2016: A Reflection

2016, I have decided, will be a year of confidence, of poise, of adventure. It will be putting myself out there in more ways while also continuing to nurture the introvert inside of me. It will be sticking up for myself and chasing after my dreams. It will be blossoming even further into the strong, independent woman I know is inside of me. It will be having faith in my decisions, not doubting what my heart tells me.

 January 3, 2016

— — — —

 2016 was a year. On a global scale, many would agree that it sucked.

On a personal level, it sometimes sucked, but it was mostly quite full. If 2015 was the best year of my life thus far (as I’m pretty sure I dubbed it at its close), 2016 has been the most enriching. In many respects, it was a very painful year—particularly in its early months. 2016 was completely losing all sense of self while simultaneously trying my best to live in a foreign country and culture. It was being alone in Thailand on my birthday, with head lice and pneumonia in tow—at the same time. It was striking out independently in search of my place in this world and feeling a lot of uncertainty, anxiety, and doubt along the way.

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It was also leaving these cuties and the joy of teaching them (on the rare occasions when they wanted to be taught) behind, unsuccessfully holding back tears as I left their classrooms for the last time, because the love, kindness, and intellect of children is grossly undervalued and because they taught me so much.

That said, 2016 did have its bright spots: traveling in Europe with an old high school friend; showing my parents around the beautiful country I called home for six months; having no clue what the heck to do with my life post-Thailand, but trusting my gut in Continue reading “2016: A Reflection”

A Very Phuket New Year

Before I get into the nitty gritty of this post, I’m going to clear one thing up–because I know we’re all a little juvenile now and then (right, Trent?). So, for all y’all English speakers of the world (which is probably the majority of the people visiting this site because, well, it’s entirely composed of a words and phrases constructed with the use of the English language), “Ph” does not make the same sound in Thai as it does in English. English speakers know “Ph” to make a sound equivalent to the English “F.” In Thai, this is not the case. In Thai, “Ph” is pronounced as we would pronounce a stand-alone “P.” So, although I’m quite sure some of you have read “Phuket”  with the English understanding that “Ph” = “F” and stifled a giggle, the Thai (and correct) pronunciation sounds like this: “POO-ket”

Let’s all say that together, now: POO-ket

Okay? Okay!

Now that that’s all sorted out, let’s get on with it.

— — — —

My New Years plans were up in the air for a while. I went from “Maybe Bangkok?” to “Ugh, I love me some Bangkok but I go there all the time. Maybe Chiang Mai.” to “Okay, I love Chiang Mai to pieces but I really want to go some place new and haven’t been down South yet…” and because a group of my friends were already planning to go to Phuket, “Oh, hey, beaching on New Years doesn’t sound half bad…I think I’ll book my ticket!” is what eventually happened.

Phuket, located in the South of Thailand, is the largest island in Thailand and the only island that is also its own province. It’s a major tourist area in Thailand so, quite, frankly, Phuket doesn’t feel much like the Thailand I’ve grown used to at all. It’s incredibly westernized and very expensive. That said, it’s also incredibly beautiful and I’m so glad I was able to experience it over Continue reading “A Very Phuket New Year”

New Year, New Outlook

With a new year comes new goals and a new outlook.

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately about how I’ve been living my life up until now and the changes I can make to ensure I live a fuller and more enriching life.

With this reflection, I’ve realized two things:

  1. I expect way too much in life. Those expectation keep me from living in the moment and being thankful for what I have.
  2. I am very confident in myself, but I don’t trust that confidence in situations that are outside my comfort zone.

I’m realizing more than ever in this new country where I am far away from my family and Continue reading “New Year, New Outlook”

2016, the Beginning: Lost and Okay With It.

I have a confession to make:

I’m lost…

What a way to start of the new year, right?

But this is a good thing. I promise!

I’m not physically lost. I know exactly were I am. I could point it out exactly on a map. As I write this (being the dutiful blogger that I am and getting this done ahead of time), I’m currently physically sitting in my apartment in Central Thailand. By the time this post goes live, I’ll be sitting on a beach somewhere down south, perhaps a little hungover from a too exciting New Years Eve.

So no, I’m not physically lost. Rather, I feel mentally lost…

A ‘who am I and what do I aim to do with my life and I really have no fucking clue how to navigate this world that I’m in’ lost.

I’m feeling rather calm about the whole ordeal. No need to freak out here. Just accepting these feelings as they come, ya know?

— — — —

The past few months have been a whirlwind for me. I’ve had very little time to process everything that has happened. Now, finally, I feel like I’m settling into my town. I feel comfortable here. I know where things are; though the language barrier is continuing to be difficult, I’m picking up on more Thai and trying my best to utilize that in conversation. After spending the last couple months here drawing inward and trying to make sense of my place here, I’m finally eager to go out and meet and develop relationships with Thai people.

I’m so happy to be here and can’t imagine living anywhere else right now. Though there are certain aspects of home that I miss, I don’t crave them. I don’t desire to have them in my life.

Thailand is where I need to be right now. This I know with confidence.

Thailand is the place where I’m choosing to figure myself out. While I learned so much Continue reading “2016, the Beginning: Lost and Okay With It.”

Balance

2014 was a year of learning and growth.

It was a year where everything I thought I knew about myself and the world around me were thrown out the window.

If we begin at the beginning, 2014 did not start out well for me.

My first five months of 2014 were clouded in darkness; I have never been more terrified or more uncertain of everything about this life than in those five months. Continue reading “Balance”