Tag Archives: happiness

Find something you love and…

2 hours ago, it was 11 something and I was excited about getting nine hours of sleep. I feel like my body needs it. My schedule has picked up a LOT lately, which is great, because I’m definitely still paying for Bali.

But now it’s 1:17 a.m. in Korea, and I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m just not that tired after all.

I should be. I woke up early, worked out for an hour, worked a full day, and then did an hour class after that. On the way home, finally, I was thinking about how not tired I am, and how I regret having picked up dinner and depriving myself from the pleasure of cooking for myself.

See, the thing is that even though my days are long, I don’t hate them. And even though I spend my time working, really actually working, not deskwarming but actually interacting with students for 8-9 hours a day, I often find myself feeling energized.

I think I really do love being a teacher. They say find something you love and never work a day in your life, right? I don’t know. This doesn’t really feel like work. I mean, it’s a place I have to go every day, but like you can’t be too serious once you’re there. I laugh, like genuinely laugh, like caught-off-guard LOL because it was actually funny laugh like once an hour. Because these kids are crazy and hilarious. My kindies have gotten into the habit of sniffing me, and so they regularly get up from their seats to grab my arm and take deep inhalations from their little diaphragms. Then they proclaim to me that I smell “a lot good and a little bad.” It’s completely absurd. But it’s really funny.

And I never know where the day’s going to take me. I have two boys that I work with, and even though we have a textbook, a lot of times we stray from the curriculum. One day they broke down for me the politics behind the two-party system in Korea, and the attitudes of the older and younger generations toward Korea’s leaders. The next, they wanted to hear and tell ghost stories, then they ran out to one kid’s mom because they were scared, because they’re only 10 Korean age (which makes them 9).

In contrast to this, I have the fact that I had six solid months free and didn’t write a damn word. I write, but I feel tired afterward. I do it, but I power through it. I think about the environment I would have as a writer. I could work at a newspaper/magazine and be surrounded by sardonic, cynical, world-weary, oh so clever adults. Or I could work at home by my damn self and descend into madness in the dreary and silence of my own mind.

I honestly don’t think this writing thing is for me, not to make a career of. I feel like I made a choice a long time ago that I didn’t want to live in my head. That it was actually really important for me as a stable and happy person to get the hell out of my head. Looking back, that was probably the day I gave up writing as a potential career, realistically. Because where else would I reside, really, but in my head as a writer?

And here I have teaching. And it’s fresh, and new. And i’m up and standing and moving and laughing and sometimes being stern but other times chasing little children around a play gym. And i’m not being read and revered by millions, but I’m teaching a handful of kids how to think critically and express themselves and damnit, that’s fulfilling and satisfying as hell.

I really like what I do right now.


An open letter to the last one who broke my heart

Dear You,

Although I have no reason  to believe you read this blog, I hope you see this. C’me on universe.

Last night, I was talking to someone. It was hushed tones, late-night, that talk you talk when you’re getting to know someone who might be someone new. I was intoxicated from a night spent jumping, laughing, dancing, and hyperventilating from the crowd. He was just intoxicated.

I told him about my past, and now my past includes you, and I told him about my past and you in a way that surprised myself. I have struggled to make the best of my past experiences, but for the most part I have straddled the line between bitter and ashamed. Bitter at the external, ashamed at/of myself. This time, though, I told him of my things and I told him about you, and I surprised myself. I told him that with you, it hurt so badly that I had to heal, and as I said it, I realized it was true.

Like a young daredevil, I was careless with my heart, and it got broken a few times. Like a leg that was never set, it healed enough to function, but it still hurt when I walked on it. Or when it rained. Then came you. You were the one who broke my heart again, only this time it got set, it got put in a cast, and it is well on its way to healing properly.

I know that I loved you, short time that we were, inappropriate that it was, speeding bullet, oncoming train, clear and beautiful disaster that it all turned out to be, because it rocked me to my core. I am not the same after you.

Before you, I was angry. I was bitter. I felt stupid. I was lost. I was careless with my heart because I was unaware of how precious it was. If this was a different type of letter, here is where I would add the “hence why I gave it to you” clause, but that is not this. Some things you just can’t control. You were my force of nature.

