2016: A not-so-quick review

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As it turns out, I did not make any resolutions for 2016. I was apparently so pleased with doing well in 2015, that I completely forgot about 2016. This year has been wonderful and horrible for a lot of people. For me, it’s just …been.



The Downs of 2016:
Loss:  In January, my family put down our family dog, Laci. I was crushed. I couldn’t talk to anyone in my family for a few days. I think I’m still a bit upset actually. As all dogs are for their human companions, she was more than a pet. She was my friend and playmate. She was my emotional (and sometimes physical) rock. We cuddled and walked and swam together. We would take long naps on the couch or in the sun. It was a painful time, but she’s in a better place. In February, my great (wonderful and amazing)-aunt Shirley left us. She had been going through a lot physically, emotionally, and mentally. She was surrounded by family, and then when everyone went home, she passed on. Like Laci, she was more than just my great-aunt. She was my friend. She always was there for me when I needed her – just an email away. During my own petulant pre-teen and teenage years, she was the person I could and did stay up all night talking to. She was a beautiful person with a unique way of living. That’s how we connected and bonded. We were both a little different from everyone else in the family, but we managed just fine. I was not fortunate enough to see her before she passed. I was, however, fortunate enough to see her husband, Uncle Charlie, while I was home in April. I surprised him in the care center he stayed at. Then he and I had a wonderful chat out on the gazebo. We just talked, I told him about my doings abroad and he talked about his current state and how he was proud of me. Not too long after, he also passed. He joined his love in the great beyond. I really feel for my cousin Stephanie for losing her parents the way she did. It’s not something I can imagine dealing with, and hope I won’t have to for a long time.

Love: I had a person I was interested in back in 2015, but he quickly changed his mind with no explanation. We had an amazing connection right off, and I was a little hung up on him for a portion of 2016. I found myself subconsciously gazing toward the street he lived on when I passed. I sent a message now and then to inquire his health. He never responded, so I finally somehow let him go. Toward the middle of the year, I found another person who more than captured my interest. Again, we had a lovely connection straight off and I found myself constantly wanting to be in his company. I thought the feelings were mutual, but once again after a few weeks, my affections were rebuffed. However, we continued to hang out. This was probably not the healthiest move on my part. It seriously delayed the process of me ‘getting over’ him. But still, his unique way of thinking and the situations we found ourselves in were so enjoyable. I knew I was in the friendzone (after hooking up?! which is bullshit, but whatever), but I still felt like we were more. I did all I could to get out of that mindset, including sending him home with another girl one night. And that crushed me. I didn’t eat for days and I fell into a sort of depression. I couldn’t understand why I was so upset about this, when I knew it would happen and I even encouraged it. I had no right to feel the way I did when I knew that he saw me only in this certain light. He was a temporary best friend. I was playing the role of Eponine, as I had done before, but I somehow made it worse for myself. Sure, I didn’t get shot for it, but I alienated myself from my friends and I only wanted to hang out with him. And then, he left. With a mere few days notice, he came and went. And again it crushed me. But I realized how unhealthy I was to have him around me. We stay in contact, sort of. And I would like to have a true friendship with him, but I realized that he was not healthy for me in my current space and place. If our friendship does maintain, I will absolutely be happy for that. If it does not, then I wish him the best of luck with whatever he chooses in life. He’s the type of person who will succeed and bring wonders to the world when he finds his passion.

Others: “I don’t speak politics” is something I often say. I don’t get involved politically and I prefer not to. However, I have to just say as a person observing through media outlets abroad, WTF, America. Donald Trump? Like… what? Is Kim Kardashian going to be VP? Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kris Jenner found her way into a government position with this kind of ridiculousness. I guess we shall see what happens with that. Oh yea, and Britain decided to secede from the EU. That’s something I know minimal about and won’t try to pretend that I do. It’s just a weird thing to have happened that I wanted to mention.
I also had a bit of an issue at one point with casinos. It was my own private matter and I’m happy to say I’m doing a whole load better. I spent a lot of time at the casino. A lot of time. I was up and down and will never disclose to anyone what actually was made or lost. I will say that meeting a guy in the casino who had been betting money that was my monthly income on a good month, and watching him lose it all, was a wake up call for me. I get an urge now and then to go back, but I haven’t, and hopefully will one day- – but in a better and healthier mindset. I think winter will help me stay away for a while.. it’s too cold to leave my apartment if I have to.



The Ups of 2016:
Family
: While I experienced loss early on in the year, my family has had a couple of additions, more or less. On Memorial Day 2016, my older brother finally popped the question to his girlfriend Katie. This had been a day I had been looking forward to for an absurd amount of time. I knew a few years ago that she would one day be my lawful sister and I am thrilled to say she will be officially taking on wife-hood in October 2017. Later on in the year – December to be specific, my younger cousin Danielle and her wonderful hubs Denny welcomed their first child together, Nancy Faye. She is a healthy and lovely child with a doting and proud older sister, Fiona. I am so happy for them and their families, and for my grandparents to be able to hold and interact with their first great-grandchild. As it happens, Nancy Faye was born on my grandmother’s birthday. I couldn’t imagine a more wonderful gift.

