I’m Just So Tired of This

For the most part, I plan to keep this blog focused on travels, fun things to do and see and watch and eat.

However, in the wake of what’s going on in my country right this moment, I need to use this platform to air my thoughts.

A man opened fire on a crowd of concert-goers a few nights ago. This post isn’t about him. This post is about all the times we, as American citizens, say, “Thoughts and prayers” and then go right back into the same system. I wish I could say this was an isolated incident. It’s not. I’m 33. The first mass shooting I remember was Columbine. I was in middle school at the time. Since then, I’ve seen coverage of countless mass shootings. Countless deaths. Countless thoughts and prayers.

Thoughts and prayers.

And then we do nothing. We don’t take a look at our laws and figure out a better way. We don’t look at our health care¬† system and find a way to get people better access not only to mental health care, but health care in general. We don’t look at toxic masculinity and address the role that guns play in our society. We don’t look at how racism plays into the idea that a person of color or a specific religion is either a terrorist or a thug or a criminal or an “illegal,” while a white man is a “lone wolf.”

We don’t even look into the fact that calling someone a “lone wolf” romanticizes the image of a mass murderer. Wolves are strong and powerful. A man, hiding in a hotel room, so many floors up and shooting into an unsuspecting crowd of innocent people that can’t even see where the bullets are coming from, is not strong and powerful. He’s weak. He’s a coward. And he is not alone. There have been many before him. And there will be many after him.

I live in a country where men carrying Nazi flags are referred to as “good people on all sides” while a black athlete protesting racial injustice is a “son of a bitch.”

I live in a country where one person’s right to own guns trumps a child’s right to go to kindergarten without being murdered. Where the right to own a gun is more important than the right to cancer treatment, a living wage, an education. I live in a country where it’s easier for a man with bad intentions to buy a gun than it is for a rape victim to get an abortion. I live in a country where a woman fleeing domestic violence is blamed for her death because “why didn’t she just leave?” While her husband was able to legally buy the gun he used to kill her.

I live in a country where it is illegal to sell Kinder Eggs, because we are not smart enough to see the plastic toy inside and not choke to death on it. But we are apparently smart enough to be trusted with a weapon designed to murder 58 people and injure 500+ more in a matter minutes. Because, self-defense and overthrowing a tyrannical government! Makes sense, right?

I live in a country that is collapsing from the inside. You ever notice that there are a lot more terrorist attacks from ISIS in Europe than there are in the U.S.? Want to know why? Because Americans, as a collective, do more damage to our fellow citizens than ISIS could ever dream to. They don’t need to destroy our people. We do a much better job of it on our own.

Many will say that now is not the time to bring politics into it. Or to argue. Or to state the obvious. It’s a time to mourn. A time to pretend to reflect on the tragedy of innocent lives lost. You can pray and mourn all you want. But it means absolutely nothing if we don’t have the hard conversations. The first step to getting help is admitting there is a problem.

Well, here I am. An average, American citizen admitting that my country has a problem. Several, actually. Now, what are we going to do to help fix the problem?

Thoughts and prayers.

Just like always. Nothing more. Nothing less.

 

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Starting Over…Once again.

It’s been awhile since I posted last. Seriously. It’s been 8 months. How does time fly that fast?

So, what have I been up to these last 8 months? Well, I started a new job. It was a temp job that was supposed to last 2 weeks at most. 2 weeks turned into a month. A month turned into 2 and before I knew it, they were begging me to take a permanent position.

I’ve been at the company since February and in those short 8 months, my anxiety has hit levels I haven’t seen in nearly a decade. The job is just not for me. Too much stress, almost no training and no support from management. My last day is in a few weeks and I can’t say I will miss the job at all. I will miss my co-workers, though it seems many of them are jumping ship as well. I have no idea what my next move is. But I can only hold onto hope that I won’t continue feeling the crippling anxiety that I feel right now.

So, has there been any other big news since February? Hmm…Let me think…Oh yeah!

I SPENT 2 WEEKS IN SOUTH KOREA!

I can not stress enough how life changing that trip was. I’ll be posting a series on my time in Korea, because it was just so amazing. I can not, can not, can not wait to go back.

The food, the people, the shopping! It was easily the best vacation I’ve ever been on. There were difficult times, no doubt. Visiting a country where you don’t speak the language and only have a basic understanding of customs and culture can be trying at times. But it was so worth it.

As things in my life are up in the air and uncertain, I keep thinking back on my time in Korea. I have no idea where my life will lead me from this moment on. But I know that somehow, someway, I will make Seoul my home away from home. Korea burrowed deep down into my bones. I carry it with me everywhere I go.

I can’t wait to follow my longing back home.

Love Is Not Over: Why I Chose My Blog Title

In my “About Me” section, I mentioned that I love Korean Pop music. I got into kpop somewhere around 2009. Over the years, I have loved many groups and many songs. (I’m sure I’ll post more in the future about my favorites) A few years ago, I discovered a group called Bangtan Sonyeondan or BTS for short.

