Rice Paddy Therapy, Going Full Circle, and Cynicism

I miss writing.

I especially miss writing about my travels. When I last left off (in 2015, JC), it was right before starting a semi-full time job, while also continuing to work on my second masters. So I was busy, but also traveled to five countries in about five months (4 of those were the same two week trip). Like always, I had and still have many thoughts and experiences that I not only want to share with whoever my audience is (hi mom and dad!), but also record for my own sake. I don’t want to forget and I don’t want to lose my love of writing.

A lot has happened, and I plan to write all about it. Maybe, I don’t know. Life is weird.

Essentially, the following events occurred between June 2016 and September 2019 that resulted in hardly any writing for myself, let alone any travel blogging.

  1. May 2016: Alex got accepted to flight school (Army, helicopters), which cut our time in Korea short by 6 months.
  2. June 2016: Brother and best friend got married in the States (had month-long trip already planned before flight school announcement) ((separate weddings, separate states; the point is we had a busy month)).
  3. August 2016: Moved from Seoul, South Korea (population 18 million) to Enterprise, Alabama (population 700)*. ****I honestly have no idea. Aside from the handful of really really awesome people I met (if you currently live in Enterprise or Dothan and are reading this, chances are I am talking about you. I love you!), the weekends I spent in Florida with another best friend, the holidays spent with family (hello 18 hour road trip!), and Mellow Mushroom, I blocked this time out. Enterprise, Alabama is nice if you’re white, republican, and have a different door wreath every few weeks. I’ll leave it at that.
  4. November 2016: RIP.
  5. August 2017: Earned my second master’s degree (M.S. International Relations, concentration in National Security Affairs). I actually wrote a lot during this time, but all academic papers, essays, and discussion boards. But I was so burned out from academic writing, I usually had nothing left for writing for myself.
  6. January 2018: Joined the Army (lol didn’t see that one coming did ya?).
  7. April-June 2018: Basic Training at Ft. Jackson, AKA ruck and run until your feet fall off. Then clean your weapon for 3 weeks. (I actually enjoyed some parts of basic, and we had probably the best, most competent drill sergeants ever).
  8. July 2018-September 2018: Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, AKA the fastest runners will get their top career choices; we will not consider education, experience, or leadership qualities. And we will recognize someone else for the work you did (I’m not bitter; it’s fine lol).
  9. October 2018-March 2019: Basic Officer Leadership Course at Ft. Lee. Met some of the best people ever, made some life-long friends, and got to hang with my parents almost every weekend. Course-wise… it was four months of being told “well we would like to explain this but we don’t have access to the site so you’ll just learn on the job,” and “just wait until you go to JRTC!”
  10. March 2019-now: Moved back to Korea! Not in Seoul, which is a bummer, but Pyeongtaek. It’s still a fairly large city, and only like 45 miles south of Seoul (still a 2 hour car ride though), so we get up there when we can.
  11. Now: still figuring out my job. I arrived, and immediately everyone was excited because I was a brand new officer, who knew all about X and had access to Z database. So I had to quickly squash that by informing my new unit that while yes, I was new, I knew nothing about the job but was ready to learn! (not in those exact terms, but I basically said “hello! I’m here to disappoint you!”)

So, due to these 11 events, I misplaced my love of writing. (And, reading over what I’ve written so far, sounds like I’ve become much more openly cynical… haha, whoops? I still enjoy making others laugh, I’ll have a lighter tone next time).

I’d try to get my writing started again, but with no coherency or consistency, and a lot of chaos. Every time I became stressed to the point of being overwhelmed, I told myself (sometimes very vocally) “I need to write.” And sometimes I did. But I wrote tidbits of whatever was in my head on whatever piece of paper I could find. I have about 5 different notebooks I started, because sometimes I didn’t want to type. I also have a few different notes started on my phone, while taking a break at work or just getting done at the gym and finding the need to expulse some thoughts.

But today I decided I had had enough (crosses arms, stomps foot), and locked myself in my room (not really, our door slides closed. Very secure), and MADE myself write. I’m not sure what will come of this, but it has been therapeutic and maybe I need to make myself write more often. Now that I’m pretty busy during the week and have, like, a grown-up job, maybe I actually need to schedule writing time instead of waiting for “inspiration to strike” as I run around the rice paddies for the 15th time or walk from Starbucks to my car on Wednesday afternoons (sometimes those things help though, not gonna lie).

So. Here I am; back in Korea, reflecting on the last four years of my life, talking to my cat, trying to figure out how exactly I paused my writing for so long, and coming up with a plan for keeping this going.

Stay tuned for anachronistic posts and jumbled thoughts!

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