Travel: I did get to travel a bit this year also. I celebrated New Years 2016 in Dubai with my friend Kendra. I visited D.C. (in what was supposed to be THE proposal weekend) with my family and also spent another week in Florida with everyone there. In September, I did a last minute trip to Vietnam for a week. I enjoyed a great holiday on my own and met some very interesting people. I had some gorgeous clothes made and I now have a 1 year multi-entry visa.. let’s see if I use it again (ha!). In November, I booked a ticket back to Orlando at 2am on a Tuesday and was on the plane by 6pm that same day. It certainly was an unanticipated trip and the surprise was wonderful for my family. I got to cook for and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with my family (sans my very angry older brother). I want to say I traveled more, but I really don’t think I did… I can’t remember (which is a bit disturbing).

Business: I spent the majority of 2016 on a D-10 visa (looking for work) while trying to build up Shannon from Scratch. I did voiceovers and was making okay money with that. I got to dub a few characters in a K-drama that was being shown in Ghana or somewhere random. I also participated as an extra in a movie featuring Kim SooHyun. No idea what movie or anything about it except it had to do with casinos.
Shannon from Scratch, I am happy to say, is doing well at the moment and I am curious to see if it will have the opportunity to expand in this next year. I went from only 2 clients per week with ~20 meals between them to having at least 5 clients each week with on average ~50 meals per week. The most I cooked in one week was 75 meals with about 9 clients during the week. Some clients are less consistent, getting only 10 meals every month or two, or changing from 2 meals to 5 meals each week depending on their situation. New clients are coming in still and I am looking forward to organizing my venture a bit more and seeing where it will take me. I also took on a very part time teaching gig for 1.0million won/month + and E2 visa for 9 hours per week. While the timing of it is really inconvenient, the students are actually really great and the staff is really chill. I actually do enjoy teaching there for the most part, and I appreciate the extra bit of income there also.

Others: I also am proud to say that for the first time EVER, I have lived in one place for longer than a year. I will be moving out in 2 weeks, but it will have been 1.5 years of me living in my apartment. The new one will be very nice also.. a good location close to where I am now, but less of a hill, and on a second floor with better ventilation and kitchen space (hopefully). I also have to follow up the ‘Downs-Love’ section by saying that “when one door closes, another opens.” To avoid possibly jinxing myself, I will leave it at that.
Also, one of my best friends was able to visit in March and that was a great week, as we celebrated her 30th here. Then after my 30th, another friend from Orlando came in for a couple of weeks and we had a blast as well. In September after my Vietnam trip, my mother was able to join me out here for a second round of Korea. This time I could spend more time with her and have more experiences than the previous visit.



To conclude, I suppose, I will once again say.. 2016 has just.. been. It had its ups and downs and it all equaled out in my eyes. It will be a distant memory soon, and I’ll be writing about 2017 in no time..ish.

2015: Resolutions Review

 

Let’s review my resolutions for 2015…

Original: 1. I want to lose weight. Just like everyone else. Except this has to happen. I can’t handle looking at myself in photographs or on a scale. I have never weighed more than I do now and I don’t ever want to again. The number is so despicable to me that I can’t even say it aloud.

Resolution: Lose 15lbs.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! I was close to 165lbs and am now down to about 143lbs. 10 kg down. 20 lbs. Well done, me!

2. Get laid. Seriously, I thought I was being practical last year with that whole ‘get laid 20 times’ thing.. such bullshit. However, I refuse to give way to this one. I will get laid at least 20 times – it counts even if it’s with the same person. No need being a slut about it. I’m 28, not 22.
MISSION VERY ACCOMPLISHED!!! A special thank you to those who participated in helping me achieve this goal. 😉 You know who you are. 

3. Visit 2 new countries again! Last year I had hoped it would be Japan and Taiwan. Instead, it was Japan (twice) and Philippines. I would still like to visit Taiwan this year, my goal instead of Japan is Malaysia. Luckily I have a friend who lives in Kuala Lumpur who I have made many promises to visit….

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! I managed to visit Malaysia and Dubai in 2015. I also got to revisit Hong Kong and Japan. I’d say it was a very good travel year.

4. VISIT GARY in KL!! (gary – this WILL happen)

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! Thank you Gary and Jon for hosting me and putting up with my elephant-itus legs. It was an honor becoming a lobster with you Gary. And I’m more than pleased to say that Gary swung through Korea and we had a lovely champagne brunch…. and looked WAY better than we did in Malaysia. Boys, congrats on putting a ring on it! (your finger. a ring on your finger.)

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5. Save 10K – something that is not as easy to do in the US. It’s pretty simple for people working in Korea. When my flight and housing are paid for, I get a pension, and hopefully make a few $ on the side by selling food and what not… this should be easy.

                 MISSION NOT QUITE ACCOMPLISHED!! 😦 I’m more than halfway there though! Yay for that. And it is possible that I can have that by the time I get home if I don’t go spending it all again. Damn. I’m bad at this one.

And so, with 2015 gone and 4/5 resolutions completed, I’d have to say that I did damn well! Look for the new blogs with my 2015: A Review and another with my 2016 resolutions.

 

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