Get Up & Grow

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

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


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

Election Day

Yesterday was a great day. I decided to go out to Ganghwa island with some friends. I love the feeling I get from hanging out with people. I love feeling like part of the group for a change. We laughed so much…took pictures…ate wonderful Vietnamese food. I’m so glad that I didn’t stay at home for the day because I would have missed out on so much.

I’m learning about how awesome I really can be. I look at the person I am when I am around these people and I’m actually really impressed. It isn’t like I become someone different around other people…it’s just that I am able to fully express myself and show my personality. I’m a pretty fun person!

The date was good the night before. I thought that it would be all awkward but it really wasn’t. He looked amazing in the button down shirt he was wearing and it’s so strange how I am looking at him in a different light. He asks me out and all of a sudden I see him differently because I’ve given myself permission. I’m enjoying this but I hope to take things slowly. I don’t want to end up in any uncomfortable situations and I also want to continue to be fun around him. I don’t want to take things too seriously and start thinking too much.


Purp and I enjoying the view on Ganghwa Island.

April 12, 2012 Posted by | Click, Less than 3 | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Line…and When is it Ok to Cross it Again?

I have this friend…we will call him Purp. ( I really hate posts that start that way but oh well…) Purp and I met on Facebook when I joined a page for foreigners living close to my area. As soon as I introduced myself and said that I was looking to ” get a social life”, he responded asking what I like to do. Ever since then, he and I have seen each other every weekend. I know what you are thinking and it isn’t anything romantic…I think. Well it didn’t start out that way. We are always hanging out with groups of people…mostly people he knows. We have never been out alone.

Recently, this friend of mine asked if I would be interested in hanging out alone….a date, he added at the end. I was shocked because I had no idea that he thought of me that way. I guess that’s a good thing though because I hate for a man to act like a horny dog from the beginning. He and I have started a great friendship and he reminds me so much of the people I called my closest friends in high school. So, I agreed to go out with him tonight but I’m feeling so many things at this point.

1. Excitement! Hanging out with Purp is always a great time and I’m always excited to see him. I’m also excited because he treats me like a friend…a lady…someone to be respected. I never feel like he is looking at me with lust in his heart.

2. Fear! What happens if this doesn’t work out? What if one or both of us is uncomfortable? How do you go back to being friends and forget about that one night when you tried to be more? That’s scary! I know people are always using the lame excuse that they don’t want to ruin a great friendship but I REALLY feel that way. If I lose this person’s friendship, I will be crushed.

3. Curiosity! No really…what happens if it doesn’t work out? Does he become SuperCockBlockMan when we hang out from now on? He doesn’t seem like the jealous type and I don’t think he would turn into a jerk if we didn’t end up dating and I met someone else while I was out with him in the future. There is always that possibility though…I just wonder what he will be like from here forward.

So I have also been thinking about this other situation. If someone tells you that they want you to “follow your heart” when it comes to someone else…does that mean exactly that or is that a nice way of saying ” I don’t give two shits what you do” ? Conversations come less frequently and some things have changed. I get the feeling that we have both stopped caring a little and that’s fine. Once I start seeing someone as an emotional threat…I slow down on trying to pursue them. Nobody is perfect but there are certain places that I just don’t want to put myself.  Call me a coward…I’ll be that.

April 10, 2012 Posted by | Less than 3 | , , , | Leave a comment

A Lesson in Letting Go Pt.2

It seems as though lately I have had to do a lot of letting go. I’ve had to let go of people and also of faulty thinking and behavior. I will get to the people later because I want to focus right now on the thinking and behaviors that I am working to leave behind.

I will NOT sit at home in hopes of spending the evening flirting on Kakaotalk and eating junk food! I don’t know what it is about meeting someone that turns me into such a couch potato but I JUST got myself a social life and I’m not going to let go of it. I find myself feeling resentful because the men in my life have lives and stuff to do and that’s just childish and wrong. The issue here is that I want to be the most important part of someone’s life. I know that something like that takes time and that it needs to happen in a healthy way but for some reason, I still get impatient. I definitely have been the type of person that counts on others for my sense of self-worth and that’s not healthy at all.  At other times, I seem to be totally independent and confident and I’m having a hard time figuring out which is the real me.

I had lunch with someone yesterday and we had an interesting conversation about relationships and love. Much to my surprise, he was very open about his love life and told me that he’d fallen in love with someone soon after he got to Korea two years ago. They were together for 8 months before breaking up and he was heart-broken. Since then, he hasn’t wanted to date and go through all of that again. He also mentioned that this would be his last year in Korea because he wanted to move to Peru ( he has family there) and teach before pursuing a Master’s degree in Hispanic Literature. I started to talk about my tendency to rush…the fact that I can never seem to calm down enough to enjoy dating…and I always seem to be searching. I expressed my interest in changing those things and finding peace. His opinion was ” you can’t really change who you are though.” I respected that response…I even agreed to some extent.  I found myself thinking…I hear you talking but…you want me to believe that it wouldn’t bother you to know how I am, at this very moment, sizing you up? Deciding if you are boyfriend material even though this is only the second time we have hung out? ( Because that’s just what I do!)

Some people would say that I am just a hopeless romantic…some people would shake their heads in disgust and label me as desperate. I’m not sure that I’m as interested in labeling it as I am in changing it but then that brings me back around to the golden question: Can someone really change who they are or will the result just be the same product in different packaging?

April 8, 2012 Posted by | Less than 3 | , , , | 1 Comment

More than meets the eye…


This is what I want and this…takes time. I want this kind of comfort that comes with being with someone for a while and really knowing them. Everything about their body language screams “commitment!”
Live and love on, my brother and sister!

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Click, 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

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

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