But when it ended between us, it hurt. It hurt so badly that I had no choice but to go to the places I was most afraid to explore within, to say to myself the things that I was burying, hiding from, talking over. It forced me to look at myself, to listen, and to be honest with myself. I slowly learned to trust myself.

I don’t understand why my spirit recognized itself in yours, but I do know that what that gave me was so pure and utterly good that nothing could fill the space your absence created except for all of my wildest dreams, and so I fulfilled them. I chased them relentlessly after you, and now I’m on my way to teach English in Korea, something I have been scared of for years. But I can do it, because I backpacked in Guatemala. And I went after that experience as a part of filling that space that your absence created.

A psychic told me you realized you made a mistake in leaving me. My ego hopes that’s true. She also told me that you would never be happy in a relationship because you didn’t know how. The very best part of me hopes that’s not. You helped to reinvigorate me. My experience with you showed me how truly beautiful being happy with someone is, however brief. I hope that you find that again one day. It is worth the risk, a thousand times over. The only thing I would change about you and me is that if I could do it again, I would be more honest. Something like that deserves to be experienced fully, because it can never truly be denied.




p.s.: I am also equally OK with you not reading this letter


It already feels so distant (if it were meant to happen at all, it was supposed to be a phase)


Here I am. It’s 4 a.m. and I am on my rebellious child on summer vacation schedule, where I stay up ridiculously late and sleep ’till noon because I can.

I’ve been back home a week,

but it’s the strangest thing. My old life, the one I wrote about, the one I anguished about, the one I cherished,

It already feels so distant.

I feel this really strange kind of innate sense of understanding that my entire life for the past five years are what will henceforth be referred to as “my college years.” This makes them no less real, no less raw, no less amazing.

What it does make them is not permanent. What it does make them,

is a stage.

A stage I have now left.

You know,

when I was going through things (different things, take your pick, the kinds of things that people on their own in their early twenties go through), it all felt so serious. So everlasting. So eternal and enveloping. In those things, in those moments, there was no past and no future but those things. They were consuming and never ending. I internalized them to the point that even after these events had passed, I still saw them as critical parts of my identity. Things I would have to explain to myself and each new person over and over for them to know me. 

Did I mention I’m a clutcher?

But now, suddenly, these things are just things and they are tied to this location and this location is tied to this period in my life that I have just left. I am no longer in college. I am no longer in that place. Those are no longer my things; they are in that space and time, and already that space and time are gone, irreversibly gone. I will never go back to that particular intersection of space and time, and as a consequence, I will never go back to those things. They are there. I left them behind.

Is any of this making sense?

Let me put it this way: A new friend and I were talking about quitting drinking today, and we touched on phases. I told him that I thought that some things, if they were meant to happen at all, then they were meant to be phases. Take for example that hard partying lifestyle of college, the binge drinking and general hot messery. If you accept that that is something that is meant to take place in the natural progression of life, then I think that it must follow that it is something that is meant to be a phase. If you are meant to do that, then you are meant to stop doing it soon thereafter. I think the problem comes when people make it a lifestyle and not a phase.

Which brings me to my latest rant: Taylor Swift. People are so hard on the girl, but my goodness. She’s 22. I was certainly a hot mess from 22 to 3 months ago or last week depending on your yardstick. To paraphrase, let he who wasn’t a hot mess in relationships at 22 cast the first biting comment. 

If at 26, 30, 34, 40, she’s still a hot mess, then talk to me. But actually, still don’t, because I’ll be too busy exploring the next phase of my life to care about Taylor Swift’s hot messery. Or else, she’ll be one of my good friends (because I’ll have made it to that level) and I won’t want to hear you talkin sh*t about my girl.

I’m just saying. We who strive to be happy, to be balanced, to be loved/loving, to be real, to be authentic, to be alive, to be true to ourselves, to explore, we go through things. We go through phases as we learn ourselves and the world around us. It’s the same place, but it’s different for everybody. Maybe we don’t all have the same experiences, but each of our experiences marks a place in space and time where we are and where we’re going until we find ourselves glancing in the rear view mirrors of our lives at all of those same things, as we leave them behind.

