She Always Knows How to Explain It!!

This is a short ditty to pass on the link to one of my favorite blogs, Hyperbole and a Half.  Anyone else read this?  This girl is a trip!!  And this post is so incredibly true.  I have had days like this where I am sad for no apparent reason and I start to feel nothing.

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html

I love the part at the video store when he asks if she’s having a party.  “Nope.”  I have totally been asked that!!!  hahaha

ENJOY!!

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Reflections and Resolutions

2011 was a damn good year.  It was my year of FINALLYs.

I finally went on a cruise.

I finally saw more European countries.

I finally got an iPhone AND a Kindle Fire.

I finally started taking Korean classes.

I finally got my root canal fixed! (blog on that to come later)

And many other smaller finallys along the way.

But that is not to say that I am finished.  Not even close.  I actually feel like I am just getting started.  There are still many things that I want to accomplish and figure out over the next 12 months to continue to improve my already good life and to continue building my ball o happiness.

As for last year’s resolutions, I’d say to some extent I accomplished about 25-50% of them.  The biggest success was in the form of travel.  I wanted to visit two new countries in 2011 and I visited 4 (technically 7 if you count airport layovers too).

Here are my aspirations for this year (in no particular order):

1.  Continue my intensive Korean lessons.  This means I should be able to get to level 5 (out of 6) by the end of my employment contract in July.  Also, I want to take the TOPIK test and see how high of a level I can achieve.

2.  Learn more Italian.  I am currently considering doing a 3 month intensive language stint in Italy after my contract ends so that I can achieve a high level of that language as well.  Plus of course the added benefit of not working for 3 months (haven’t been able to do that for 10 years!!) and seeing more of I.T.A.L.Y.  So if anyone has any recommendations on language schools there that have scholarships or work for tuition type deals, please let me know.

3.  Travel even more.  With trips expected to Taiwan and either Philippines or Thailand before the end of spring, this resolution is already in the works.  But I still want more.  I’d like to explore more of Asia while I am here including but not limited to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Jeju Island (Korea).

4.  Live a more minimalistic lifestyle.  Being an expat, and one who likes to live in small spaces, I’m learning to retrain my shopping habits and buy less STUFF.  I’ve talked about this in other posts as well and I want to continue to make this idea my way of life.  (See short, but inspirational TED video below on living in small spaces.  It’s one of my all time favs and I have watched it several times to remind me*).  I prefer to spend my time and money traveling, not cooped up in my apartment, so why do I need so much stuff there?  So this means getting rid of bad purchases, parting with my books and giving up on clothes that I barely wear.

5.  Learn how to balance my moods.  I tend to fluctuate from extreme happiness to extreme sadness and irritability.  This could be attributed to hormones, the emotional swings of a creative mind, a nutritional imbalance or something more serious such as a bipolar or anxiety disorder.  I’m not sure.  So, I need to figure out what it is and control it so that I can live a more balanced life (and stop driving my friends crazy).

6.  Figure out what I want to do with my life.  This will be a hard one to accomplish simply because I figure out what I want to do with my life all the time…and then I change my mind a week later.  (I can see my family and friends laughing and nodding in agreement)  I am known for getting super excited and obsessed about an idea, then changing my mind to something COMPLETELY different.  In the past week alone, I seriously contemplated moving to 4 different countries.

As for careers I am still considering the idea of being a writer, although perhaps magazine writing would be better suited for my attention span than novel writing.  I really enjoying teaching my younger students (1st-2nd grade), so continuing teaching English is an option (just with another company since mine is getting worse by the day).  I am also now researching the possibility of being a flight attendant, not only for the travel benefits, but because I’d like a job where being multilingual (see resolutions 1 & 2 above plus of course Spanish and English) makes me more marketable.  It would be a good fit for me since I don’t mind working holidays and don’t have a significant other, children, pets or a mortgage to go home to so there would be less stress on the scheduling front.  If anyone has any info on that career path let me know.  Also, if you have any other suggestions on what I should do with my life, I gladly welcome any out of the box thinkers.  🙂

I love the prospect of a new year and starting over.  It’s life refreshed.  What’s on your plate for 2012?

