Get Up & Grow

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

Thy Will Be Done

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how people like to play God. Last night, I had a conversation with someone about various issues like homosexuality, religion, and marriage. ( All things that should totally be avoided on a first date but…oh well.) I told him about my friend who had posted on FB about her vote on Amendment One in North Carolina. She was angry because people were saying that those in favor of it were ” stupid conservative rednecks”.  Of course, a conversation started about rights and the sanctity of marriage. Her sister broke in to ask if she even really understood what she had voted on. Making gay marriage legal in the state was not up for discussion. What they were voting on was the definition of “legal union” and whether or not couples other than ” man+woman marriages” could be recognized legally. The way the Amendment was worded made people think that they were “fighting for team Jesus for the sanctity of marriage”.  My friend had the attitude that if a gay man couldn’t have any legal rights if his partner got sick or died, that was just an unfortunate side effect and it was not her problem. Her obligation was to God and she had to make sure that gay people were not allowed to marry. (Crickets) Yeah…as I have seen on many FB pages in the past two weeks, rights are called rights because people should have them…they shouldn’t be voted on. Also, everyone is entitled to their own religion and beliefs but…that does not give them the right to decide for others or to push their beliefs on others. Your religion or beliefs should guide you in your own life…your own way of living but it should not change MY rights or the way I live MY life because that’s for me to decide.

Why should anyone have to hide who they are just so that YOU don’t have to be uncomfortable? In this part of the conversation, we were talking about seeing people and not being able to tell if they are male or female. He felt like he absolutely had to know and I asked him why it mattered to him. Why can’t that person just be a human being? If you don’t have to deal with or sleep with this person…why do you care? Who gave you the right to demand that women look like __________ and men look like _________? Instead of worrying about whether this person that you are working with or standing next to is honest and trustworthy, you are worried about their lifestyle choices. Lame. He also talked about being in military and how ” awkward ” it was once they opened the military. He liked it better when the policy was ” don’t ask, don’t tell” because at least then, men weren’t coming back to their shared living quarters with their boyfriends. I pointed out to him that it should have been equally as awkward for men to bring women back because either way, someone was having sex in your shared living space and you could walk in at any time! It’s only awkward to him when there are two men involved of course. If it’s a woman inside with his roommate, he sees the towel hanging from the door and takes it as a sign that his roommate is getting lucky. Later on, he’s patting said roommate on the back for a job well done. Ah, the luxury of being  straight.

Another thing that I don’t understand is double standards. So, because you are attracted to women, it’s okay for them to be together but it’s not okay for men to be together? So…the world has to base right and wrong off of your personal preferences? Lame. You get to decide that a man who takes his time getting dressed in the morning is definitely gay?  Who put you in charge of the Gay Checklist? Why should there even be such a checklist?!

Bottom line is this…mind your own damn business!

May 20, 2012 Posted by | Bitching | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Identity Theft

You’ve got my life. All those years it was ME wishing for the things you have. I was the one making plans and doing what I needed to do to ensure that I got what I wanted. Me…that was my dream…my hopes and aspirations.Your family spent all those years asking why you couldn’t be more like me and now it’s my turn to be jealous. Playing it safe, getting the good grades, going to college…none of that mattered. I watched you waste your life and be reckless with your heart…your body. Now I get to watch you enjoy the life that I wanted for myself while I wander around this life alone and confused. Marriage, children, a home…I deserve those things too. I never thought I was better than you…i just thought we were different. I never thought you’d have those things before me…never thought that at this stage of my life I’d still be alone. I guess sometimes all the planning gets in the way.

May 13, 2012 Posted by | Bitching | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Despite all my rage…

I feel trapped. My current school refuses to tell me if they will bring me back another year but they also refuse to give me a letter of recommendation so that I can look into other options. My Co-teacher has acted as the middle man between me and the vice principal since she doesn’t speak English and that has made things awkward between us. They don’t understand what the big deal is and why I am in a hurry.

You are supposed to tell me in writing within 60 days of my contract ending if you will or won’t renew me! That’s what the contract says and Saturday marks the 60 days. I am being told that it’s too early.