Not caring about the someone who was foolish enough to not love you back: Part tres chic

There will be a next time you see me.

I don’t know how,

I don’t know when.

It could be tomorrow.

(I doubt it will be tomorrow)

I don’t know anything for sure except this one thing: there will be a next time you see me.

And when that next time occurs,

You will be dumbstruck by the fact that you let me go.

This is neither prediction nor poem;

It is a contract.

There will be a next time you see me.

And when that next time occurs,

It will sink in that you let me go.

The gravity of the fact that you let me go will sink you with its full weight.

In that moment, you will see the woman whom I have become,

And you will know, in your heart, in your body, in your bones

In your gut

In your vision

In your mind

In your soul

The full effect

Of what it means

To have let me go.

the only thing that will matter is that you didn’t love enough

it is very much the sign of a very un-broken person

that you love the way you do.

it is very much the sign of a very pure heart

that your love soars,

that it shines,

in a way you can’t control.

and yes, sometimes it hurts,

because you’re human

and sometimes you get angry and you blame

(this is OK too)

but in the end when you look back perhaps the only thing that will matter is that you didn’t love enough

and in those moments, remember these

when you chided yourself for loving too much.

Some new things from not drinking

Good morning!!

OK. So I’m not gonna lie.

When I was under all of that pressure from Orals,

it was easy to not drink.

I needed a clear head for that; there are other ways to manage stress (Yoga, anyone? Praise Jesus for that, man), etc.

But now I’ve passed Orals and I’m in a new realm:

I want to drink to celebrate.

It’s funny. It’s easy for my mind to dismiss turning to the bottle when I’m stressed as unhealthy. It’s much more difficult for my mind to dismiss poppin open the champagne cuz I passed Orals, beyotch!

I deserve it, is what I keep saying to myself.

We pop open bubbly to celebrate, plays my inner loop. It’s what we do. I wouldn’t even get drunk off of one glass, says my inner loop. This is the good part about quitting before becoming an alcoholic, says my inner loop. You can handle one drink.

Only, the thing is I suspect that if I have that one drink it won’t be long before I’m back to my old drinking habits,

and those are just not good habits, especially not in the long term. I’d rather be sober than to have to worry about managing that, especially given my family history.

And so I have a bottle of champagne that my friend gave me, and I drink it with my eyes. I look at it.

I don’t open it.

I will probably give it to my friends and let them sip it,

while I pop my own bottle of bubbly [sparkling Pear Juice]. Because there are other ways to celebrate, and really it’s more about the ceremony than it is about the feeling anyway.

I already feel good; I passed Orals!! Shoot I don’t need no alcohol to enjoy that.

On the plus side of not drinking, though,

I am starting to feel really good. Like, physically. Like, in terms of my energy levels. It’s difficult to describe exactly,

except that I’ve started waking before my alarm again.

When I was a kid, I always woke just a few minutes before my alarm. Like my body always knew what time it was, and I could trust it to wake me. My alarm was my back up, but I almost never needed it. If I had to wake at 7, my body would wake me at like 6:58.

This happened, without fail, for years.

Except that in recent years, it hasn’t.

I assumed it was because I was tired, like adult life tired, as opposed to kid life tired.

But now, I don’t think that’s it, because for the past few days, I’ve been waking before my alarm again. And sometimes I am exhausted. And sometimes I am coursing with energy. But all times I check my alarm and it’s mere minutes before I was “supposed” to wake.

It makes me wonder if drinking was somehow suppressing my biorhythms or something like that. I don’t know…I’m not a..whatever one would need to be to know something like that. I don’t even know what they’re called.

All I know is that I am starting to feel really, really good. The sugar cravings, which apparently is a pretty common thing for people who have quit drinking, are starting to subside, and I am just starting to feel energetic in a way I haven’t felt for years.

This is only two months in. I still haven’t decided whether this is a forever-type quit. For now, I just say I will reevaluate in the new year. But I am starting to suspect this probably will be a long-term quit. That is just not who I am anymore, nor is it who I want to be.



