2017: Enough

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2017 is a garbage person. 2017 is a fucking bully and I’m glad it’s over. Before composing this final (and much delayed) blog entry of 2017, I was thinking about the good and bad things that occurred this year and honestly, I’m perplexed at how a year could have been so fucking good to me and so fucking bad at the same time. I wish I could say I was ending this year on a high note, but it seems like me, and others, are all just counting down the days until we can wash the bad taste of 2017 out of our mouths.

 

Before I get into the nonsense of the past few months, I want to recount the good things that have happened to me this year. I traveled to two different countries, Japan & Vietnam, by myself. I conquered the idea of traveling alone and not only did I conquer it, I fucking excelled at it. Traveling alone was always one of my biggest fears– the idea that I could not overcome my loneliness. But, I found that throughout traveling alone, I became more comfortable with the idea of myself and keeping myself as company. I think, for a long time, because I’ve dealt with a lack of self-worth and the fear of not being good enough that meant that I wasn’t even good enough for my own company. This idea is slowly changing and I am embracing my qualities. This will always be a work in progress for me as, honestly, I’m just too good at hating myself. But, even I can admit I’ve done serious work this year and I’ve progressed exponentially.

I also started CrossFit and finally ran the half-marathon I’ve wanted to run since I first came to Korea: the DMZ Cherowon Peace Marathon. This could have been a blog entry on its own, and probably should have been, because the feelings I felt after crossing the finish line will never be replicated.

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I crossed, cried my eyes out, and then immediately thought I was going to throw up. It was so much hotter than we expected it to be and it was so much harder for me than it should have been. In the last couple of weeks of my training, I hurt my feet and ankles and my training really suffered. The longest run I did while training was 15k, and that was in July. So, the last few kilometers of the race were fucking brutal.

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But, we finished. We drank beer. We felt proud.

In congress with the running of the half marathon and CrossFit, and I know I’ve talked about this before, but it was such a big part of my year, I started playing Gaelic football. At our end of the year dinner, I even won “Most Improved,” which is a huge fucking honor considering I had never played a group sport before March. There were times I wanted to quit and there were times I was furious with myself for making a mistake, but throughout the sport, I slowly learned how to take constructive criticism, and I honestly believe this experience helped me grow into a more confident and well-rounded person.

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I also got married this year, which is honestly still a huge shock sometimes. In fact, I referred to Robert as my boyfriend today in conversation. We got engaged on Jeju Island earlier this year inside of a volcano, which is pretty telling of the kind of relationship we have and the kind of person Robert is. In August, we went to Seoul and got married in the district office without much fanfare or panache– again, that’s the kind of people we are. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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So, because I got married, I had the pleasure of having a bachelorette party (three weeks after I got married) and I was surrounded and loved on by some of the best women I have ever known. They put together games for me, organized the hotel, figured out dinner, and helped me get very, very intoxicated.

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I also had a few opportunities to travel around the country and do a few things I had never done before. We went to Seoul ComicCon, which was the first year it was ever hosted in Korea. We traveled to Namhae to experience Oktoberfest in Korea and had a few relaxing days camping on the beach during the 10 day long vacation, Chuseok.

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I spent St. Patrick’s Day on Gwangali and Haeundae beaches and got to experience Holi Hai the same weekend. I participated in the Busan production of the Vagina Monologues. I got to have one of the most difficult experiences of my acting life by performing in Henry Murray’s “Three Views of the Same Object.” I went to my first Samsung Lions game. I went to Jeju Island for the first time. I got to see the USA U-20 team play in Daejeon. I ALSO BECAME BTS TRASH AND I DON’T CARE I BET YOU THOUGHT I WOULDN’T MENTION THEM IN THIS ENTRY HA

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God, they’re so amazing. I fucking love them so much. You can take your hate on somewhere else, ya fucks.

Now that all of the fun and good is out of the way, it’s time to discuss the shittiest parts of the year, which honestly, was mostly from September until now. My problem is when one thing goes bad, everything else has a tendency to go poorly. I actually remember thinking once as I was walking home in August “Wow… things are so good right now. They’ll probably go to shit soon,” and go to shit they did, friends.

