Beautiful, Beautiful Fall

This past weekend I finally went hiking in one of Jirisan's courses. 18.4 km later, and my friend and I had sore feet, calves, and dirty faces, but I would do it all again in a heart beat, even with the fresh blisters on my feet. Something about getting to wander underneath the fall foliage in all its bursts of colors and away from modern civilization (really no millions of people, wires, pipes, cars...) makes me feel a little like Anne Shirley when she gets to fall in love with Prince Edward Island. Everything is romantic, and even while the paths were literally rocky and the end seemingly never near, it's hard to be disgruntled with perfect sunshine and inspiring surroundings at every turn. I wanted to share some photos from the hike as well as some quotes I found about fall. They'll give you this warm, satisfied feeling!
"...September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." - George Eliot
"...I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air." -Nathaniel Hawthorne


One Year Later...

It has officially been a full year since I packed two suitcases and a backpack and moved across the world. A lot has changed, and a lot hasn't changed, and when I looked back through this blog, I'm glad I kept it up. Around this time last year I wrote a post explaining why I decided to teach ESL in Korea, and I like to think I've fulfilled my goals of being here for a year.

My Happiness. If you haven't noticed an ongoing theme, I was really unhappy towards the end of my senior year. Like sometimes would barely leave my bed for the whole day unhappy, say hurtful or just rude things just because... I had serious FOMO, and I was constantly plagued with this fear that I was constantly being forgotten. For my whole adolescence, I would get really upset at what I perceived was either a) people forgetting about me or b) people purposely seeming like they forgot because they didn't really want me there. Of course, I never explained how much this hurt my feelings. I usually let it build up, turned a bit of an icy shoulder, and then I lashed out much later or at random times. I'd also bury myself in work, using it as a buffer between me and the feeling of being forgotten, which was a gateway to feeling very alone. I can think of a few very specific times that I did this like clockwork. 

Anyhow, my goal was to really try and push for my own happiness, and I think I've successfully gotten there. I'm not wildly happy and full of spirited "You can do it!" But I'm not spending all day in bed Facebook stalking all the fun times everyone else seems to be having.

My Career. I remember telling this guy I hated in high school how I was going to be a fabulous New York socialite with a closet full of beautiful shoes and invitations to all the best parties and a powerful job in advertising. Gag me. Call it college happening, but I can think of nothing I want less. I don't want to live in NYC because I hate the cold. I don't want a ton of shoes because I just won't wear them. I don't want to go to parties because no one dances, and I have to be uncomfortable and sober while making small talk for hours. I don't want to be a socialite because... what does that even mean? And while advertising is still on the table, it's going to be for companies I care about not just blanket advertising to the biggest spender.

I frankly don't even know what my career is going to be, and as I told my dad, it's not going to be traditional or familiar. I'm out in the world, I'm seeing new things, and I'm exploring. Right now I frankly don't want anything else. As much as I've always wanted marriage and babies and a cute little castle with a massive garden and an apple orchard in the backyard (hey, dream big, right?), I don't want it right now if it means giving up whatever path I'm on. I've renewed for another year in Korea because there's a lot to still see, and there's a lot more I want to learn as a teacher. I do have some more finite desires, namely a graduate school course in Germany or Ireland (though Germany is looking pretty good right now), a future with linguistics, and working with companies I admire. I'm also interested in the idea of micro loans, so if you know anything about that let me know.

Writing. Speaking of my career, the most important thing to me is writing. The novelist dream will always be there. I've started reading so much more, and it's been wildly therapeutic in a weird way. Good books are good for the soul, no matter what anyone says. And I mean good books, with rich characters, a Roller Coaster of a plot, and this ability to grip something in you and never let go no matter how many years pass. I've been reading those kinds of books lately, and it's been amazing. 

I've also started writing again. Nothing big, and never consecutive. Just snippets here and there of observations, imaginations of my favorite characters, and more. But it's something, and it feels good to not sit there, wondering how to phrase something.  


Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)

You know how a lot of movies from our childhood don't quite wind up being as amazing when we become adults? Well, I re-watched Kiki's Delivery Service (which for whatever reason, I kept calling Kiki's Great Adventure), and I'm happy to say it's just as good as it was when I was seven. Maybe even better because now I can appreciate the artwork that went into the scenery, the people. and the details. Miyazaki brings us into a charming little world that is neither really here nor there, neither in the past or the future. It's just this sweet place where even grocery shopping can seem enchanting. I will say Kiki's abruptness is not something that would fly with anyone I know (like telling your dad you're leaving for your year of training while he's packing for your camping trip!), it doesn't affect the film really. I think it goes without saying, but Miyazaki is quite the genius.


Fall is Here

Autumn is here, and I'm very excited about it. If spring is about new beginnings, autumn is all about nostalgia and pausing to remember. Crisp mornings lend to long, thoughtful walks. Bright colors lend to bursts of inspiration. Harvest time lends way to all my favorite home-comfort foods like apple pies, pumpkin everything, soup, and piping hot cups of tea over breakfast. I'm not one to get really and truly homesick, but the thought of the season does make me miss the way my mom decorates our house for both Halloween and Thanksgiving and the ways I'd try to convince my dad to light a fire every night, even if it was a warmer November evening. I want to bury myself in cable knit sweaters and fuzzy socks and drink hot cider while reading a good book (in this case Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth) or daydreaming. 
From A Clothes Horse
From Living it Rural
From Sullivan Entertaiment