Well…That was…something. 2016. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? It was bad. So. Many. People. Died. Terrorist attacks in Orlando, Germany, France, Syria. Rampant sexism and xenophobia in the U.S. Watching my Sher-o Hillary Clinton losing an election to an unqualified, liar making dangerous promises on a whim to throngs of screaming crowds. Inciting violence and hate at rallies. Neo-nazi celebration and a KKK parade in the street. It hurts. My mom just opened the champagne that had been sitting in our fridge, that we had imagined sharing together to celebrate our first Women president. I so wanted that moment with my mom, a women who has spent her entire adult life dedicated to social justice and the advancement of women’s rights. I still, really, do not understand. But this year was about more than the election and some good things did happen. So here are some of the highlights of my personal life in 2016:
I careened into 2016 excited and ready to go. I spent NYE making a vision board, stating my goals and choosing guiding words for the year (Intention and Attention). I was so sure that I would be able to complete the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge. I was really excited, sent out texts to a bunch of friends to join me and printed out the checklist.
Somewhere between book 3 and 4, some things became clear. Read More
Going through my computer, I found this piece I wrote and never published. Here is some throwback Korean fun!
Korean cabs are a like a box of chocolates.
My experiences in Korean cabs have been as varied as the flavors of kimchi I have sampled. Some are a little sweet, some are sour and some are outright regrettable.
Thanksgiving in my very favorite Holiday.
I love turkey, wine at 4 o’clock, the parade and I really, really love gratitude. Gratitude is such a simple concept with so much power. The more you practice gratitude the more you realize all you have to be grateful for. The more in touch you are with what you have to be grateful for, the richer your life becomes. And the only thing you need to change is your awareness. That is pretty close to magic.
On Tuesday night the 8th I sobbed. I didn’t sleep. I drank glasses of wine not for fun, but to numb the pain. I called my girlfriends, I wailed, I lost my shit.
So I waxed poetic about coming back to Fairbanks.
It was an easy thing to do and at the time it felt true. Leaving Korea and coming to Alaska felt right and peaceful. And I had so much to look forward to. A marathon to run and a graduate class to take.
The marathon has been run and the class is almost over.
I sat on top of my suitcase and squeezed the zipper shut. As soon as I got it closed a let out a sign of finality. That was it. After a week of half-hearted and scattered packing attempts, I was done. My life in Korea was officially wrapped up, packed up and shipped off. In two hours my boss was picking me up and my replacement was about to take over this little square of space I had called home for the last year.
No more late night runs to the marts on the corner, no more charming run-ins with elderly Korean ladies, no more barbecues, and no more Kimchi.
4 am. Blackness. Wind howling outside my room. Branches being ripped off trees and flying all over the temple grounds. Awoken to the gentle sounds of gongs and chants. And the violent gusts of wind. The monks were marching towards their morning prayer. And we were about to join them.
So My half-marathon didn’t go quite as expected…
I was standing in the corral shoulder to shoulder. Packed in tight. My anticipation was building, my heart was beating but I was breathing to stay calm. I was nervous, but I was ready. I was jumping around and shaking out my legs. The fireworks went off and the marathoners took off. I cheered for them and kept shuffling around. Right about then is when I quickly realized that everyone around me was wearing a blue bib and I was wearing a pink bib. It dawned on me that I was in the wrong corral and when the fireworks had gone off a few minutes ago and the runners took off, the runners I had been cheering for, that was MY race and I was supposed to be with them. Uhg.
This is a guest post from my travel, fitness and blogging buddy Michelle, from The Millennial In Motion! She shares my interest in staying healthy in Korea, she always sees the humor and we both are on a quest to see everything while we are here! We both found ourselves in fitness classes where we were the sole Waygooks (foreigners). She chose Tae Kwon Do as her work out of choice and here are some of the highlights from her experience (spoiler alert: they are good).