I have honestly never been so close to losing my fucking mind as I have been these past few months. After my half-marathon, without a real goal to accomplish, I sort of fell apart. I went right from training for my half to having a 10 day long vacation where all I did was drink for days straight. My drinking increased from one day every couple of weeks to four or five days a week and I slowly but surely began to undo all of the progress, mentally, emotionally and physically, that I had worked so hard to achieve. I kept a CrossFit gym membership, but I was so lackadaisical about going that it seemed really fucking stupid to keep paying for something I wasn’t using. I stopped running. All I wanted to do was go out and party, which is what I did.

A lot of aspects of my life suffered. I was having problems in my life in Korea and life at home wasn’t much easier. Last year, my aunt E, who is one of my best friends and essentially my second mother, was diagnosed with cancer in her mouth. The cancer progressed and the day I got the news, my mom also told me that my grandmother had an aneurysm in her abdomen that required surgery. On Monday, November 20th, I bought a plane ticket home and on November 22nd, I landed at the Bluegrass Airport. I’ve never had that kind of turnaround time with a flight and going home before, but I’m glad I made the decision to go home.

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I got to spend the first Thanksgiving at home with my family in four years. I got to spend time with my aunt and my grandmother, who spent the majority of the time I was at home in the ICU. I got to see my close friends of 15+ years and be loved on by them. I love my life in Daegu, don’t get me wrong, but the chance to be away from Korea and be at home with people who have known me my whole life, people who know my family, people who have been with me as we’ve grown up, was so necessary for my mental health at the time. It helped put a lot of things into perspective, and I felt the future of my life change while I contemplated the kind of steps to take to secure my happiness.

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The past few months have been fucking stupid hard. There have been days when getting out of bed was the best I could do, but I still had to go put on a face for my students, who have begun to express real dismay at my departure from my academy of 2.5 years. It breaks my heart. I’ve watched some of these students grow up since I started working there in 2015. They’re bright, wonderful, intelligent teenagers who are, honestly, going to change the world around them. It’s been a huge honor to be their teacher.

So, here it is– December 27th, 2017. A great deal of my life is still very much in the air. I’m confused, I’m scared, and I’m terrified of making the wrong decision somewhere along the way. I am unhappy. I have real issues with a lot of people in my life, and I don’t know how to fix any of them. But, I am pushing on and trying to find ways to solve the problems– both that I have created and problems that are out of my control. I am fucking distracted. I am nervous. I spend a majority of my time brooding and irritated. I don’t feel like I’ve been completely honest in this entry, which is something else I have a real problem with, but at this point, I can only give so much. I have started writing again, but I can’t share it with anyone. For a majority of the past few months, I have felt very alone.

I have gained 14 pounds or 6.7kgs. I just ate cookies. But, I am trying my best. I am trying to navigate my way through the last few days of this fucking difficult year while trying to weave the good moments in to sustain any chance of happiness I have. Sometimes, life really does fucking kick you when you are at your lowest. These past few months have absolutely been my lowest. But, I am trying my best. I am waking up every day. I am trying to reach out to people who I know care about me regardless of the mistakes I have made, and will probably continue to make. I am trying to find the light within myself to get back to the point where taking care of myself seems worth it– where I seem worth it. I am trying to get better. I am trying to figure out a way to love myself and love the life I’m living without focusing on every single facet that seems either too good or not good enough for me.

I am going to try to enter 2018 with the belief that I am worth all of the things that I want– that I am truly worthy of love, respect, and attention, that I am worthy of the opportunities that have come into my life. One of the major things I want to focus on is removing toxicity, and I mean this in regards to both the toxicity in myself and the toxic people in my life who only serve to take from me instead of enriching my existence in any way.

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I am going to go back to CrossFit. I am going to start taking care of myself again. I am going to start keeping my bullet journal again. I am going to start journeying back down the path to self love again, even if I have to take myself kicking and fucking screaming, which at this point is exactly what I’m going to have to do. I’m going to seek out counseling again and maybe medication, too, if that’s what it takes to get me back to a place where I don’t feel like everything in my life is hopeless or that everyone in my life is out to get me or abandon me.

