I have this lovely blank screen in front of me, waiting for me to make it come to life with my scribbles and thoughts. Isn't that nice?
It's been a long time, and a lot has happened in the space between the last post and now. This blank screen and my attitude toward it are a metaphor for my future, though I will admit I have some preliminary sketches laid out...;).
So. I came back to the U.S. over Christmastime and made a very difficult decision not to return to Spain; to plant my feet on what felt like solid ground for a while. I needed something to do in the meantime here, something that would make me feel valuable, and with my mom's support I was able to explore something I always thought would be fun: starting a personal shopping business. To make a really long story short, I threw myself into this pursuit for a few months and had some fun. I helped out three really wonderful ladies and made some fashion connections here in St. Louis.
In general, I have had a really pleasant time in St. Louis. I have been able to reconnect and feel at peace for a while, to listen to myself without the constant stress of external unfamiliar or un-stimulating stimuli. I have met some great new friends and strengthened some acquaintance connections into real friendships. I have been able to focus on my health and dedicate myself to an exercise regimen. I have everything to be thankful for, and I guess sometimes it just takes slowing down a little for me to realize that.
It is in these moments of peace that I am, again, inexplicably drawn to the excitement of traveling. Some people create drama in their personal lives for excitement or listen to celebrity drama stories; I travel. You are probably saying, "Seriously, Anna? After all THAT, you're going to travel again?!" Trust me, I've heard it more than once from outsiders peering into my (at times, crazy) life. Although, I have to say that good friends didn't seem at all surprised when I told them that I have decided to go back to Korea for a second round. It seems that those people know me better than I thought. In fact, they seemed much more surprised when I said I was starting a business here in St. Louis! Go figure ;). So yes, I am returning to Seoul, South Korea in order to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) at an elementary/middle school, and am truly looking forward to it!!!!!!!
The European experience I had was amazing but a bit overwhelming...I think that while I love to travel, I have learned that too many changes in such a short amount of time is really too stressful for me to deal with. The great thing about Korea is that this time I'll know a little bit more what to expect as far as the culture and language are concerned, and I'll also have the continuity of being in the same place for a year (which is just long enough, I think). I also have a great support network of friends still over there, so I won't feel as lonely as I have felt traveling the last couple of times. So see, there is still some stability within my instability. ;)
Anyway, part of the reason I made this decision was a life changing event that occurred here which threw things off kilter a bit. I got rejected from UMASS-Amherst's Social Justice Education (SJE) program, the one program I applied to for graduate school and the only one I was interested in pursuing. Although at that time I was waffling a little bit about whether or not I would go anyway because I had just started the personal shopping business, I still wanted to have that option. When that option was taken away, I was surprised at just how disappointed I really was. So, I tried to pursue the shopping business, and convinced myself that SJE just wasn't for me.
About a month later, I began feeling lost and slightly useless, and my passion for the shopping business started to dwindle. That's when I realized I wanted to go back to Korea. Talking to my mom about it made me remember how much I missed certain things about it, and the thought of being gainfully employed and making money and being independent all came into play.
Still, that's not all. About a week after I made that decision, I began wistfully looking at SIT's graduate program in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management. Then all of a sudden, it hit me, out of the blue. I had an idea for what I think will be an amazing program that I can begin to implement in Korea, and it combines a little bit of everything that I love (okay, except fashion...but I'm sure there's a way to integrate that, too). It combines cultural diversity awareness with customer service, travel, writing, socializing, organizing, selling, marketing, promoting...everything!
The program is still new and in the works, so I'm not going to give details yet. Plus, I don't want anyone to steal my idea ;). But, once it's up and running, I'll let everyone know what's up.
As of now, I'm waiting for my Criminal Record Check to come back from the FBI and for my passport to come back from the renewal center, and once I have them back it will probably take another couple of weeks for me to get everything processed. That being said, I'll probably be ready to go by late June at the earliest and late July at the latest.
I'll keep everyone posted, and I'll definitely be blogging pre and post Korea trip pt. 2.
Much love and hope everyone is well!