BTS has a lot of really great songs. They write songs not just about love, but about challenges that many Koreans face in society today. They are an all around, standup group of guys. Not only do they sing and dance and rap, several of their members are active participants in the lyric writing, composing, and producing process. In short, I love them. They are talented. They are hilarious. They work hard.

So, what does all that have to do with my blog title? Simple. “Love is not over” is the title of one of my favorite songs by them. (I’ll post a link to the song at the bottom of this post.)

The song is beautiful. But aside from that, I love the sentiment behind the phrase, “love is not over.” It’s the knowledge that sometimes things end (relationships, jobs, years.) But even as those things end, there is a new beginning on the horizon. The love you feel for someone might change or end. But love, in general, is still out there. You will love again.

There is hope in the statement, “love is not over.”

And hope is something I needed when I started this blog. It’s been a rough year. Between homelife, career, politics, loss of friendships, the devastation of discovering fertility problems. 2016 and the beginning of 2017 was not overly kind to me.

“Love is not over” is my personal reminder that, though there have been setbacks and though things haven’t gone how I’d planned, the life ahead of me is mine for the taking. The endings may have been difficult, but I’m in a better place to accept the beginnings headed my way. As I start over in so many ways, I have hope that things didn’t work out in the past because there would be no room for the future I’m currently heading towards.

I have hope that love is not over.

Love Is Not Over (I do not own this video. But the person that made it is wonderful for taking the time to put it together!)

Learning to Let Go

January 20, 2017 was the day my life flew off its trajectory and took a totally new direction.

The day, like many other life-changing days, started as boring as any other. I got up, drove to work, clocked in and walked back to my office. Being Inauguration day here in America, my coworker and I live-streamed the Inauguration on a computer and joked about the end of the world. By the afternoon, we were counting down the hours until we could go home and start the weekend. That’s when it happened. I got the call saying I was needed in H.R. Thinking this was related to a recent injury, I closed out of my Google search on Black Bloc and headed to the front of the building.

Upon reaching H.R, I noticed I would not be alone in this meeting. The head of the building was there. I immediately panicked. What had they caught me doing? I rarely used my computer for non-work related things. (Certainly much less than many of my coworkers.) My attendance wasn’t that bad. The majority of the supervisors, leads, and managers liked me. I don’t generally get involved in office politics or drama. Why was I being singled out?

In the meeting, I was informed that my department was being downsized. It wasn’t much of a surprise. We hadn’t had much work in our office in months, possibly even years. There were four people with my job title and they really only needed two. Being the second to last hired into this position, I was one of the first on the chopping block. I was given the option to either take a demotion with a significant pay cut or I could take a severance package and move on with my life. I sat there, stunned. I was told to take the weekend to make my decision.I cried the whole way home.

By the time I had gotten home, my decision was mostly made.I hadn’t been happy in a long time. I was terrified to leave, but after my vacation to Seoul this coming summer, I was planning on looking for a new job. I was just trying to hold out until after June. But here was the Universe. Giving me that giant, neon-flashing sign. Telling me it’s time to let go.

I had been at this company for close to a decade in some capacity or another. I had started as a temp, doing manual labor. Over the years, I had been trained in over ten jobs. I had left to go to school full time and came back during summer breaks. I had bounced around to where I was needed and had finally been given that promotion. I had moved into a comfy, office job. My direct coworker and I had an instant connection. We sang Disney songs and joked about everyday life. We worked well on our own, but even better as a team. We became good friends. I now consider her one of my closest friends. It was hard to leave, knowing I’d probably never have a connection to another coworker as perfect as this one.

But I knew that I had been hanging on to something that I needed to let go of. I had been bored and unsatisfied with the job for some time. I dreaded going into work each morning and spent most of the day watching the clock for when I could finally leave. In recent months, I had been told I would not be cross-trained in other jobs that were on the same level or above the level I was already on. With no option for advancement, what was the point of me staying?

So, after a weekend of not being able to find a reason to stay, I called H.R. on Monday and submitted my paperwork for my severance package.

As terrified as I am of “what do I do now?” I am beginning to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. The stress of my unhappiness had caused me to stop sleeping more than a few hours a night. Though, I still find myself awake at 1 a.m. some nights, many other nights, I’m in bed by 9:30 or 10:00. My alarms still go off at 6 a.m. But now, instead of groaning and feeling angry and exhausted and stressed, I am happy to see the potential offered by another day alive. (Though, I don’t usually get up before 7:30, because…Well, I’m not a morning person.)

Sometimes, we cling so hard to things that make us unhappy, that the Universe is given no choice by to pry our hands open and force us to let go. I held on for far too long. I’m stubborn and like to dig my heels in if I don’t feel ready to make a change. But the second I decide to make that change (or the Universe forces me to change) I find it easy to walk away. So, here I am. Walking in another direction. Looking for a new path to follow.

The world is full of adventure and opportunities. Sometimes, you have to trust forces unseen to lead you where you need to go. This is me. Trusting the Universe to guide me.