Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cheers to the New Year!

2016. What a year. 

What a tragic, exciting, confusing, and blissfully beautiful year. 

It was a year that I never could've seen coming. And a year in a life I never dreamed would be mine. 

I just finished my first semester of teaching in South Korea and though things weren't always smooth, I often wonder how I got so lucky. So lucky to have gotten none of the things I asked for but everything I didn't know I wanted.

Funny how life works that way.

Life at school makes me laugh. On the hard days, on the great days, and on every day in between.

Like when the Teacher's fold their arms into hearts above their heads and shout "Good Morning!" as I walk through the door. Like when the students tell me that they want my eyes inside of their head because they don't quite have the words. Like when my Principal greets me with a hello and a high five like he's just one of us. Like when I'm given daily gifts from endless oranges, to floss, to coffee coasters, to candy, and socks, for reasons still unbeknownst to me. Like when they drag me to make kimchi and teach me to dance like Michael Jackson. Like when they borrow me for a history lesson and I say the words "Industrial Revolution" and the class goes wild with screams and applause. And like when my fellow Teacher practices saying "I will miss you" somewhere north of 100 times before he feels completely confident in saying his pre winter vacation goodbyes. They make me feel so loved and welcomed and remind me every day that communication is so much more than words. For this, I am so, so thankful.

And if school wasn't enough of a positive experience, there are all of those people that make my social life actually social somehow. From the casual coffee and dinner dates to those not-so-casual 7 am soju nights that I should but never regret. So many good friends that I can hardly remember a life without. So many perfectly perfect weirdos that make this life here feel complete. An amazing group of equally dysfunctional souls that make my cheeks actually hurt from smiling too much. It's my biggest problem at the moment, and the best problem I've maybe ever had. I owe them so much of my happiness here and I've never felt more fortunate for these once-in-a-lifetime kind of friends.

Most days I don't know what is happening, or why, or how I got here exactly. Sometimes I don't know what the universe was thinking or how I got so damn lucky. All I know is this: 2016 was hard and confusing and great simultaneously. It was broken, and sad, and equal parts wonderful. It was one I'll always cherish but one I can't wait to let go.

I'm ready for whatever you're bringing 2017. The good, the bad, and the travel. I'm ready for the calm. I'm ready for the crazy. I'm ready for it all.