In life, you will make mistakes. Sometimes really big mistakes. Sometimes you’ll even make the same mistake more than once, and you’ll make a complete fool of yourself. (At least I really hope I’m not the only one who’s done this. Tell me I’m not?)
You will hurt people. There is simply no way to avoid this, unless you spend your whole life living alone in a cave. You will hurt people close to you, and people not so close… But the closer they are, the more likely you are to hurt them. You will let out the ugliest parts of yourself, and you will drive people away. Though it will be the last thing you want to do, you’ll end up doing it anyway. It’s ironic, but the more desperate you are for love and companionship and belonging, and the more frantically you grasp at those things, the more swiftly they will run away from you. Because you have to learn. You have to learn that love won’t come to you until you stop trying so hard to hold onto it. [Read the rest]
Greetings from the USA! I came back here from Taiwan one week ago, and after finally recovering from jet lag I was left feeling unsure what to write about. So yesterday I posted this on my Facebook page:
In this post I’m going to do something a little different and simply respond to all the suggestions people left me. Here goes! [Read the rest]
I’ve been in Taiwan for nearly two months now. Although I’ll be going back to the US soon instead of staying here for a year like I originally intended, it’s been fun revisiting Taiwan and noticing all the things that haven’t changed in the six years since I last lived here. There’s still a 7-11 on nearly every corner, friendly street vendors still sell cheap bowls of beef noodles, and hoards of locals still buzz around the streets on scooters.
It seems like a lot of the expats I’ve talked with recently have negative attitudes about Taiwan, which I think is really a shame. I mean sure, there are bound to be things here you dislike (as will be the case with any place you live), but there really are a lot of great things about Taiwan, and I personally think it’s one of the best places to live and work in Asia. It’s also a really fun place to visit, and I don’t understand why so many travelers seem to leave it off their lists. So for those of you who need some convincing, here are a few reasons why I think Taiwan is a place worth visiting. [Read the rest]
Well okay, actually I’ve been directionally challenged my whole life– not just since 2005! But did you know that the AOTDC blog (Yes, I just made my blog title into an acronym to make it sound like something important. Shut up.) has existed since 2005? You didn’t know that, did you? Did you?
With some coworkers in Taiwan, in 2007.
[Read the rest]
I recently did something that’s either sheer brilliance, or sheer stupidity: I decided not to get another job.
And the fact that I currently have next to no money and am also in debt certainly adds some weight to the “sheer stupidity” side of the debate.
But you see, there comes a time when enough is enough, when you’re so fed up with the way your life has been going that you simply can’t tolerate the current situation any longer. No matter what the risk, you have to make a change or you’re sure you’ll lose your mind.
And this whole mess of getting fired without even really being hired has been the proverbial last straw for me.
I’ve had it!
[Read the rest]
The school owner tossed me a bag of steamed dumplings. “Here,” he said, “Eat these.” They were always giving me food.
I grabbed one and sank my teeth into its juicy, curried insides as the female co-owner, who was clearly battling a cold, also began to pull up a chair.
“Honey, you don’t have to…” said her partner evasively. “I’ve got it.”
And it was then that I knew we weren’t going to be discussing lesson plans like I’d thought.
He sat down across from me, and I knew what was coming before he even said it. “We all took a vote on whether or not you’d be continuing to teach here,” he explained, “and it was a unanimous no.”
[Read the rest]
I’m writing this post from SeaTac Airport, and just over an hour from now I’ll be getting on a plane headed to… *drumroll*
That’s right, Madrid, Spain.
I will only be staying in Madrid for three weeks to visit a friend, after which time I will be headed to…
…A soon-to-be-revealed destination where I will be staying for one year!
Okay okay, I’m sorry I just did that to you, but I couldn’t help myself. And I’m going to keep you in suspense for just a bit longer, because this post isn’t about what lies ahead, anyway. (I will tell you about that later, don’t worry!) This post is about the culmination of the six months I’ve just spent here in the states– and the culmination of my music project.
I’m proud to say that I’ve finally accomplished something I’ve had on my secret bucket list for years: I’ve recorded an album of original songs. It was even more work than I thought it would be, but it was most definitely worth it. Now I’ve finally gotten some of the songs out of my head and made them into something I can share with the world.
I’m not going to share the whole album with you at once (especially since some of the songs still need to be re-mixed), but I will gradually be releasing a few select tracks on Youtube to get them out there and gauge the response. The first one is called “Seize the Day”, and you can watch/listen to it here:
[Read the rest]
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you probably know that I recently spent ten months living in France as an au pair. “Au pair” is a French term meaning “on the same level”, and it refers to a young person who goes to another country to live with a local family as a sort of nanny, looking after the children and running errands in exchange for a small salary and the opportunity to experience another culture. The majority of au pairs are young women, but it is possible for men to do it as well. It can be a great way to learn another language and become familiar with daily life in another country, even if you don’t have a lot of money. So in this post I’m going to explain how to take advantage of this opportunity. [Read the rest]