* TED video – Graham Hill (only 5 minutes long and worth it!) 

Updates…and Writing for Your Health?

I know, I know, I haven’t written nearly as much as I used to, but such is my life, creativity and focus comes in waves.  I’ve tried to fight it to maintain consistency and dependability, but alas the waves always win out and I have learned to accept it.

Since we last met, not too much has happened, except that I have FINALLY, finally…did I say FINALLY?…signed up for Korean language classes.  I tried a free class, I tried studying on my own, I tried a language exchange, but none of it really works for me personally, so I had to bite the bullet (err…more like bite a hole in my wallet) and sign up at an academy.  And since I have already put it off for so long, I decided the best way to catch up was with an intensive course.  So I’ll be taking 2 hours of classes, 5 days a week, hopefully until I reach the top level which will be for like the next year-ish.  I’m actually really excited about this because I know I’ll be able to pick it up quickly.  I’ll be starting on the 2nd level since I already know the basics and how to read, so I have until Tuesday to do the lessons they’ve already done in lesson 1 to make sure I’m not behind.  I’ve been doing 1-2 lessons a day for the past week and I love it.  I’m actually glad that I waited this long because now the language and words seem to make more sense because I’ve been here long enough to have heard and read and seen the language everywhere, so it seems somehow easier.

NANOWRIMO starts the same day as my classes so let’s see how well I do while balancing 10 hours of classes, 40 hours of work a week and 1,667 words a day in my life!  HA!  I may have mentioned before that I got my best grades in high school when I was working two jobs, so it may actually work since I am more productive when given limited amounts of time.  Not too sure how well that will bode for my blogging though…argh.

Now, on to something less about me, me me…

I read an article on yahoo about this book called The Secret Life of Pronouns and given that I like analyzing things and I love linguistics, I was instantly interested.  The idea of the book is that the pronouns, articles (a, an, the – for the non-English teachers out there) and prepositions we use say a lot about us and our interactions with others.  So I went to the author’s website and played with his linguistic personality exercises and watched his videos.

One of the videos was not related to pronouns, but was related to writing in general and I thought it would be of interest to you bloggers and fellow writers in the universe.  Here’s what he has to say about it…

What are your thoughts?  Do YOU think writing contributes to your health and well-being?  Do you feel physically better when we get it all down on paper (or monitor)?

NaNoWriMo

Writing is My Hobby

So remember that 30 day challenge I posted a few weeks ago where I was going to do a couple lessons of Korean a day?

EPIC FAIL.

Oh yes, that’s right.  I publicly admit that I failed on my own challenge.  I can’t even say I started and got distracted.  I never even did one lesson.  That is pathetic.

However, I am willing to take the chance at humiliating myself further with an even bigger challenge…

NANOWRIMO (imagine that being said in the big scary Wizard of Oz voice with flashing lights all around)

NaNoWriMo is coming our way folks and despite last year’s sad, sad failure with me writing only 4,000 out of 50,000 words, I am ready to try again.  If you have not yet heard of NaNoWriMo, it’s short for National Novel Writing Month which happens every November.  It’s like a contest, only you are more…competing against yourself and Father Time instead of others.  The goal is to write a novel of 50,000 words during the month of November.  That means you have to write 1,667 words a day minimum.  This, my friends, is no easy task.    You are expected to finish November with a pretty ish-y novel, then go back and revise it later.  The point is to get the words out of your head and onto the ‘paper.’

In preparation for the upcoming month, I headed to our much loved English bookstore today, What The Book, and stocked up on some used chicklit books (haven’t gotten an e-reader just yet) to help inspire me to be witty in my own forthcoming chicklit novel.  I already have an idea for the novel so that’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Anyone else joining NaNoWriMo this year?

First book on the pre-NaNo-reading list…Every Boy’s Got One by Meg Cabot.   About half way done in a matter of hours and laughing on just about every page.  This woman is funny!  She writes like I think.  Perhaps I’ll write a review here for you when I’m finished.

Ta Ta For Now!!