pretty funny. I just told him ” Yep.You’re right. I’m getting ready for work. Have a good one.”  There is no point in fighting and getting upset. He is a non-factor in my life at this point. His contributions were made a long time ago and instead of letting him destroy my memories of him…I’d like to remember him the way he was back then. There is absolutely no reason to continue to talk to him.

I will let myself think about this situation the next time I start to feel like I miss him. I want to remind myself that the part of my life that included him is over and he is not the person I once knew and loved.

I think that even though I knew we would never be together again, part of me wanted to have some kind of friendship with him. Sometimes letting go really is the best thing to do.

February 16, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation, Bitching, Less than 3 | , , , , , | 1 Comment