To China and Back Again: The Year 2017

Walking over a bridge in China

2017 was filled with many challenges but so much growth.

When I look back at the year 2017, my head spins a bit. So much happened in a fairly short time. My life changed dramatically as I moved from Florida to China in 2016, settled there more in 2017, and then moved back to the USA.

However, I changed even more than my geographical location. Not understanding a word around me but having to find my own apartment and find directions taught me to ask for help even if I looked clueless. Teaching children and planning creative lessons taught me to trust myself more as a leader and artist. Working with children and feeling alone in a new culture taught me that I did want a family one day. Having a happy relationship continues to teach me that I’m lovable with all my quirks and faults.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Cleaning Out Boxes of the Past

A lake near a mountain

A lake near the mountains

After arriving back in the USA a few days ago, I’ve been busy cleaning out all of my old boxes. Although I just moved back from China, my goal is to move abroad again for my Master’s Degree soon. Thus, all of the clutter in my old room and closet needed to leave.

As I pulled out old boxes and rummaged through dusty drawers, glimpses of the past kept appearing.

My fingers were stained pink and blue from oil pastel paintings made in residential treatment for my eating disorder. Babies surrounded by darkness, blood-red monsters devouring me, trees half blossoming and half diseased – images of despair and hope mixed with every color.

Continue reading

Coming Back Stronger than Before

Cinderella

Disneybounding as Cinderella

I am not even sure how to start this exactly. The wait between these posts (both for you reading and me writing) has been far too long.

Life has been a bit hectic and full of changes lately. Since my last post in June (forever ago, I know), I have been offered a new job which I will be leaving the country for in a few months. After years of dreaming and doubting myself, I am going to be teaching English in China. Better yet, the Disney company will still be my employer.

The joy of taking this new step in life comes hand-in-hand with the fear of change. Am I really moving to a country across the world that I have never been to before? How will I learn Mandarin that quickly? How will I survive without my family and friends? How will I ever be confident enough to teach?

Continue reading

Listaliciousness: Father’s Day, Women on Money, and Hidden Meaning in “Lilo and Stitch”

Family upon couch

My family

Happy Father’s Day! I miss my father so much on this special day. At least, we talked on the phone which was wonderful.

Anyway, here are some links. A few are Father’s Day themed while others deal with history, coping skills, and Disney of course. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Self-Hatred: Part Self-Doubt and Part Self-Disgust

Without even looking down, I tugged. The denim refused to budge. Surprised, I turned my attention to the jeans from my sister. As much as I hate pants, these ones were acceptable to wear on the odd day when I felt so inclined.

The jeans, on the other hand, did not feel so inclined to me. After another tug, I realized that there was no way the buttons could close over my hips. The jeans that had fit the last time I tugged them on now were too small.

I hate recovery. That was my first thought. Hate it so much. Almost as much as I hate myself.

Continue reading

Advice from Red Carpet

So often, people complain about the media and the way only thin women are shown to be beautiful. However, it is important not to judge celebrities for looking a certain way. They are people as well who are beautiful and insecure about their bodies.

When I found this video, I was touched. These gorgeous women spoke to girls (and guys) in a sensitive, considerate manner. Hopefully, you will also be touched by their words.


Continue reading

Starting a New Job and Feeling Strangely Confident

With a theater friend

Onstage I have more confidence

Training for my new job has been fun, interesting, tiring, and strangely confidence-building. Who would have thought that I would be so excited about a job that involves talking with people? I certainly would not have expected it!

This is one of the few times that I actually felt sure of myself. Instead of worrying about what to say when practicing to serve people, I went into my theater-mode. Instead of being an anxious girl trying to find herself in the world, I became a spunky woman who loves interacting with others and making their day better.

Continue reading

One Thousand Thanks: 714 – 724. My Job of the Past Year

Unless one says goodbye to what one loves, and unless one travels to completely new territories, one can expect merely a long wearing away of oneself and an eventual extinction. - Jean Dubuffet

Unless one says goodbye to what one loves, and unless one travels to completely new territories, one can expect merely a long wearing away of oneself and an eventual extinction. – Jean Dubuffet

This weekend will be my last (at least for now) at my hostess job. Over the last year, I have learned a great deal and grown at this little restaurant. Leaving will be sad, but the future will hold many more opportunists because of the skills that I learned there. So this Thankfulness Thursday is dedicated to my job as I prepare to move on to other places.

714. My coworkers – They were so amazing, welcoming, fun, and encouraging. Every evening, I was greeted with smiles and compliments. Even when I went through rough times, they stood by my side and were kind. Their jokes and optimistic spirits will be very missed.

Continue reading

What I Am, What I Am Not, What I Could Be

Ruth and me

My friend and me at her wedding

Today, my mother and I went to the baby shower of my best friend through high school. Since then, we have remained close at heart but taken very different paths. She did two years of mission work, finished college two Mays ago, married last November, and is now pregnant with a little girl. That is miles away from anything that I have experienced.

Going to Oxford proved to myself that I could accomplish great things. Now, I am more confident about my future. Although nothing is easy, the strength to go far and be a bright light is inside of me.

Balancing what I am, what I am not, and what I could be one day is difficult. Sometimes I wish that I was different and had a life more like my friend. Thus, this post is mostly a coping skill for me to practice learning to accept where I am and press forward with hope.

Continue reading

One Thousand Thanks: 703 – 713. Benefits of Business

British driving sign that say "Kill your speed"

This British driving sign states what I want to do right now.

This week has been so crazy. I began an internship, started a new job training, had a huge fundraiser for where I work, wrote for my client, and tried (am still trying actually) to finish a mystery party for this Saturday. Right now, only a few minutes are left before I must get ready for work.

Sometimes things in life are hectic. That can be difficult, but it can also have benefits. Today for Thankfulness Thursday, I am going to focus on the good parts of being busy.

Continue reading