....and recall how much I loved it there (and no denying, disliked part of the experience as well, though my Self, in its positivism, emphasizes fond memories). Facebook helps with this by offering pictorial reminders of my past year, after each post I make. One year ago, I was shopping in Okpo, eating Indian food, and would later be flirting with some very fine Southern roughnecks (offshore oil rig workers). At midnight, aforementioned boys, a large cluster of Koreans and various foreigners offered plenty of kisses and cheers and hugs to celebrate midnight. This year, there will be no celebratory kissing, although I have a boyfriend. And this really irks me. If I was single, it would be understandable, but I'm not, so I resent spending NYE without getting a kiss from my love. Oh well, he's out of town, so that's how it is.
The year in Korea was glorious and difficult. I miss Korea and my friends there so much. I miss all the great activities I enjoyed outdoors; I began rock climbing and serious road cycling! I hiked amazing mountains! I learned a new language! I made new friends! I ate abundant, salutary cuisine! My 45 years of excellent health came to a crashing halt, but if I lay that aside, it was a damn fine year. I continued in my knowing of what an excellent teacher I am, confirming my desire to continue in this field, and thus, I began graduate studies that would result in a teaching certification. Finally, living in Korea cemented for me the fact that I absolutely love LIVING ABROAD! However, it also made me miss my friends and family, and tire of solo travel. Thus, I began my search (once again, once again!) to find a travel partner/companion/lover/friend to accompany me in life and love and adventure! At present, to be honest, I am reluctant to continue my journeys in a solitary manner; while I relish my solitude, I crave the company of said companion. I found what I was seeking in Todd, when we met online in July.
And yet I am I find myself at a loss in what I want to visualize for 2015. I have goals, but I lack dreams, and for one such as me, that is disturbing. Again, the folly of melancholy. It's unusual for me to have a complete lack of clarity on what the new year will bring to me, Self- and Life-Designer that I am. I have Doors of Choice I usually stand before, Ladders of Dreams to climb, Visualization Lists tacked to the walls and cabinets and doors and mirrors of each room. Yet, today, January 31, 2014, I am adrift upon my own Sea of Life, wind stalled, motor out of gas, rations scarce. I don't know to what I should look forward; I don't know for what I should hope. I am aghast at my own lack of direction. I feel deeply, specific emotions that will remain unnamed here, but I will once again shove them down below the surface; they must drown so that I do not. Thus, I am apathetic about 2015. I will move forward mechanically and do what I must, until I rediscover my joie do vivre, my brio.
Where is The Gallivanting Goddess?
School ends on March 30. I have numerous state exams to take (a minimum of 5) and I still must complete 150 hours of student teaching. We are able to complete the student teaching and exams after graduation, so I estimate a completion date of April or May. I will begin my student teaching at AHB Community School (a local private school) after Christmas break. It will be an interesting experience, as it is a very liberal private school, where kids only attend four days a week and parents are required to be very actively involved in the school and their kid's schoolwork. Their education philosophy follows along the lines of Montessori, Waldorf, and John Dewey, which abruptly departs from our current laughing stock of an education system, where students are taught to pass state tests, rather than learn critical thinking skills, socio-political stewardship, and conduct in the world. [Rant complete].
That said, I had no intention of teaching in the US. The singular reason for pursuing a teaching cert was to enable me to get better jobs abroad, at International Schools. "International Schools" are private schools abroad that cater to the foreign and expat population that lives overseas, where normal k-12 courses are taught in English. For instance, if you are an American or Brit working in France, you would (might) send your kids to an International School where they would take common subjects such as lit and math and science, all taught in English. So, if I was living in France, I would be teaching Science, just as I would if I was living in the US. This differs from teaching English overseas, where the common job is working in a private academy or public school specifically to teach English to the native populace of kids. International Schools require a valid teaching certification, unlike ESL teachers. Since I find myself in the US with Todd for the year, I will have to get work at a school here. I am currently applying to AISD for a substitute teacher position, which pays a measly $80 per diem, but at least I'll have some money, as my savings is dwindling toward absolute zero. Hopefully, I will be working soon. The next four months will be super-busy, as I will be student teaching, completing my coursework, studying for state exams, and then working in addition to all that--ugh!
One thing I love about being back in a big city is access to Bikram Yoga. I do this 3-4 times per week and I love it! It's so challenging, but it feels so good! I'm regaining strength, and my wrist, finger, and neck are healing-- I feel great! The classes kick my butt though; I'm usually exhausted the rest of the day. When school starts again, I'll switch to night classes, so I can do yoga, and just come home and go to bed! I have to get back into running again, as I haven't run regularly since October, but right now I'm focused on Bikram. In February, I'll cut back on yoga and incorporate running again. Then as it warms up, cycling!
I don't really know what else to look forward to in 2015: finishing school, getting my teaching cert., regaining my health, and Bikram. I suppose we'll start planning on where we want to relocate in 2016. We are considering Hawaii. I would LOVE to be somewhere tropical and warm again! In Hawaii, I could dive and surf and be on the water again! With Todd's certifications, he's eligible to work in the US and UK. I would enjoy living in the UK for a year, for sure, but it would be cold!!!! I still desire to live in France, at least for one year. Then, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain... you know, all over! And I definitely want to get back to Asia, but Southeast Asia this time: warm and tropical!
I suppose for 2015 I have the same goals as last year: abundant health, loving relationships, prosperity... I want to grow within my relationship and learn and expand in love, I want to earn money doing something I enjoy that is intellectually stimulating, I want to pursue hobbies and interests and athletic pursuits that are physically and emotionally fulfilling, I want to maintain my healthy body, get back into a daily meditation practice... perhaps I can go visit my yoga ashram again and get that aspect of my life refocused.
I think I'll just decide that 2015 is going to be the best year ever, and make it so!
Love and Light to all of you, friends and strangers, near and far, for 2015 and Beyond!