Monday, February 16, 2015

Frozen Tides

Coldest day of the year so far, with the windshield in the negatives.  Woke up extra early to drive down to the NJ shore to catch the sunrise, for whatever little bit of adventure we could get in before the weekend was over.  Despite risking frost bite (!), we enjoyed every brisk, blustery minute. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dear Diana

Hey girl!

It's me! I mean, you, only it's you from the future.  At this exact moment, you are traveling along the coast of France with a bunch of idealistic young adults.  You wake up early and set your goals.  You challenge yourselves, sometimes in frighteningly dangerous and unnecessary ways, and while you all mean well, loosen up a bit.  Enjoy where you are but don't stress so much. Allow yourself to be 18, traveling Europe and experiencing the world for the first time as a young adult. Go ahead.

A Sunday excursion at Mont San Michel with two of my travel mates, Patricia and Miyuki in February 2005.

You might be kind of bummed right now, since it's freezing, you don't speak French, and you are on the coast fund raising in bitter winds. But you know, that time in France will end.  Your year traveling around Europe will end, you will come back to America, but you will never be the same.  Still to this day, you will find yourself wanting to travel, to learn, to experience the world first hand, so don't feel bad about not wanting to come back and go to college.  You will, but you will never completely shake off that urge. You will fight with yourself for the entirety of the next decade, over your desire for adventure vs. the expectations from society to "build up a career" and "a strong financial base" (aka make money) and be a sensible adult.

Good news and bad news; you will do a little bit of both, but neither completely well.

But for now, just enjoy it.  And while you're at it, be a little gentler with yourself.  You are experiencing each day for the first time just like everybody else.

Wishing you grand adventures from the future,

x diana

Monday, February 2, 2015

Back to the Blog

Life has been so busy since moving back to the United States, that I find I rarely stop and reflect on things the way I used to.  I feel myself craving moments of silence to just be lost somewhere, out in nature or even just in a foreign environment, a new street, perhaps, to heighten my senses to the world around me. 
Two weeks ago, I started a new job, working in the field of international education.  A job that puts me in front of a screen for even more hours per day and keeps my mind busier with thoughts than before.  It's what I wanted, the position I mean, but it has been a bitter-sweet start.  I left the field of teaching, which I have been doing for over five years, and which I loved so very much--especially working with my adult students.

When I moved back to the US from Korea, I wanted to find work in the study abroad field, which seemed like a good fit based on my experiences and interests. But as much as I looked and applied, all I got was an offer for an unpaid internship in Boston, so when this company offered me a position, literally fifteen minutes from my house, it was hard to turn it down.

It's way too premature to come to any conclusions about the new job, but it is a change, and if life has taught me nothing else, it's that change is necessary and good.


Since being back:

- I've moved--twice--and am now somewhat "settled" in an apartment that I swore I wouldn't move out of for at least two years more... Let's see if I can keep that promise to myself ;).

-  I started my MA in Education, which has been a long-time goal and desire of mine, and feel super fortunate to have been selected to be part of TCNJ's program, which subsidizes the insane cost of grad school in the US (another post for another day).

-  I have started running... and running... and running... and am working my way up to my first half marathon this year.  Even though I ran track in high school, I actually hated the running experience up until very recently. It started with an obstacle 5k race that I did with some friends (that I couldn't even run the whole way through), yet enjoyed the energy and experience so much, that I decided to do another 5k, and then I did another and another and then a 10k and even started off 2015 with a 4 mile run through Central Park at midnight in the freezing cold.  My PR is 10 miles, but it has been hard to train during this typically unbearable Northeast winter.  Trying my best to keep it up.

-  Took a German course as a refresher, but realized that trying to keep up German in the US is kind of pointless as it is really not useful here, at least it hasn't been in the ESL classroom in the US ;) and so finally (now that I'm not working evenings anymore teaching), I signed up for a Spanish class--which starts this month!  Excited to be studying a new language!

- Visited Texas twice, North Dakota once, took a road trip to Montreal, a couple more road trips along the east coast, and one very short trans-Atlantic trip to Germany over Thanksgiving week in 2013 to visit family (which was way too short of a time for such a big expense and undertaking).

I guess that somewhat sums it up, at least on a superficial level.

Originally, I planned on starting a totally new blog, on a new website, but somehow found my way back here.  So, no promises, but let's see if I can get myself back into writing a bit more in 2015.

One of my favorite memories from last year, watching sunrise at the Jersey shore, along with an audience of sea gulls.