Lola O.
It's 2:37 PM on Sunday, and I have only been awake/up for about 3 or 4 hours. I've been enjoying sleeping in, even with weird-filled dreams. That awesome night of peaceful sleep is a distant memory. I usually don't dream (or at least I wake up with no memory of them), but lately I have been dreaming, and they all feature people in my life, but they are weird and sometimes scary, and I don't really know what's up with them.

I had Friday off, which was much needed. I slept in, spent the day watching Gossip Girl (don't judge me..muhaha), downloading Asian dramas (need to restore my collection), eating tons of junk food, and avoiding calling home. I knew the funeral was the day after (Friday, AZ time) and I just didn't know what to say, and yes a part of me wishes this wasn't really happening, and by not calling I could avoid the reality of...everything for a little while. I eventually called my Big Mommy, and left her a voicemail telling her I loved her, and for her not be too sad or cry to much, because we all love her....I was glad she didn't pick up. I feel like if I talk to her, I won't be able to keep being strong. I hope she got my voicemail before Friday, and I hope it made her smile. Eventually, I will make that phone call, but when I'm ready.

I went to sleep Friday morning knowing that when I woke his funeral would be over, he'd really be gone forever, and that weighed on my mind. I knew that he was already gone, and that it was just his body left behind. It's just still unreal to me, and sometimes I find myself shocked once again that this really happened, that he really died. I don't cry these days, I just smile in a nostalgic and bittersweet way. I miss him, and I know missing feeling won't go away, but I do know it will get easier. I hope they read my letter to him. I can't wait to go home in March, to give my Big Mommy a long overdue hug, and to visit his grave and be able to finally say my goodbyes. Just to be able to spend some time with him in my own way.

I've been avoiding calling my family too, I just don't want to talk about it, but at the same time I do. I woke up late on Saturday and spent the day cleaning, listening to Paper Route's albums, and cooking. I cooked shrimp fried rice, and it turned out pretty good. I also made a chocolate milkshake and that was yummy. I want to make smoothies with the blender I bought. Lately, I've been cooking more, and trying to learn how to cook like my mom and Grandma. I've always liked cooking, but it's so much better to cook for others than just me. Sometimes I want to knock on my neighbors' doors and ask them to eat with me, but at the same time I'm wondering if I'll regret that in the end. I've been thinking of doing a pancake brunch at my place with some friends, I think it would be fun. Eating is so much more than putting food into one's mouth, for me it's about the conversations, the laughter, and most of all the sharing. I like the sharing aspect of Korean dining.

I realized yesterday that I hit the 6 months in Korea on July 26th, and how I wasn't particularly elated or excited about it. I thought to myself, what's wrong with me? It's like my spark has disappeared. When's the last time I went exploring? Took photos of things I liked? When's the last time I really had a fun time? Life has been crazy the last month and more like the last 2 months. I don't feel like taking photos, and I don't feel like going out exploring, which is a problem because the whole point of being in another coutry is about the adventure and discover of it. I guess that is why I'm not exactly thrilled about my vacation plans right now. Planning isn't fun, and my thoughts are elsewhere. I'm trying to get my spark back, find my way back to finding things that ignite that enthusiasm in me.

I'm enjoying learing more Korean with my tutor, we have a lot in common, and it has been going well. More like hanging out with learning involved, than straight up tutoring. Either way she has been motivating me to learn more, and take Korean more seriously. Last week she bought me a notebook, saying that when she was learning English her friend bought her a notebook to put all her notes in in the hopes that when it was filled she'd be well versed in English. Seriously, it was a really sweet moment, and it was one of the moments I really smiled and enjoyed myself in weeks. I don't want to let her down, and I don't want to let myself down. I love the Korean language, and hope to be fluent one day, whether I am in Korea or not that passion is still there.

Which brings me to passion. Lately I have been thinking about life and what I feel passionate about. What are those things I do or want to do that drives me, makes me passionate? I want to be passionate about life. to live my life with passion, because otherwise what's the point? My first thought was I don't know, and then after a while it became 1) Writing 2) Spending my life helping others (in a concrete way) 3) Music. There are other things that I care about, but the things I love for myself, the things I enjoy the most, are those three things. I've spent a lot of time thinking about how to combine my passions into a career, but I think sometimes passions are just meant to be enjoyed for what they are, and not what they can give you in a monetary way. I know that I definitely want to become a couselor/therapist now (I'm not really sure about the details but I know it is in that area), and writing can definitely have a part there. Music, well that one is just for me, to enjoy in my secret moments. I am determined to learn how to play the acoustic guitar before I turn 30, I just need someone to teach me, which is kind of hard to find in a foreign country.

I'm just glad to finally really know for the most part what I want to do with my time here, and instead of pretending I want something I don't, or I am someone I'm not I'm embracing who I am, now. I'm changing, growing, and finding/creating my place in this world. At the end of the day I'm the one who has to deal with my choices, and if I'm not happy then again what's the point? This is my life, and I am the one who has to live it. There's still a lot I don't know, a lot of questions with no answers. There's still a lot of "issues" I have to work out, but I'm getting there. Slowly, but surely I'm getting there. Lately, I've been reminded of why I came here, because I wanted to live my life differently. I wanted room to grow, to change, to fall and pick myself up again, to experience life in a different way. I came here for me, to discover, create, and find me. Even on bad days, even in moments when everything feels tense, I'm still doing that, and that is something to be proud of.

One thing I'm working on is giving myself more credit, being proud of myself for the small things/moments and not just the big ones. Enjoying the quiet revelations. Simple isn't bad. Ordinary isn't boring. There is beauty and passion in all of it. I just have to open my mind to it. It's been 6 months since I got here. Six months since I left home for something unknown, and I wouldn't trade these 6 months for anything. Being here has been the best thing I did for myself, even in the bad or sad moments. I'm living a dream, and discovering more. I'm losing and finding myself over and over again. I'm shaping myself and being shaped by others.

I'm looking forward to the next six months here. I'm looking forward to more discoveries, adventures ,and quiet moments. I'm looking forward to seeing the changes that take place in me, how I live, how I see life. I'm looking forward to...everything. Hopefully, if everything goes well I'll be around for one more year before this chapter of my life ends and the next one begins...

This is my story, and I'm going to write it for me. I'm going to make my dreams come true, and live my life the way I've imagined it to be. The past 6 months have been a lot about shedding the old me, for someone new, but I've realized that I don't need to become someone completely new. I just have to become a better, happier, and more passionate version of me. I'm still me at the end the day, just with a bit more color and certainty.

Here's to the next 6 months, and for everything that comes after. Thanks to everyone who believed in me, and helped me get here, let's go even farther...

Be blessed,
~Lola O.~

"Thanks Big Daddy for believing in my dream(s) and helping me get here. You are a part of me, wherever I am, and wherever you are. I love you, I miss you, and I'm always thankful for you."

With love,
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