Please remember that you’re not alone in your struggle. Please remember that people around you do care, even if it doesn’t feel like it. I am saying this because I, too, need to remember that there are people in my corner. Remember that your life is not about other people– your life is about you and your happiness. Do not compromise. Do not sell yourself short. Do not cower in the shadow of your own fucking greatness.

Be well, y’all, and Happy New Year.

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Practicing What I Preach: The Downfalls of The Heavy Hipster

alright, ladies and gentlemen. it has come to the point that i need to sit down and have some truth time. it would be a lie to say i’ve been completely honest with you all, which disappoints me because that was the main reason i started this blog. i wanted to remain honest at all points in time, and i have not been. i’ve been giving you all the good things i have been doing for myself, but i have neglected to share the not-so-good things i do in the dark of the night when no one is looking. it’s controlling those hidden, shameful activities and urges that contribute the most to positive weight loss and i think it’s because i haven’t been honest with myself that i’m still struggling both physically and nutritionally. this post is an attempt at being honest about what triggers me, what i struggle with, and hopefully, what i can do to slowly start changing those habits. this is going to be one of the most difficult posts i write because i will actually have to confront myself. well, here goes, y’all.

Downfall 1: Fast Food and Eating at Restaurants– when i first started this blog in January, my first post was about Americans blaming fast food companies for their obesity. this is, in no way, blaming those companies for the state of my health and my body. but, in all honesty, i am addicted to fast food and to eating out in general. when confronted with the question: do i want to eat in or get something from a restaurant, i immediately jump at the idea of eating out. i’ve always been that way. additionally, i fucking love the shit out of fast food. i love french fries; i love taco bell. i love big fucking burritos they make at restaurants. i love cheesy mexican food, fatty potato soup, and big fluffy yeast rolls. i love all of those things. to put it simply, my friends, i am a glutton. i look at all of my friends who hate fast food, who can ignore it, who love to eat in and cook their own food, but it is a fucking struggle for me and i know it will be for the rest of my life. i try to justify my actions by saying “oh, i don’t eat it very often” or “this will be my only big meal of the day. i’ll eat a salad later.” but i never really hold to those statements and usually end up binge-eating later on in the evening when hunger creeps out of nowhere. my money situation is in the shitter right now and part of it is because i still eat out so fucking much. i can blame it on not having much food at my apartment (haven’t done much grocery shopping SINCE BONNAROO), but the honest to god fucking truth is that i don’t want to exert the effort to come home and cook my own food, even though i get extreme enjoyment out of cooking and making nutritionally wholesome foods for myself. the days where i don’t include meals or just coincidentally forget to mention what i’ve had to eat are days i have eaten like shit and you can bet there are more of those recently than are days that i’ve eaten healthy for myself. i am a food addict and i am considering finding a support group for other food addicts because something, somewhere, has got to give. my willpower is not as strong as i would like to believe it is and even when my conscience steps forward and says “whoa. hold the fuck up there, buddy. you do not need to eat those french fries,” i tell it to shut the fuck up and i do what i want anyway. so there’s that. judge me if you want. i don’t fucking care.

