Lola O.
Chapter One: Growth
One year ago I left the world I knew for something different, something new, something more. I got on a plane and came here to Seoul. I didn't know what to expect. I had no clue what the year would bring. I was scared yet excited for the growth I knew would come, the friends I would make, and the lessons I would learn. I came to this new place with an open heart and an open mind. This one year has truly been a very blessed year. I'm really thankful that after such a long journey I finally made it to Seoul on February 26, 2010. Making that one dream come true has led to even more dreams coming true.

I like to think of this chapter in my life as the year of growth. The year of finding myself, creating myself, loving who I am, and just transforming into who I want to be. Gosh, I did a lot and yet there is still much I wish to do. I am so humbled and grateful for the opportunities, the friendships, the laughter, the challenges, the...everything. When I first came here I was trying to figure out who I am, what I want my life to be, and really just exploring what I am capable of. I've learned what strength truly means for me. It means a fighting spirit, a humble soul, and a very thankful heart. It means trying even when you tremble. It means taking a backseat and learning from those wise souls you come across. It means realizing that there will always be more to learn and to do, but in this moment I will do my best to learn, to try, to give, to live in the here and now.

I learned that time is a very fragile and delicate entity. In one year I changed, I grew, I learned and all the people I left behind back home did the same. Our lives although interconnected by the relationships we share have separate journeys to go on. So instead of thinking that I missed out on sharing time with them. I think to myself that when we cross paths again we'll be better than before, wiser and happier than we were. I learned again how important it is to make your life the way you imagine it to be, and then more importantly to live that life, and live it with passion and enthusiasm. We think we have forever, but truly we only have today, right now is what we have. I lost someone this year, and I think for as long as I live there will be hole in my heart where he was. A lot can change in a year, and when I went home I didn't get to see him like I promised. I know he's looking down at me and smiling, because I listened to his words. I lived without getting tangled in worries. I lived. I tried, and I know he'd be proud of me. I miss you Big Daddy, but I know you've got a great spot to watch me live a good life. Thank you for believing in me, you are a part of the reason I made it here. Thank you for all that you taught me, and continue to teach me. I love you!

I realized that being here was another stepping stone to reaching my purpose, the calling for my life. I used to want to be a lawyer. I wanted to be at the top. I wanted to be seen. I wanted to make lots of money. I wanted to live well and take care of my family. Being here, being a teacher just showed me that my true calling is something just as important but less grand. I'm here to make a positive difference in the world. I think deep down I always knew I was meant to guide people. To be someone they could talk to. Someone who'd listen, help, inspire, and teach them. I'm going to apply to grad school to study Counseling. I finally know without a shadow of a doubt what I'm supposed to do with my life, with the time that I have here. It feels right, and it feels so good to know what I'm supposed to do, and to have a passion for it. I'm supposed to counsel, inspire, and give people hope. I'm looking forward to the journey ahead, because although it will be long and at times difficult it is my true journey, the one I'm supposed to travel down. I can't wait for all that lies ahead. When I got here, my future seemed so vague. I wasn't sure of what happens after Seoul. Now I know the why, the what(s), and most of the how. Everything that is unclear I trust that God will give me clarity when it is time to cross that bridge.

When I first came to Seoul I was so happy to leave home. I needed to breathe. I needed space to grow, and I got it, and I grew. This time around I'm not running away from home. I'm running towards it. I know this second and final year is my vacation before I go back and put in the work to make my life as I want it to be. I'm looking forward to going home, to my family, to my friends, to the world I didn't realize I loved so much. I'm really looking forward to stepping off that plane a year from now and coming back home. Now I understand that home is what I choose it to be, what I fight for it to be. Home isn't a place, for me home is the people I love, and I look forward to returning to them in year. May we greet each other in good health, happy spirits, and with plenty of laughter. Until then, live well.

Chapter Two: Blooming
As I enter this new year I look forward to more pages of growth, but more than anything more pages of blooming into the person I was always meant to be. Now I know who I am, at the very center of my being I know who I am, and who I want to be. Like the caterpillar who became a butterfly, I have finally transformed and found that I have wings to fly, to soar across the skies. That is what I'm doing. I am spreading my wings an seeing where they take me. Trusting that no matter how hard the winds blows I will be strong enough to handle it.

Many of my friends know this new year is the year of me. The year to be brave, bold, and true in everything I do, everywhere I go, and with everyone I meet. To take chances, to be free, to let myself discover pieces of me I didn't see before. This is a year of trying. To just go for the things, places and people I want. To just give it all a try and see what happens. To always be true to who I am, what I want, and what I don't want or need. To create a path towards the future I'm dreaming of and looking towards.

This year is another year in Seoul, but also a year of transitioning back home. I'm looking into Counseling programs, working on other projects, and really just shaping the future I want to walk into a year from now. I'm planting seeds and waiting for them to grow into a collage of beauty. I'm excited. I'm optimistic. I'm happy and thankful.

Coming to Seoul was so much more than changing my location. It was the beginning of me becoming my own person, and finding out what living means to me. This year was my year to grow, and I am thankful for all the experiences that helped me grow so much and so well. I'm liking my new look very much.

Happy one year to me and all my fellow Seoul peeps. To those who left, I'll be seeing you. To those who stayed for another year let's make this year even better!!!!

Be blessed,
~Lola O.~

3 Responses
  1. Lalique Says:

    Helloo sister
    visiting from Turkey

  2. Hi Lola,
    How are you? Just had a few moments to catch up on your blog, and I really enjoyed what I read. Sounds like your year in Seoul did you well, and I can only imagine all the wonderful experiences that are in store for you in the year ahead. :) Cheers! May you always have sunshine in your life!

  3. Lola O. Says:

    I am blessed and very thankful. It was a year of a lot of firsts, and it helped me grow in a rapid and beautiful way. I know this year will teach me even more and I look forward to those teachers and the lessons I will learn from them. Thank you, and I wish that you always keep your sunny disposition for life!!! Find rainbows in the darkness...