I am now officially 30. I faced the oncoming BOOM with friendly regard. Friends who have already passed the 30-yr-mark have told me they gladly said goodbye to the awkward, mistakes-filled 20s, and so I was ready for a period of contentment, self-awareness, and gratitude for just being alive (not necessarily “all these years,” but in a general human, existential sense). And then I found out my coworkers are all in their mid-20s. And then it was the night before my birthday, and it hit me when I told an acquaintance how old I was turning, THAT I WAS ACTUALLY TURNING 30, AS IN NO MORE 20s, AS IN THAT’S IT FOR BEING A MISGUIDED KID, as in there is no turning back.
And the drama rattled for a few seconds in my brain and thankfully dissipated into a night of good company and good energy. We can talk about age for hours.
Age is like food – it brings people together. Stories of turning a certain age and frequent acknowledgements of how speedily time passes the older you get are becoming commonplace in my day-to-day interactions, and I welcome them, because with age comes wisdom and such a strong sense of identity that surely, this is why it takes 30 years to get to this beautiful, peaceful place.
The creative bubble is surfacing…and this is what came to mind today.
Summer falls my heart explodes
Into millions of mirrors this life unfolds
Sweet footfalls carve a gracious groove
That sways and swings to body’s tune
The way we move my heart explodes
Mirrors captured in these few words.
I’m back in the DC area and the horizon couldn’t be wider. While my experience in Korea was filled with dramatic changes (for those who want a more intimate glimpse, check this out), I think it is too soon to see how exactly I was moved and influenced by being there for 6 months. Who knows in what ways I’ll see how the experience has changed me. But, I’m excited to find out.
Having been in Korea and exposed to life there, I have a greater appreciation for my parents – for having adopted me and giving me opportunities that are inherent in being American. I also have a deeper respect for teachers worldwide. It seriously was a taxing job, both physically and emotionally, and I cannot imagine being a teacher day-in and day-out, 365 days a year (or however many days are in a teacher’s calendar). I think I would combust if I were a teacher for-real.
I also have this renewed sense of wonder being back in the DC area. There is so much culture here, so much diversity and flavors and accents and personalities(!), it is exciting to be back where things (and people) shake and groove and create and protest and think and talk and imagine and make historical ground. And I’m back in the middle of it all.
It has been a long time since I’ve written on here. A huge change is approaching…I will be moving to the outskirts of Seoul, South Korea for a brief stint as an ESL teacher to 5-7 year-olds. I have started a new blog that details my life in Korea which you can find at Finding Seoul.
I most likely will not update this blog while I am in Korea, so I invite you to follow me there.
Today I feel exceptionally uninspired. It’s one of those dreary days, a chill in the air (that would otherwise be refreshing) but matched with a grey sky and could-storm-at-any-minute atmosphere, it makes you feel crappy.
Because our culture rewards remarkability and inspiration and wittiness, I feel even more uninspired than an average day when I’m just average uninspired. Yes, there is a difference.
When I’m average uninspired, I still leave room for a glint of genius. But today, my creative pores feel clogged, like someone had plugged cement in them during the middle of the night.
And even still, I want to shout from the rooftop of my office building, that “Being uninspired is OK!”
If I feel like a lump of “meh,” it’s OK. I am all the more inspiring on a more-than-average-uninspired day.
Some of the greatest life lessons I’ve learned from my instructors at Yong Studios where I practice TKD. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard precious bits of advice about the art of TKD that so easily carries over to the art of living – about listening, about patience, about determination, about inner balance, and meeting struggle with acceptance and flexibility rather than stiffness and aggression.
A recent valuable quote was something about how your energy travels through your eyes. So wherever your eyes connect – be it an object, a person, whatever – is where your energy shoots out from the core of your being.
I’ve been conscious of this since I heard it last week. It makes me realize how important it is to be present, to be aware of each moment in your life, to spare your energy from being wasted (by focusing and dwelling on negative things) and instead, let it embrace someone you love, a memory that makes you smile, linger through a song that you can’t tire of listening – to melt into that positivity and simply be an expression of all that is beautiful in you and the world you see.
Funny how chance encounters stir certain thoughts and other mind wanderings…
I saw half (yes, sadly only half) of a fat, juicy worm lying on the pavement the other evening after a night and day of glorious, heavy raining and I started thinking…
What is the world to that sad half of a worm? What was its existence like?
See, these are the sorts of questions that result from my diving into I Am A Strange Loop, a book by Douglas R. Hofstadter about the concept of “I” and “self” and how our existences solely are based on a self-referential perspective.
Does a worm have a self? Interesting, hmm…?