Current events and FAQ's

March has been pretty nuts.

1) I moved.  I'm officially 28yrs old living with Old Man Pops.  Though, I can't complain much, as he brought me breakfast in bed this morning.  We also get to watch movies on his 100 inch projector screen, and soon the pool will be fah-boo.  It's kind of "the life."  But still, I'm 28 yrs old living with Old Man Pops, aaaaand...yep.

2) I sold my business.  I'm a baller.

3)  I accepted a J-O-B!  My recruiter and new boss feel confident that my paperwork will be ready in time.  I'll have to expedite the process with a road trip to Austin and a pretty penny to a company called Apostillepros, but I'm fine with making the mad dash.  I'm signed, sealed, and soon to be delivered to Omni School in Ulsan, South Korea.  Barring any paperwork disasters, I'm outta here around May 15th.

March has also been full of questions.  Many questions about my plan from various people.  Mostly strangers, like my new life insurance agent, my movers, potential buyers, and even my interview with my new boss.  I keep having the same conversation, over and over.  It's like Groundhog Day.

FAQ #1:

"You're 28?  Are you married?"

"No, traveling alone."

"Have you been married?  Have a boyfriend?"

"No and no."

"How does a nice girl like you not have a man?"

...radio silence...

"Do you want to get married?"

"I'm not sure."

...cue the raised eyebrows,  frown, shrug and "Huh," and in the case of a nurse recently taking my blood, a small gasp, for which I half expected to look over and see my arm falling off and crawling away. Or whatever gasp inducing bloodwork entails.  Come to find out, she was very young and recently married and shocked at my response, so I tacked on a "Maybe, eventually, I guess" to appease her interrogation.  But she still had questions for me.

So.  Why is this the focus when I say I'm moving to the other side of Earth?  I feel like there are better things to say.  Like, "have fun!"

Here's the thing.  I feel like this deserves a high-five because it has taken a lot of experience, confusion, and soul searching for me to accept and admit:  I'm being selfish.  I spent seven years of my 20's in two consecutive long term relationships.  I am sad for everything I missed out on during those years, being tied down for so long.  I have a very hard time picturing myself doing that again with anyone anytime soon, particularly with the next chapter mapped out.

Incidentally, I went to dinner with a friend last night (shout out, Homegrown) and the relentless topic, typical as it is, came up in conversation.  I gave the usual "I don't know, yeah, maybe, eventually" vagueness and returned the question, to which I received a very definitive "No, never."   It was nice to hear such conviction from someone else my age, and my own uncertainty feels some validation today.  I don't know that I'm ballsy enough to say never, but I am feeling more confident to leave my response to the nay-sayers at "I'm not sure" without further commentary.  Boom.  Let's lower our eyebrows and unshrug our shoulders now.

FAQ #2:

"What are your plans when you return?"

"I have no idea."

"You don't know what you want to do?  At 28?"

"I want to do a lot of things."

...cue, again, the raised eyebrows, frown, shrug, and "Huh."

Here's the thing again, and it has taken me a while to accept and admit this, as well:  I know my resume is supposed to look a certain way, and I "should" be following a certain plan.  And however random and unconnected, all of my  chapters to this point have fallen into place nicely, just as they will in the future.  I'm very happy to go with the flow and see what unfolds.  Really, I just have a hard time accepting that I'm supposed to pick one thing I like to do for the rest of my life.  I'd prefer to go to my grave telling stories of big adventures rather than how I worked and retired, and then was too old to do anything else.

I don't know where I'm going with this, other than voicing my annoyance with the passive criticism.  I guess my point to those inquiring minds is just ... HEY! It's a tremendous a luxury to be able to make your own decisions for yourself and your life, without justification, and to have the opportunities to do exactly what you want, whether it follows the "rules" or not.  Not everyone in the world is afforded such luxuries.  But for those who are, I certainly wish for whatever it is that makes them happy - without the raised eyebrows, frowns, shrugs and "Huh's."

So.  Booyah to the haters.  Yes.  I'm single and career-less (read: hassle-free).  I like it that way and I'm off to Korea/to travel.  The beauty of it all being that it's exactly what I want to do.

Coming to you, evidently, from the shrink's couch -


My fingerprints are awesome...and other tantalization

Ah, Cupkate and Rice, I had such big plans for you.  You started out as insurance, "putting it out there" to make sure I don't back out of this adventure.  I also just really thought I'd have interesting things to blog about as my plans come into fruition.  In actuality?  Background checks, international resumes, visas, and job applications aren't interesting blog topics.  Not even for conversation.  I've watched my friends eyes glaze over when I go into details.  Getting printed by ol' Sargent CreepyCop is the only recent experience worth mentioning, and actually, probably not, but in an attempt to write about something, anything:  hearing the man in uniform excitedly exclaim over and over how amazing my prints are left me feeling a little dirty, and not from all the ink.  I mean, he really liked my fingers and printing them.

At the moment, I'm just twiddling my now ink-free thumbs.  I'm waiting.  The FBI background check I have to undergo takes 12 weeks.  12 weeeeeeks.  I wish I'd done this two months ago, as now my plans for leaving in May are squashed.  You'd think such amazing prints would "work it" (said with a snap and a hip switch) and swoon their way to the front of the line.

This extra time on my hands leaves me consumed with where to apply.  I've written about this before... Now that my plans are delayed, I'm considering public schools since it's currently hiring season for positions that begin in August.  I'm really concerned about taking a job at a corrupt hagwon.  But there's no guarantee that I'll have a say in where I'm placed if I go the public school route.  And this really concerns me.  I think I've made my distaste for cold weather pretty clear.  I won't survive a real winter.  Another student from my TEFL course and I have been commiserating about this together and she described the predicament perfectly:

"I'll find a job opening in Gyeongju. And of course the benefits and pay are really great. And then I'll go to the Wikipedia page and it looks absolutely fantastic. It's right near Busan. There's pictures of countryside and Buddhist temples. And a market. ETC. But then I'm thinking "Am I really about to base the next year of my life on a wikipedia page???" I feel like what I'm doing is the equivalent of looking at a map of the U.S. with absolutely no clue about any of the areas and ending up in Detroit because, according to Wikipedia, it's a city, near water, and there are pretty pictures on the page. Seriously, I looked up Detroit on wikipedia. Somebody- somewhere- made Detroit look and sounds like the cat's pajamas. And I'm totally not trying to bash Detroit. But I've seen 8 Mile. And I watched the episode of No Reservations when Anthony Bourdain went there."

She's hilariously right on.  My face is permanently scrunched in a "what the hell/which way do I go/I'm so lost?" position, since this is the only somewhat productive decision I can make at the moment.  Until that perfectly fingerprinted FBI check comes back.  So to relax my scrunchy face muscles, I've been dreaming up itineraries for traveling after my teaching contract ends (allllll the way in 2012).  Apparently in my head, my future savings in Korea will make me "The Great Traveling Mr. Moneybags":

-India (out of the way, I know, but a must) -Thailand -Laos -Cambodia -Vietnam -Malaysia -Phillippines -Indonesia -Australia -New Zealand.

And hopefully little trips to Taiwan, Japan, and a some of China during the year on holidays and long weekends.  My eyes may be bigger than my stomach.  Erhh, my itinerary is bigger than my wallet?  Whatever the case, my tooter's hittin' the road.  Time and paychecks will tell how much ground I cover.

For now, my feaux-itineraries know no bounds, and I'm counting the days until Cupkate and Rice is fulfilling its destiny... come ooooon fingerprints, you beaut's, you.  Make mama proud.

-Waiting Kate...ing