So here I am. The last time I blogged or even sat down to write something long and meaningful to read was 3 years ago – which is actually not too bad because I’ve abandoned things for longer periods of time before and felt less guilty about them.
Why am I getting back to blogging you ask? Well, recently, a lot of things changed in my life – mostly mental and emotional changes – which has led me to various paths that has resulted in me making certain decisions that have brought me here.
Where is here, you wonder? Well, here being the Year 2015, the country being United States of America and the state of mind being Ready-To-Learn.
See, 3 years ago, I moved to good ole US of A to be reunited with my husband and to start afresh. Sure, things were different and for the first 2 years or so, I struggled to find my identity and to cope with the culture shock. I myself was quite shocked that I would even be affected by such a thing as “culture shock”, especially since I’m quite Westernized in thinking and fluent in English. I’ve never thought of myself as an Asian by any means but when I stepped on this foreign soil, I suddenly faced a crisis of identity. I looked Asian so why didn’t I act like one, was something that most people I’ve met wondered. I found myself longing to be unique and yet to belong (being Asian in the Midwestern state that I live in and the area I live in made me unique mainly because there isn’t really a big Asian population here). I can’t say that I’m no longer struggling as I go into my third year of living here but the impact of the culture shock that I had initially suffered from has definitely lessened. Some of my co-workers have even teased that I’m becoming more American now from the things I say and the mannerism I’ve adopted.
Back in my home country, I taught English as a Second Language to college freshman (see, even the terms I use have become Americanized!) and I loved almost every bit of it (I couldn’t love the politics and the monumental paperwork that constantly trailed behind me). When I came to the US, I had to leave that behind and finding a job with my Bachelor’s of Linguistics, despite having graduated with Honors, was very difficult. For the first 3 months of my life in the US, I was unemployed – for the first time in my life, I was actually not working. It was all as well as the time gave me a chance to acclimate.
3 months after sitting around at home and playing video games every single day led to a very restless me. I had to find a job and finally I decided to wait tables. Like anything, it was great. At first. 2 1/2 years after I decided to become a “Server” and make it my career, I started despising everyone I came in contact with. I was spiraling down the deep dark path of depression. I felt discontented, disillusioned and exhausted with my job. I was upset at least once a day by rude diners and lazy co-workers. At least once a day, I would rant and bitch to my husband (who I’m sure at that point have had enough of the same complaints every single day). I was feeling more and more down as the days progressed. Things were looking really bleak for me and I felt like a rat trapped in a burning box. I knew I had to do something or risk losing my sanity. Either I suck it up and just keep being a server and hate myself for it daily, or I do something about it. It was at that point that I realized that if life sucks and I had the power to change things for the better, then I should. Otherwise, I have no one else to blame but myself.
One fine afternoon, over lunch, my mother-in-law said, “Oh. You should look into some online programs. I’ll pay for you to go back to school!” It felt like one of those things that people say in passing without really meaning it like, “Hey, let’s go hiking sometime” or “Yo! We should totally hang out!” – yeah, I’ve heard more than my fair share of those kinds of invitations. This felt just like one of those. My response was to chuckle at her. Unbeknownst to me at that time, something clicked in my head. The cogs in my subconscious turned and before long, I was convinced that I should do it. I should go back to school even though 8 years ago, soon after I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Linguistics, I had vowed never to be a student again (funnily enough every time I vow that I wouldn’t do something, years later I end up doing the very thing I vow not to do – such as not going back to school again, never being a teacher, never doing another math problem ever again etc).
The conversation with my in-law happened sometime in October. By November, I was stressing out over paperwork for applying to college. I was stressing out over FinancialAid. I was stressing out over going back to school.
So here I am.
Pushing 30 and realizing that sometimes life takes such drastic and unexpected turns. That you’ll never really know where you’ll end up despite having planned many things in advance. I was convinced 8 years ago that I would be a college instructor for the next 10-20 years, that I would turn into this old English teacher who still has a great sense of humor despite her age. I was convinced that I would not go back to school – not even for a Master’s. And yet, here I am. I actually not only applied for school but also got accepted to school. I’ll be studying for the Bachelor’s of Interior Design Technology – wow, something completely different from what my first degree was in and my strength (I’m good in languages).
The first week of school just ended and my brain, having suffered from atrophy from not being actively engaged for the past 3 years, hurts. At this point in time though, I believe that it’s the good kind of hurt – the kind of hurt that you get in your muscles after you’ve spent 30 minutes on a treadmill or engaging in sports. It’s the kind of hurt that I hope will built me up and make me smarter and better.
Inspired by an old friend of mine (you know who you are!), I’ve decided to blog about my journey down my new chosen path. As much as I can, I’ll blog about what school’s like for someone who had already obtained her first degree, what it’s like to be an older person in college, what it’s like to be a foreigner in college, what it’s like to be a server during the weekends and juggling between work and school and marriage, what it’s like to do a program that I’m not 100% sure I’ll succeed in, what it’s like to do Math for the first time in 10 years, what it’s like to be a Design major and more. It’ll be my story and I already have a bunch of things I want to share.
So, if I’ve piqued your interest and you’re curious to know what my experiences will be like, then stick around. I can’t promise you that I won’t go down on tangents (it’s hard for me to focus as I recently realized that I probably suffer from ADD) but I can assure you that it won’t be dull (or at least I narcissistically think it’ll be exciting!) .