Happy New Year from Kristy

Happy New Year Heather! Wow that was a really intense video and I’m so glad you shared it.

I was really surprised when you said you spent 2014 on auto-pilot. I never would have guessed because you always seemed so in the moment and alive. Or maybe that’s because I saw you mostly on the weekends.

But I think it’s really cool that Benjamin Franklin helped you while you were thinking about life and how to live. I wish you the best of luck in sticking to your resolutions. ^_^

For myself 2014 had some extreme highs and extreme lows. You mentioned that you started making lists (I know how much you like lists) and I’ve always been a big list-maker too. So I’m going to summarize my 2014 by listing some of the lows and highs.

Let’s begin with the lows to get them out of the way.

The Lows:

#1 Immersion extra class: Our language center embarked on an ambitious mission to teach the after school classes as an immersion class and we chose really amazing project-based topics like tourism, sock-puppet drama, infomercials, and cooking demonstrations. Don’t get me wrong, the class and the students were fun, but the prep-work involved was off the scale. I’ve never worked so hard in my teaching career, including when I was in teacher’s college. What made it “bad” in particular was the lack of support from our co-teachers during the prep-work. We were doing everything ourselves and it was a really heavy workload. Added to this was:

#2 Gifted Center (that’s a misleading name because the students aren’t really “gifted” they’re just average students): I was basically forced into teaching there for two weeks in the Spring. Again, we were expected to prepare these amazing lessons and activities with no support in or out of the classroom. By the end of the two weeks I’d had a massive emotional breakdown. This was when my stress level went through the roof and I detached myself from the students for the last few days at the Gifted Center. I felt awful for not being able to handle it, but I was exhausted and detachment was my way out. This was when I started seriously considering not being a teacher anymore.

#3 Goodbye MB: In October I said goodbye to the most amazing co-worker I’ve ever had in Korea. Majestic Butterfly, You are missed. This was a double low because I had to say goodbye on my Birthday, thus making it the worst Birthday ever.

#4 Educ-Political BS: This is the most terrible low, because it never went away and is still happening. The local Education Office Superintendent wants to shut down the center I work at. All of 2014 we had the Superintendent on our backs about closing down the center for reasons I hope to get into in another video. Because that’s a four minute story all on its own.

All of my lows were about work….Hmmm… MOVING ON!

The Highs:

#1 I’ve been in the Gwangju Book Club for over 2 years and this year I was promoted to Book Club Leader. It’s really not that big of a deal but I’m very proud of outlasting all other candidates (I say that a little sarcastically). As the leader I was asked to do a GIC Talk on leading Book Club and being an Introvert. And that was also something I was proud to do.

#2 Performances: I was asked to perform in a Multicultural talent show, where I won first place; we did the Foreigner K-Pop Contest at Kimchi Fest with a group of amazing people, and we won first place; and I got to fulfill a secret dream of being Glinda from Wicked in the Gwangju Performance Project’s first ever Cabaret. It was a great year for singing, and that’s not even mentioning the amazing opportunities I had with the GPP Choir.

#3 DISNEY!! I *LOVE* Disney. I’m kind of obsessed, as you may have noticed. This year I did two pretty big Disney-related things.

First I took my parents to Disneyland in California (this was also my first visit to the original Disneyland);

Second I achieved my goal of visiting every Disney theme park in the world before turning 30. I went to both the Hong Kong and Tokyo Disneyland parks while living in Korea and I had the chance to visit Disneyland Paris in August. I was in the neighbourhood because I was asked to be:

#4 the Maid of Honour at my sister’s wedding in ITALY. I did a quick stop in France before heading on to Italy for the wedding and quality family time. We toured Rome and Florence while I was there and it was a major highlight of the year.

As for my goals of 2015, it’s more like a shift in my outlook on life. I feel like I spent 2014 trying really hard to please others, and this year I want to focus on making myself happy. Granted I feel happy by making others happy, but I tend to go to extremes and forget to take care of myself first. I don’t want to make that mistake this year. I need to balance, and at times I need the weight to be more on my side than the side of others.

One quantifiable goal I do have is to write more. At the beginning of 2014 I was really involved in a major writing project. I was spending entire weekends in front of my computer screen but by May I had lost that driving motivation as other creative pursuits filled my time. This year I want to make writing a priority and keep it that way.

Well, that’s enough from me! I’m really looking forward to next week’s topic: Getting To Know You!

Remember, stay just short of fantastic!

Kristy xxoo

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