So I’m supposed to just sit here while all of these jobs that I want are being advertised and wait to hear back from this school? I am not a happy camper at all.

May 10, 2012 Posted by | Bitching | Leave a comment

Computer Love…The Men I Attract

I’m a little annoyed at the moment…not gonna lie. I use this website called Korean Cupid to meet new people and I’m starting to think that all of the people on there are really just variations of the same 2 or 3 types. So, I wanted to take a minute to rant about this because I’m tired of seeing the same thing over and over again.

First, I seem to attract a lot of older men. I get so many messages from men who are in their 40s, 50s, and beyond. I am a very open-minded person but I am not interested in dating someone that much older than me. I even gave a guy in his 40s a chance since I’ve been here and came face to face with issues that I didn’t think I’d have to deal with at this stage of life. (No really…I don’t want to hear about your enlarged prostate and the problems it causes…) I would like to date someone who is in their late 20s or their 30s.

There are also a lot of liars online. If I talk to one more person who has photoshopped their pictures or who posted pictures from 10 years ago, I’m going to scream! These people talk to you for a period of time and then send their real pictures…of what they really look like right now. Stop lying about your appearance…your age…your job…just stop lying about everything! I would especially appreciate if you would stop posing as someone who is really looking to date and get to know someone when all you are trying to do is jump in the sack, you nasty pasty! If you are going to try to be slick about it, at least read my profile and make it look like you are interested in something other than what size bra I wear, asshat!

White guys are very popular here….most Koreans find White people to be dazzlingly beautiful no matter what they really look like.  White men here can pretty much take their pick and that’s not just my perspective…I have actually talked to plenty of them and asked about their experience. That’s fine but if you are a white guy who, handsome or not, is getting more vag that you can handle, get off of the dating sites claiming to be completely lonely and sad. This really goes to men of any race who are getting more vag than they can handle and pretending to be lonely but I honestly don’t think that anyone here can pull ’em like White Americans and Europeans…because that’s what’s considered beautiful here. C’mon…you expect me to believe that you are lonely when you can’t even walk down the street with your blue eyes and British accent without being mobbed by Korean women? It’s one thing if you aren’t attracted to Korean women but…that brings me to my next point.

I know that everyone has their preferences and that’s cool but…it doesn’t really look that great when you write this long bio about how you want someone open-minded or even about how open-minded you are and then you specify that you only want Asian women who weigh less than 114 pounds. It kills me when these people talk about how open they are and then have so many strict rules about who is acceptable and who isn’t.

I understand that people think that foreigners are just so cool and all that but I honestly don’t want someone to befriend me or try to date me just because I’m American. I want them to come around because they liked what I had to say on my profile and thought I was attractive. ( BOTH of those things) I can’t tell you how many times I have talked to people and they have no idea what my profile said other than American. Even if that’s what you are all about…at least have to decency to act like you are interested in me as a person when the topic comes up!

Then there is my old standby complaint…your profile declares for everyone to see that you are “LOOKING FOR A FUN AND NICE GIRL”. What do you look like at 35 years old talking about how you are looking for a girl?

If I say that I’m not interested for whatever reason…back the hell off! Do not keep contacting me and do not start calling me names and saying bad things about me. Just to let you know…I’m actually not a “Black bitch” just because I didn’t want to go out with you. I have the right to say no and if I’m nice about it, move along. I don’t have to be nice about it…especially when I pick up on some strange vibes and behaviors and figure out that you are a complete Creeper McCreeperson. I’m not the type that takes that as permission to treat you like less than human but if you start acting out like a child…you will not like the response you get back from me. I promise.

Ok….ok…I feel better now. These are some things that I really hate about internet dating sites but they can also be a lot of fun and I have met some pretty interesting people there. Sometimes I wonder if everyone there ( including me) is damaged goods in some way but I think that we all get lonely and being on a site like that doesn’t mean that we are losers or creepers.

April 26, 2012 Posted by | Bitching, Less than 3 | , , , | 2 Comments

Digging

I am seriously tired of constantly having people undermine me at work. It happens in a variety of ways. Sometimes, I decide what we will do next in class and the other teacher decides she wants to veto the idea. Other times, I give a punishment for unacceptable behavior or ask a student not to do something and she goes behind me and changes things. I am not used to teaching with another person and I even if I were, I’m pretty sure that’s not what the relationship should be like.

