“Shia LeBeouf Was Right”

Month 7 in Korea- still cold, still getting side eye from my co-workers. As I spend time with more of my fellow English teachers and get to talking, it seems that only a very small group of people have chosen to sign on to stay in Korea for another year. From that small group, only 3 are staying in their current jobs, and the rest are looking into teaching at a university or private tutoring. With that being said, I wanted to talk a little more about following your GUTS and doing what you FEEL is best- always. I distinctly remember a time, about 3 months into moving to Korea, when I stumbled upon a group of other teachers one night. I was just leaving the movies and they were heading to a bar to hang out- totally not my scene. I decided to go, after a little coaxing and we started talking about how work was going and I said, “One of my schools is decent and the other is an actual hell.” They were shocked and started telling me about their plans to stay and how much they were enjoying themselves and my eyes widened. I didn’t understand how we could be having two COMPLETELY different experiences. But then again, as I mentioned in my first post, I tend to pick up the vibe of a situation RIGHT away! Sure enough, fast forward to four months later, and those same people are telling me that they’re DEFINITELY not staying. FINALLY they’ve reached the point that I was at all along.

I’m not happy that they ended up being disappointed, but I am happy that I’m not nuts  -_-. It’s like when you meet someone that your friends say is “cool” and you’re like…are you kidding me? This is the snakiest person I’ve ever met! And then sure enough, that same person ends up being an evil troll and you’re just left giving your friends the white people face:

Image result for white people face

Anyways, I always do what I want to do. I am a firm believer that as long as whatever you want to do doesn’t hurt someone else or stop them from living their life, then that’s it. This means that I don’t always end up taking the conventional route or doing what my parents or family think is “best” BUT it’s always worked out for me. I think I have a pretty good gut instinct about most things and even if they don’t work out perfectly, they always end up leading me to where I’m supposed to get to. You just gotta do what you want to do. The people who don’t do that are usually the ones saying things like, “I would love to travel but I have a kid and REAL responsibilities, etc” and they always say it in a condescending tone, which makes you feel bad and good at the same time. Bad because you know they’re bitter and good because you KNOW they’re bitter and that’s why they’re saying that passive aggressive shit to you!  Side note: these are also the people that invite you to Scentsy parties or some sort of stay-at-home mom-help-me-I’m-bored-and-definitely-sexually-frustrated business scheme they’ve gotten themselves into… Plus, in this life. there’s no reason to not do exactly what you want to do. Seriously. Why wouldn’t you? I meet so many people that are so funny and so talented and they always say things like, “Oh I would love to write” or “I would love to take a comedy class” and so many other things and they just don’t do it. They just don’t and it makes no sense. One of my least favorite things is when people talk about money stopping them. Like biitch, you’re gonna be broke at home, so you might as well be broke and travelling. Even if you are PO’ you can travel somewhere. One thing I really can’t stand is when people give me advice. That sounds kinda rude, I guess, but it makes no sense to me. People who give you advice either A) never follow it or B) only tell you what they THINK they would do- no real experience to back it up (usually). The real pros just let you figure  things out on your own. They know that everyone’s different and we’re all on different paths, soooo how can they really give you advice?

Make it work. I can’t remember a time since I started working when I’ve had less than 2-3 jobs. When I was 17, I worked at a movie theater AND my parent’s business on the weekends. When I was in college, I worked for a catering company, a paid internship, AND the front desk of the dorms. When I graduated college, I worked as an office assistant for two different companies AND as a server. Even now, I’m teaching AND I work remotely for the Boys & Girls Clubs! AND  still manage to do all of these things! I love the quote that says, “Stop comparing your behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” YES. I like to be pretty private about my life and if I didn’t tell people about my job in Korea or the fact that I support myself with different jobs (and sometimes a little help from my older sister- SHOUT OUT to Hanadi- you the real MVP of the Said family!), you would have no idea of the struggle, right? I could be like one of these fake Instagram people and ONLY post pictures of beautiful scenery and the good times. But I don’t because that’s not real. That’s the thing though. YOU would have no idea UNLESS I told you. AND SO MANY PEOPLE DON’T AND WON’T TELL YOU!

Anyways, long boring rant over. Just do you and remember, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else, that’s it. End of story. Don’t be a bum in life. Take your own amazing Instagram pics. Be open-minded, meet new people, and ADD things to your bucket list that you never even knew existed. BUT remember, the only way you’ll know about those things is IF you travel or take a new class or do ANYTHING that you wouldn’t usually do. The people I’ve met JUST because of traveling are amazing and they never fail to change my perspective of the world. They open my eyes to new ways of life and to different things I wanna see and do. They inspire me to never stop learning and looking for things I don’t even know I don’t even know! This isn’t a post to make you feel guilty about not traveling BUT it is a post to make you feel guilty about not living the life you think about all the time.

Korea is still Korea. It’s super beautiful right now and I think for once, I definitely understand what all the fuss about fall is. I’m not exactly surrounded by trees and nature in Chicago, so I’m actually noticing the beautiful color changes and really appreciating the weather! That’s about it though. My co-teacher- Agent Kay- got into a small argument with me this week because I wouldn’t give her a definitive decision on one of two boring activities she had planned for our class- scratch that- HER class. I literally said, “I really don’t care. They’re both the same to me…” And I told her to just choose whatever makes her heart happy and I would see her tomorrow  -___- . I finally confessed to my other co-teacher “Winnie” that Kay is so boring and I dread her class and she said, “I knew you would feel that way. We all think she’s too dry.”  I was going to laugh BUT then I remembered that I actually live that life every Friday so I stopped myself.

