It’s been difficult to maintain this blog, to say the least. I had every expectation to blog daily or at least weekly when I arrived in Korea and I’ve mostly found that expecting myself to update it MONTHLY has been chore enough. I assume this is because I try to be pretty transparent on Facebook, where I feel like I’m constantly sharing snippets of life here in Korea so friends back at home can see what our lives look like.
In many ways, they look the same as they did in the U.S. — we go to work, we belong to gyms, we have friends we go out to dinner with from time to time, etc. But obviously, there are unique challenges and aspects to being here.
One thing lately that I’ve been trying to do is be a bit more intentional with my internet posts. To share the fun and silly things, but also to cultivate a much more positive vibe that I can share with others and to let others see some of the work that I’m trying to do here. This has stemmed largely from feeling a bit badgered and overwhelmed by negativity in some ways, so actively working to counterbalance that and push even more positivity out there has been a goal of mine these days.
I’m excited to say I’m working on something new for my students that is so challenging for me mentally, but is rewarding in others. I’m happy to report that I’m almost ready for my fourth full marathon and I expect I’ll be able to run it in significantly less time than I ran my last. I’m infatuated with our kitten, Moose–even if he is a total jerk at the moment… we’re working on correcting behavior problems. I’m enjoying my new schedule at school and the balance I’m starting to strike with my after-school lessons. I’m getting a firmer grasp on prioritizing what I know is most important to me and in the end I am getting a tad more comfortable drawing and protecting my personal boundaries. I’ve never had more on my plate than I do now, but surprisingly enough, it doesn’t upset me or make me feel terrible because I’m actually becoming more comfortable with declining the requests of others.
I’m a bit of a people pleaser who struggles with saying ‘No,’ but lately I’m seeing and *feeling* how valuable it is to say, “X came up, and while I *could* squeeze in Y, I’m going to finish X and just be done.” It’s so much more of a relief to do so. I can honestly say that as someone who is equal parts ambitious and at times so cripplingly insecure about my own abilities, it’s an odd line to walk… To want to do ALL OF THE THINGS or HELP ALL OF THE PEOPLE but feel so incapable of doing it that I often cut myself off before even getting started… or worse, I overcommit and find myself in a puddle of tears on the couch at week’s end because I am so depleted of energy and resources for myself that I just can’t do anything but cry.
I’m also excited to say that I have some projects on the horizon that I will be shifting and easing into to make this blog something to see, but it’s gonna take me some time (because of the aforementioned full plate and all…), but I’m so happy about them and think they can really be something terrific, so here goes nothing… 🙂
So between setting clearer boundaries, finding a better balance with the things that ARE a priority to me, it’s easier to spot where some of those creeping insecurities are reinforced by others’ negativity. One of the ugliest things about the Internet is how easily people can pounce with negative, hurtful remarks or offer up a snarky comment with the guise of “Just sayin’!” as a way of dismissing their behavior.
Without trying to sound like too much of a Pollyanna, I made a promise to myself that I would try to out-positive the negative remarks I see on my own feed. Or just work to ignore them.
Because all in all, it’s just small potatoes and nobody like that gets to determine how I feel about who I am, what I do and the decisions I make for myself.
(And in the immortal words of my spirit animal Taylor Swift, “‘Cause the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate […] I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, baby–shake it off, shake it off.”) 😉