Honestly, I feel like there is jealousy at play here. It’s like…I come in here from America (which they think is just THE PLACE.)  with my teaching experience and my Masters degree. I think that they sometimes feel threatened by me and then they feel like they have to make up for that or prove themselves by stepping all over my feet in class. It’s getting really really old.

I feel like what I do here is not teaching. I’m just entertaining. The students are not expected to be responsible for themselves or their learning. If they can’t do it…nobody makes them try. For example, in a 6th grade class today, I asked the students not to share their papers with each other but to verbally help each other get to the answer. There was one student struggling and what did she do? She takes the paper of one student and puts it in front of the struggling student for him to copy. I told her ” I just asked them not to do that” and her answer was ” Yeah but…he can’t do it. He barely knows the alphabet.”  OK…..so we don’t make him try? We just give him the answers? How about we make Enrichment classes mandatory for students like him instead of letting in a bunch of students who already know the material and just want to hang out in here?

Why translate every little thing that comes out of my mouth? That’s the reason why the 6th graders don’t listen when I speak…because they know you will just tell them what I said anyway. How is that teaching them listening skills in English?

The positive side? I only have to be here until July. Then I will move on to a place where I will appreciated and where I will actually TEACH. If that means moving to another country…so be it. I will keep my options completely open and let life take me where it will. I am sick of feeling unappreciated and disrespected.

April 20, 2012 Posted by | Bitching | , , , | 1 Comment

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….

~Bee

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

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

Loss

Watching everyone whom you’ve ever looked up to die sucks. It’s especially painful when you know that things will never be as they once were. All of the greats are dying off but there’s no shortage of douchebags making asshole music with no substance and no soul. When I think about all of the wonderful talent that my children will never get to see, it breaks my heart. Are they doomed to grow up with music that has no heart and no vision? Music has always been an outlet for me…a hiding place. With music that means nothing…where will my children go?

February 12, 2012 Posted by | Bitching | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

African American, hold the African

Since I have been in Korea, I have noticed that there is a lot of tension between the African population and the Black American population here. Part of the issue is that the African people are disgusted with the Black Americans because they say that we don’t know who we are. Well…it’s kind of hard to know exactly where our roots lie because our ancestors were brough to America as slaves and their names were changed and their pasts were erased.

Having said that, there are a lot of Black Americans who do not want to be identified as African-American because they say that they have no connection to Africa. How is this any different from Asian American though? I don’t know any Asian Americans who have a problem with being labeled that way. My guess is because even they know exactly where their roots are….they can be Korean American or Chinese American, etc. Most of us can not pinpoint our origins that easily. Still, I have no problem being called African-American or Black. I know that I was born in the States and I have yet to ever set foot in Africa but that is where my ancestors came from and I am very proud of that.

Someone recently told me that they don’t like being called African-American for two reasons. The first was because of the way she was treated by Africans once she moved to Korea. She doesn’t want to be associated with them at all. Honestly, I think that’s really silly. The second reason was because she feels like we as Black Americans have ” been through too much to not identify as Americans”. Well, African-American as a term doesn’t take away from Africa or American in my opinion. I think that by refusing to be called African-American and by saying that you don’t want to identify with your African roots at all….is disrespectful to your ancestors. That is each person’s right though…to decide how they want to be labeled. Having a preference is one thing but totally just refusing to acknowledge that your ancestors were African? That’s too much, I think.

What has happened to make things this way? How have we become so resentful of our roots that we don’t even want to acknowledge them? Why is the relationship between Black Americans and Africans so strained? I think that both sides are getting caught up in the stereotypes associated with the other side and not dealing with people as individuals. Black Americans don’t want to be associated with the stereotypes of Africans being liars and con artists who are always just looking to scam money out of people. Africans do not like that Black Americans are not willing to embrace their African roots. It just keeps going on and on and on.

I really hate that things have come to this but I continue to be proud of who I am and I hope that one day, I will be able to trace back and find out exactly where I came from.

February 9, 2012 Posted by | Bitching | , , , , | 5 Comments