Monday, January 28, 2013

Follow Your Bliss

What is bliss to you? Is it your family? Your friends? A vast ocean? A deep endless forest? An infinite night sky? A feeling you get when there's nothing more you want because you can hear your own voice above the masses and know you are finally on the path that resonates with your own sense of reason?

Yesterday I spent the day with my friends in Boulder, CO meditating on bliss, making amazing new connections, eating an absolutely sublime brunch, then hiking a lush trail while contemplating what I had meditated on earlier.

What is bliss to me? That. Everything that happened yesterday filled me with a sense of renewal, joy, peace, and complete contentment. It was another confirmation that my, at the time, terrifying decision to change my life was the right one.

A giant smile spreads across my face every time I remember that I regained my freedom by taking back the responsibility for my life. I am no longer living by what other people think I should be doing. I cannot be controlled by money, social expectations of where I should be, or false hierarchies of power built on fear.

Back in June I wrote about putting your dreams and intentions out there in Are You Having the Right Conversation? and 7 months later I am still finding how imperative it is to never stop having that conversation. As I've said so many times before, I love travel, cooking, writing, and making new connections with people. In the past several months, I have been meeting people who share those passions because I've been putting it out there. I talk about it, write about it, dream about it, and post about it on Facebook (apologies to my friends whose News Feeds are flooded with it).

Yesterday, after many failed attempts to hang out, I finally connected with a new friend who shares the same love of travel, adventure, meaningful conversations, and meeting new people as I do, and next week we will discuss how we can collaborate to take those things out into the world.

How freaking exciting is that? These things would likely have never happened had I stayed in my windowless cube working to have enough money to mask my misery.

I can hardly wait to see how these events all play out over the next year. I have feeling that a new adventure is brewing on the horizon.

Friday, January 11, 2013

"When Nothing is Certain, Anything is Possible"

Last trimester flew by, and we're already well into January. I have an entire 7 months here, but I only have 7 months here. I still have no idea of what I want to be when I grow up. My dad just sent me a text reminding me to slow down and enjoy the time I have- something will come to me. It's hard for me to not want to plan it all out, but I have to remind myself to enjoy the moment I'm in and not worry about the ones to come because the reality of life is that the ones to come may never arrive. Aside from that, I also have no idea what unexpected opportunities may lie around the bend. 

My visit home caused me to have a brief moment of considering moving back- I didn't realize how much I had missed my friends and family until I returned. It was like entering a warm room after being in the cold and not realizing you were freezing. But as fate? luck? would have it, a series of events reminded me that I left for a reason. I am on a journey, and I cannot settle until I find those things I addressed in my post (A Few) Things I Learned the Last 3 Months. I made a commitment to myself to give myself the chance to discover all of those things that make me come alive- that give my life depth and meaning. I chose this path, and now I must follow it to whatever end.

I realize I will have many days in the coming months when I will panic about my future, but I know I need to take a deep breath, and let life come as it will. Since I've been here, I've reaffirmed my love of travel, food, training, and writing. Additionally, I've also discovered how much I love building relationships with my students. They make every day worth my fear and self-doubt and give me hope in ways I would have never discovered otherwise. I'm as excited to see how their lives unfold as I am about my own. How will I combine all of these? I have no clue yet. But I'm sure I'll figure it out. Eventually. 

Just Another Heartbreak

Well, I did it again. 

"What?" you may ask.

I allowed my heart to be broken. Again. 

Thankfully, this one was not as dragged out as the last, though I wish it would not have happened at all.  You can tell me all of the conventional trite wisdom like "It wasn't a waste of time" or "You learn a lesson from it," but I have to admit, I'm tired of learning the same lesson. Which makes me wonder what I'm doing to attract the same experience over and over again. 

I bet you're wondering if I'm a relationship hopper, but no. Against reasonable logic, I'm not. I take long periods of time between my relationships so I can re-center, assess what happened, and do my best to not repeat the situation. 

There's clearly a glitch in my system. 

It always presents entirely different with each relationship, but rapidly deteriorates into the same ending.    I'm working on figuring out why. 

That all said, one valuable lesson I have learned through it all is that I'm not nearly as jaded as one (I) would expect from repeatedly having my heart broken, shattered, crushed, and stomped on. I still love openly and wholeheartedly, even if imperfectly. 

Oh, and the other lesson I never get tired of learning? How amazing my friends are. I would never make it through without them. They show me over and over again how blessed my life is.

Today, I feel a little hurt and vulnerable, but I take comfort in knowing that my friends have my back (even from a distance), and knowing that when the time comes for me to break the cycle and find an honest love, I will be ready with an open heart. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Blood and Water

The last 10 days have been quite a roller coaster of emotions, and I'm still working on processing it all. 

I found a translator to make communication with my biological father easier (well, possible), and it's been relieving and frustrating and heartbreaking all at the same time. When I first found my biological family, the adoption agency had translated a few letters, and it was brought up that they want me to visit Seoul.

Nearly 10 years later, I'm finally entertaining the possibility of actually doing so. The idea of it scares me for several reasons. Heading to a country where I can't even fudge my way through understanding the language because I have zero idea of what the characters mean is the first hang up. Secondly, I have a non-existent sense of direction. How am I going to figure out where I'm going in this incredibly foreign country? Finally, I can conceptually imagine what it would be like to meet my father, mother, and 3 older sisters, but I know without a doubt the actual experience is something I won't be able to prepare for on any level. Then, to top it off, going back to the language thing- I'll be in front of these people who hold a large chunk of my identity and I won't be able to say a word they understand nor they to me. 

But, like my friend said today, "communication is in body language, sharing a meal, spending time with them." I said I wasn't ready. He told me my time is running out. I take for granted that we live in the United States where the way we live and work is vastly different from the way the poor in a country like South Korea work. The reality is that my parents are getting older, they've led hard lives, and their health is already beginning to fail. 

In this case, I don't know that there is a "right" moment- the right moment is me going in spite of my fear, in spite of not feeling ready. The likelihood of feeling ready to meet the blood from which I came is probably slim. So, this year, I won't wait for the elusive opportune moment. I will go visit my biological family and face a history that was, until now, only loosely sketched out on paper.