Thanks for reading this looooong rant and if you are in fact one of the people hosting a Scentsy party this week or still selling wraps (please stahp) or you work from home and “you’ve already beat the rush and finished Christmas shopping thanks to (insert BS here)” then good for you. I’m wrong, you’re right. Have a Mountain Dew to celebrate. I believe that is the drink of choice for people of your caliber. Also, please stop reading this blog and get back to WORK!

I still can’t let this go…Image result for just do it shia

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To Sign or Not to Sign- Not Even A Question

Is there anything worse than being cold and just having to be cold? Just having to sit there, freezing, with no way to warm yourself, besides wearing the layers you already have on? Sure there is. Lots of things are worse BUT right now, I’m going with being cold. Technically, it’s Tuesday morning in Korea already and the anticipation of the election “tomorrow” is high! When it comes to the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the Oscars, and waiting for new episodes of your favorite podcasts and shows, the 14-hour time difference between home and Korea is SUCH a buzzkill!

Late last week, a bunch of teachers (including myself) were offered renewal contracts for next year. The time had come to decide if we were willing to do another year in this passive-aggressive bubble of superficiality… Everyone in my circle of friends, including myself (I’m my own best friend for obvious reasons) has turned down the offer. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider it. Almost 9 months in, things are definitely easier than when I first came here and if someone put a gun to my head, I could do another year. Everyone claims the second year of teaching is way easier- you can re-use your lesson plans since we start teaching from the beginning of the book, you know your co-teachers, you know where to get your comfort foods, and there are far less “Korean surprises.” Plus, I think I speak for almost everyone here when I say that as far as saving money goes, I could DEFINITELY use another year! The thought of signing on and then quitting after 6 months also occurred to me. But, as per usual, once you think things might look up here, one of your co-workers is there to smack the stupidity right out of your pretty little head. I kid you not, I had just finished eating my lunch (soup that I make in the office) and I was staring at my contract. My co-workers returned from lunch and went to make coffee. I ran to the bathroom and when I got back, one of them was SCRUBBING the sink as if the cops were about to bust her for murdering someone and cleaning the weapon inside of it. After she let out an exasperated sigh, she says, “Um Sobe? How about next time you do one more check after making soup and then you can be finished?” NOW what she’s referring to is a rogue DROP of soup IN the sink . “Come on, Sabrina! No one would make such a big deal about A drop of soup! Surely you were splashing broth all over the place like a madman!” is what you may be thinking. BUT I KNOW it was a drop of soup because I distinctly remember looking at it, hot bowl of soup in my hand, and thinking, “One drop? As soon as someone turns the faucet on to fill the coffee pot, it’ll be gone!” So I left it… ONE DROP!

If the soup incident wasn’t enough, as I mentioned in the beginning of my post, our schools are FREEZING! “But Sabrina! It’s only autumn AND you’re from Chicago!” Biiiiitch, let me tell you! The fact that it’s autumn means NOTHING because our schools are concrete buildings, so the cold is trapped with us. It’s colder in here than it is outside! AND being from Chicago means that when I’m faced with with negative temperatures and snow up to here (insert whatever you consider to be a lot of snow) I, like everyone else, just have to keep it moving! It’s not like my body takes on a protective layer of tough, bison skin EVERY winter and is now a fortress of warmth  -___-. COLD is COLD! I remember it being cold when I first came to Korea in March, but I figured that sense it was Spring and moving into Summer, I could understand why there was an absence of heat, but it’s not Spring-Summer anymore  -___-. The kids are wearing their winter coats, scarves, and using hand warmers in school! When I ask them how they’re doing, they say, “Teacher, cold!” I asked my co-workers about this at my “good school” and they said the woman who is in charge of the school’s finances has a very good reason for turning the heat off. Apparently, in her son’s school (he’s 4) they don’t use the heat…that’s her reason -__-. She says that if they don’t need it, then we certainly don’t need it! Reminder: this is also the school where we haven’t had ANY toilet paper since I’ve been here!

Also, as I have mentioned, Korea is very superficial and into looks and beauty. With that being said, so many procedures that would be way too expensive back home to even CONSIDER are ridiculously cheap here. Laser hair removal, botox for your armpits (where my fellow sweaty girls at!) lip injections, LASIK eye surgery, facials, acne scar removal, perms- the works! It’s cheap and UNLIKE back home, cheap here doesn’t mean sketchy AF. It just means that those kinds of things are SO basic they don’t even consider them these luxury procedures, so they’re not insanely overpriced. Now, I’m all about feeling good in your own skin,etc. but that Western mindset, in my opinion, has a lot to do with the fact that these kinds of procedures are frowned upon back home AND they’re way too expensive, so anyone’s normal reaction would be, “Don’t waste the money! You look fine!” But you’re not really “wasting the money” here. So staying an extra year or 6 months and doing so many of the things that just aren’t as readily available back home? DEFINITELY crossed my mind…

But then I remember all of the days when it feels really bad to be out here and I know that if I stayed, I would be kicking myself for not getting out when I had the chance. Korea is really great in some ways, but in the ways that it’s not, it’s REALLY NOT. I’m not 1000% sure what’s next, but I know it’s going to be exciting and a nice change from my routine here. Also, our program gave us a non-disclosure agreement to sign as the ultimate slap in the face! I’m signing mine, “Peter Pickles.” They can “get stuffed” as my South African friends say.

As always, if you read it this far, then kudos to you. Someone sent me a link to a YouTube video yesterday and it was more than 15 seconds and I cringed a bit, so props to you for your attention span. If you’re reading this and thinking, “I’m definitely going to sign! Korea is better than home!” then I know that you are definitely one of those weirdos from back home that I meet here and it immediately makes sense WHY you’re in Korea…