Winter is, by far, my least favorite time of year. Winter usually finds me all sorts of crabby and bitchy and woe-is-me. Hence, the TOTAL lack of bloggery. But today the sun is shining, the coffee is hot, and the cobwebs have been cleared from my brain.
I have spent the majority of the past two months (read: year, but who's counting?) reflecting on my time back here in the states. Everyday I have wavered on my decision to come home. Over the course of three years, Korea provided a certain level of comfort -- work, friends, and weekend plans all presented some predictability. But Korea also provided something I never knew I needed -- a sense of accomplishment. By uprooting my life here in these United States and moving 5,000 miles from friends, family, and anything remotely familiar, I felt a sense of independence that I never felt whilst living in Boise, Idaho. In Korea it was sink or swim -- make friends or be lonely; learn to read Hangul or forever be known as the ignorant foreigner; love kimchi or starve. Living as an outsider I was forced to adapt to new situations in order to make myself more comfortable (and sometimes that was fucking hard). I had to create my community, I had to learn how to teach -- in short, I had to manipulate my surroundings to make my life better. Each time I successfully navigated a new situation, my confidence got a little boost. Over time, those boosts added up. The result was a pretty confident Mindy.
Moving back to Boise, an environment with which I felt quite familiar, rarely provided those confidence-boosting opportunities. The last year has been one big drain on my confidence -- I was drawing on my reserves with each resume sent and each interview attended, but I wasn't able to bank any more confidence. That is to say, I wasn't learning, or growing, or challenging myself in any way. It seems like a no-brainer, but as an adult, I had no idea it was up to ME to seek out those confidence-boosting opportunities. In the past, they had always somehow found me (or so it seemed). College courses, new jobs, and big moves seemed to be the natural course of life, hence I took them for granted. Lacking opportunities for growth sent me into a shame spiral of epic proportions. Seriously. Is this really what adulthood was -- work, home, bills, TV, sex, REPEAT?! If so, I was having none of it...
So here I am.
I have crawled out of my shame spiral. I have acknowledged that I am indeed my own worst enemy (not to mention critic). I have successfully navigated the self-help section of Barnes and Noble without shame! In the process I had to seriously evaluate areas of my life with which I am unhappy. (Wicked heavy shit like environment, interpersonal relationships, and career. UGH!) Goal-setting has never been my strong suit so I've had to re-learn how to set a goal, list possible ways to attain said goal, then make a plan of action. I've had to list activities that bring me happiness, from the most mundane (cleaning house), to the most challenging (learning a new skill), and how to incorporate those into my everyday life so that happiness is not just a destination, but a motherfucking journey!
But perhaps the most important lesson I've had to learn is failure is okay. No, seriously. I am so paralyzed with fear at the thought of failure, that it keeps me from ever trying new things. So I have resolved to fail, at least a little bit.
So if I fail to update this goddamn blog on a semi-regular basis, that's okay, right?