Bryoneyh the Hopeless Romantic (Part Quatre): What a Difference a Day Makes

This is the only picture we have from our wedding day...which I think sets a befitting tone for what's to come =)

The other day, I was talking to one of my mentors (who is more like family, really) and he said that one of the reasons he reads my blog is because it’s sort of a “What will she do next?” type of thing.


for anyone who’s wondering,

I got married.


it’s not a joke.

And yes,

although I have possibly written some blogs and/or said some things, made some facebook statuses, composed some tweets that may have led those with whom I regularly dialogue or share my thoughts to believe that I do not want to succumb to the regulations that the institution of marriage dictates…

….I have always wanted to be a wife.

And no,

I have not secretly been in a relationship this whole time, secretly been engaged, secretly been planning this blowout wedding, while simultaneously blogging about a fictitious journey of self-discovery and singlehood.

It just sorta clicked.

And we went with it.

A good friend of mine asked, after I told him about the marriage, “Don’t you think you’re taking this whole ‘Japan/tomorrow’s not promised’ thing a bit too seriously?”

To which I replied, “Possibly.”

I mean,

it certainly could be argued that we rushed into it. And we would certainly be standing on a very thin basis for denying that.

But what is marriage? What does any of it mean? How much is anything that we do as members of society real anyway, versus what is a response that is ultimately based on something that someone somewhere down the line made up?

When is it appropriate to marry?

How long should we have waited?

Were we together long before we did it?

Obviously not.

But did we search our hearts? Did we seek each other’s counsel? Did we talk about the things that were important to us? Did we talk about our goals for our union? Were we honest?


So when is it appropriate to marry then?

May I be so bold as to suggest that the answer is different for everyone? For every one couple?

Or is that just heresy? –or worse,

is that just the ideology of the young?

You know how you know you’re in love?

When you can look into the face of your beloved and everything in your heart says with one voice: it was worth it.

Or, *shrug*, maybe that’s just how I know I’m in love.

But why not wait? Did we have to get married now? Why not just live in sin for a while, make sure it “works out”?

That’s what I keep getting asked, and to be honest I don’t have the words to answer those questions. Only the peace in my heart.

I am not a blushing bride. I am not a jump-up-and-down-oh-my-gosh-we-did-it-everything-in-my-life-has-culminated-marriage!-MARRIAGE!-MARRIAGE!!!-AAH! bride.

I am a *pulls out checklist*:

Can we talk our hiccups out in a loving manner and come away feeling resolved?


Do I trust his intentions?


Do I respect him?


Am I comfortable with him?


Do I feel like I can continue to be me?


Am I happy?


Do I see us getting through life together?


Do I love him?


Do I like him?


Do we get along?


Are we honest with each other?


Is it natural?


–type bride.

And so when people remark that I don’t seem excited, or ask why we couldn’t have waited, I say it’s because of the peace. I have never been so at peace. I’m calm because even more than happiness, I have peace and serenity about my choice.

Why couldn’t we have waited until we were 34, like we finally agreed on in our pact?

Because we didn’t want to. Because we love each other, we know each other, we’ve known each other since we were teenagers. Because why would we wait? Because he has touched my heart in such a way that it has turned my internal scripts from planning for it to not work out, for steeling myself against the inevitable misery of another heartache…

To planning to be happy. To believing, to embracing the fact that we could make it. To looking at all the people who did make it, instead of looking at the ones who didn’t. To “unconditional.” To “forever.”


I know all the mush must come as a shock. Believe me, no one is more shocked than this girl.

But I am ambitious enough to know that when you see an opportunity, you pounce on it, you do everything you can to secure it as quickly as possible, and THEN you get the privilege of working at something you love. You can’t waste time–you would never waste time deciding whether or not you want to pursue an opportunity. You pursue an opportunity with the knowledge and understanding that once it is secured, that’s when the real work begins. But it’s not work because it’s what you love and you understand that you are one of the few who managed to secure an opportunity to spend your life doing what you love.

I have been told that I’m naive, crazy and have no understanding of love and relationships to view my marriage in that light.

But I just say, “We’ll see.”