Okay. Here I go.
Over the past few weeks, our family and I have gone through lots of changes. Emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. We have changed. I know, to you, that might seem like one of those very obvious COVID19 related “blog post” starters, but it’s not your typical. Bear with me.
I haven’t posted on my blog for a while and to be honest with you, typing something up for (the very few readers that I have) was not something I wanted to do. It was like my WIFI wasn’t working. The connection wasn’t there, and the passion wasn’t there. I felt very lost. I felt very stressed and everything was just a blur. I thought about it. I tried to find answers and tried to pray. Nothing was working. Nothing is still working. Nothing.
I have been talking to people, pastors, mentors and just even friends. But all of the words that come from others are just not touching my heart. Nothing is working for this, weird, very twisted, not aligned perspective I have.
It was just like how you would look up and you see the leaves of the trees but it’s like a blur. You know the leaves are there and that the leaves have a shape but you’re not sure.
The more I thought about it and the more I tried to get out of it, the worse it got. I was just falling and drifting away. I thought about many reasons of this emptiness in me. I even questioned if it was “emptiness” that I was feeling.
I asked myself, what is my purpose in life? What is it that God wants me to do for the rest of my life? What is it that I should seek? What should I be doing? Do I really want to be doing what I am doing right now for the rest of my life? Is this what kind of a person I really want to be? Am I doing the right thing for my children? Am I doing the right thing for me? Where exactly am I going and what is it that I am doing wrong?
I had so many questions and during the time I was always asking those questions, I was not able to read the bible, I was not able to pray and I was just blaming myself for everything and anything I could possibly find. I was a lost soul.
The first thing I did was to let go of most of the things I thought was not meaningful to me at the moment. The things I did NOT need or could not handle or even hold on my plate, I decided to let go of.
First, I sold all of my photography gear. I got rid of everything. I was not going to just take pictures for no reason and post things on Instagram because I knew people were watching.
Second, I reflected upon my parenting and what I was “doing” for my children. I was helping out at my daughter’s kindergarten, I was helping out my kid’s parents who needed some “direction” in English and I was doing stuff that was supposed to be just volunteering from the bottom of my heart. But I wasn’t. It had become a “job.” I wasn’t doing it purely and it had become something that was just a burden. It became very irritating to see how things could have been different but weren’t. Things were NOT going in the direction I thought things should have, and that in itself was irritating and frustrating. [Koreans, they don’t listen. They don’t see the big picture at the end of the tunnel and they are just so stubborn!]
So started to let go of one thing at a time. I stopped the extra work of English advice and classes. I stopped volunteering and I stopped giving myself new things to do. I just stopped myself from looking in that direction.
Third, I tried to figure out what it was that I really wanted. I really really thought about the things I wanted. I know I want to be a good mother, that’s for sure. I want to succeed in the things I do, but was not sure of what exactly it was I wanted to do.
In the process of doing this “thinking” and “seeking” and “finding”, my parents in law got into a car accident. Then Kaden’s work started to get really busy. He was not only a directing manager, his position in his team had changed. So that meant more working hours and less family time. I know Kaden really loves his job and that he really does love the work he does so I was happy for him and yet a bit scared. Obviously, that meant more time at the office and even on weekends, he would have to work. I knew it and accepted but only partially.
Then the raging firstborn started to surface up. Josh had emotional problems and we knew this from even when he was really really young. The separation process between him and Kaden started at a very young age for Josh. We had consultations and we had discussed this with lots and lots of people before. I knew Josh was a very sensitive and vulnerable child. I have dealt with it before so I thought that this phase that he was going through was just something like the other ones. As you are thinking and expecting me to type as you read this, yes, it wasn’t like the other times.
This time it was different. He was much more aggressive with himself and he was much more emotional. He cried, screamed, and had tantrums a toddler would have at the age of 2 or 3. He’s 9 years old (Korean age) by the way. We sought professional help and the counseling sessions did help. We were able to understand where those emotions were coming from and why he was having such a hard time. Three generations living in one apartment and four very different adults having very different opinions on how a child should approach a certain situation or interact with his siblings was not a good thing AT ALL. Either we needed to move out of our parents-in-law’s place or deal with this somehow. We eventually decided to talk it over with every family member, even Tyler. To see if we could get through this together. Josh was very good at hiding his emotions and very detail-oriented. His teachers did not see this coming AT ALL. But it was there, and we had to deal with it. We still are. We are still working hard as a family to work together as a team and make sure not only Josh but Andrea and Tyler are also growing up in a healthy, loving environment so that they feel loved and are cared for physically and mentally ALL THE TIME.
Dealing with all of this was overwhelming. It was more than I could ever handle (as a human being) but on top of that, I was also working. I was still dealing with clients overseas. I was still doing 1:1 English consultations A.K.A. tutoring. I was still working and trying to figure this mess out within our home and within myself AT THE SAME TIME.
I blamed God. I was crying all of the time and I was ill. I had passed out once in Singapore and was taken to the ER by ambulance. Back then, doctors said I had low blood pressure and I was malnourished. I thought it was because I was tired and really stressed about taking care of two kids on my own with no help what so ever. But then the same thing happened to me again, just a little before all of this mess broke out. I passed out in front of our dressing room and thankfully my mother-in-law saw me. She was able to act very quickly and I was okay.
So many tests and exams were done but everything was normal and just the blood pressure was a little bit low. There was no diagnosis. It was just, again, stress.
I am slowly getting better. I tutor less and work less. I am trying to make the best of this COVID19 situation in Seoul. Social distancing has not helped much but, I am trying and doing my best. One day at a time and one moment at a time. I am not seeking or searching to find peace or trying to pray or read the bible, yet, however, I think when the time comes. I will go back into my Father’s arms and it’ll be okay.
With all of my camera gear sold and just having my iPhone12 pro, I realized how much I love taking pictures. So that’s something that I’ve gotten out of this. I am now on winter vacation for branding work and tutoring. I know that I really want to purchase a new camera later on and want to make sure I can work really hard for it. I still have so many things I need to figure out but I’m trying to change things up and make sure I’m not just crying over it and not doing anything about it.
I am still trying to find peace within myself.
But I’m changing things up and making sure I take care of me in the process.