Downfall Two: Alcohol and Binge Drinking– anyone who has been a friend of mine for any length of time, starting in the Spring of 2007, knows just how much i love to drink and how much i love to party. i love being the life of the party. i love it when people say i’m “legendary” for my drinking and partying skills. it gives me such an ego boost and i don’t know why. i think it’s because it’s something i’ve always wanted. i’ve always wanted to prove i can run with the best of them and i have proven that. the problem is, that even years after proving it, i’m still doing it. i find justifications for drinking heavily at least two or three times a week. it starts with “oh. it’s a nice day. i’m going to sit on a porch and get fucked up.” followed by “oh. it’s a holiday weekend” or “it’s his birthday” or “it’s Canada day” or “it’s st. martinlutherchristmasevevalentinesdaystpatricklabormemorialflagcanadaboxinghaunnkahpresidentskwanzaa day”. any reason i can find, i will drink until i am drunk. i love being drunk. there. i said it. i can’t be afraid of it since i engage in it so often. i love the feeling of being drunk because it shuts down the empathy censor in my brain. it gets that part of my brain that tells me to care about everyone and everything to shut the fuck up and i do what i want in those moments. i do what i want without regard or consequence because i don’t care about anyone else but my good time. i don’t care if i hurt someone’s feelings or if i was loud and obnoxious and people were aggravated with me. the natural ability that some people have to just not give a shit is only attained for me through excessive drinking. i’ve been a heavy drinker for 5 years now and to some people, that’s child’s play and hey, more power to you, but i can’t do it anymore. i cannot expect to achieve any of my goals if i am still getting drunk three times a week. i just can’t. there are times and places for it, obviously, and i would be lying if i said i didn’t plan on getting drunk ever again in my entire life, but for the most part, this shit has got to calm down or else i’m going to railroad every single attempt and effort i have been trying to make since January.

Downfall 3: Smoking Cigarettes–  so, their marketing campaign worked. i do feel cooler smoking cigarettes. i smoked the first full cigarette of my life in January of 2007. i never looked back.  i also love being a smoker’s advocate. nothing gets me more fired up than listening to non-smokers and their rights over mine and blah blah blah blah blah blah. get mad. i don’t care. i know i’m a bad person and i’m slowly killing myself and DO YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE PUTTING INTO YOUR LUNGS WITH EVERY SINGLE PUFF, why yes, i do. i know that. i’ve seen the posters and the truth campaign and i have been the victim of merciless tirades by people about my smoking and i’ve had professors yell at me from their windows and i’ve been given dirty looks and do you think i would endure that if i wasn’t somehow attached to the little white cylinder hanging ever so gently betwixt my pointer and middle finger of my right hand? i am a human being, too. but, i also understand the plight of the non-smoker and trying to stay away from the toxic smoke. i do. do not misunderstand me. i know why you’re pissy at us and i know why you hate us and i know why you want us all to crawl in a hole and die with our cigarettes. but i would also like for you to understand the mental and emotional connection i have with smoking. this is not even about physical addiction. motherfuckers, i can go days and days without a cigarette and not even crave one. i can not have a pack of cigarettes on me and feel no anxiety or fear. i am, though, emotionally and mentally attached to not only my label of being “a smoker” but the community of smokers in which i am a member. i’m having a hard time letting go of a label. but, in order for my lungs to be at capacity and carry me through the intense physical activity i wish to undertake, i’ve got to start cutting these bad habits out of my life. i catch a lot of shit about smoking, and i need to quit, but i wonder  if i’m actually ready to let it go.

Downfall 4: Self-Loathing and Self-Dishonesty– again, for anyone who knows me and is familiar with my personality, it’s no surprise that i experience deep bouts of self-hatred at least once a week. i make mistakes and i beat myself up which leads me to make more mistakes which leads to more self-hatred. it’s like i have this tangible bully living inside of me, ready to use me as a punching bag at any moment of any day. i say more mean things to myself weekly than anyone has said to me my entire life and it is that same self-loathing that prevents me from really trying to succeed. i was/am terrified of the weights section of the gym because i am afraid people will judge and make fun of me because i judge and make fun of myself. how silly is that? on top of that, i am incredibly dishonest with myself. i lie to myself daily, just to make myself feel better. but, everything comes with time. as i train my body, i need to train my mind to let go of all the hatred for myself and of all the lies i beat into my head every single day. that has to change. bad habits lead to other bad habits. it’s okay to make mistakes as long as i learn from them and figure out a way to avoid it next time. learning by a mistake is not bad.

i guess what i’m asking is for understanding. this person i want to be come isn’t drastically different from the person i am now, but there are big changes ahead for me. i want to be a healthier person. i want to be a fit person. i want to be a happy person. being all of these things, at this point, means i need to make small sacrifices to meet those goals. at this point, i can’t physically, mentally, or emotionally handle being around people who cannot understand. i hope everyone is having a great fourth of July weekend. stay healthy, y’all.