Finding meaning through challenges

My job is too easy. Because it’s too easy, I have grown comfortable and contempt. This contempt has rendered the profession nearly meaningless to me. It was once something I would get up and be excited about, but now it is definitely time to move on to a new challenge.

You see, the average person would look at the current deal that I have and hear me complain how it is too easy and respond with something like “life doesn’t have to be hard!”. I think it does.

Nothing great comes out of complacency. Diamonds are only made under pressure. Yadda Yadda. Life should have a level of difficulty to it, otherwise, how are you going to grow? How will you learn anything new? Taking the easy road is lame and boring and honestly a waste of a life.

This applies to other areas and not just to what I currently do. You might be a radio personality, an accountant, consultant, or owner of a coffee shop, at some point, it can become too easy and you will need something new to challenge you. You want to expand further to really see what you are capable of.

I heard this saying once: if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room. That stuck with me so much that I purposely sought out people who were way more successful and experienced than me in different areas. Now, I feel like I have mastered life in Korea, and there isn’t much more that I want to pursue here within the limitations of teaching. I’ve done it all. Managed camps, trained teachers, had students from a number of different countries, business marketing trips in China,  contests, events, elementary, high school, university…you name it, I’ve done it.

It’s not that I hate any of it or will never do it again, but it is just time to move on and take everything I have learned elsewhere, maybe back in Dominica where I can really face a challenge and find meaning again.

 

Eating in Korea

Eating out in Korea

When you travel to a foreign country what are the top 5 things you think about? I bet half my monthly salary that one of those things is food. Nowadays, people are a lot more conscious of what and how they eat and so eating in Korea can be quite a new and different experience. It is also one of the number one reasons why I love it here!

You’re spoiled for choice!  

There are so many different things to eat in Korea! They are all such delicious options and I always have a hard time choosing what I want – which I guess could be one downside to eating in Korea? There is a buffet I go to in Hondae that has practically everything so I sometimes go there when I feel undecided. See how spoiled I’ve become?

Eating in Korea is a group activity!

Unlike in the West, you may be more used to having your own plate and scorn anyone who dare come anywhere near it! In Korea however, the food is all in one big pot in the middle for all to share. I personally enjoy this because it keeps everyone social and interacting with each other instead of being focused on their own plate and phones. It also makes for a great way to celebrate almost any occasion.

Break the bank for what?!

In Toronto, I regularly had to pay upwards of $10 for any decent meal if I went to eat out, let’s not forget the tip. I have been able to save so much more money eating out in Korea. Across the street from my apartment is a small restaurant where I can get a full Bibimbap dinner set for 3,500krw ($4.00)!

Korean food is absolutely delicious. Sure, you may not always be sure of what exactly you’re eating but once you become more familiar with your options I’m pretty sure you will develop a love for it and go back home wishing you had kimchi on your plate.

What I learned climbing Mount Fuji

Climbing up to the top is not easy. You constantly feel like turning back, but you’ve already started and come all this way. It gets to a point where you just need to finish. Although the end seems so far away, and you’re fatigued, something inside you just knows that it will be worth it. Something inside you is pushing you each step of the way to achieve that level of satisfaction. “Oh, hello there solo hiker, could you take a photo of me? Thanks! Here, I’ll take a photo of you”. The journey just got more interesting. Many opportunities are presented to stop and take a break, maybe rest for the whole night and start again when you feel refreshed. That’s a trap, a temptation, procrastination. When that happens, don’t give in, keep going, don’t stop. You have to tell yourself, arriving at the top to see that sunrise is going to be sweet…

And guess what? It is sweet. The skies are clear and over the horizon, you can see the aura and the explosion of the rising sun. But this isn’t the normal sunrise you see after sleeping all night. No. This is different. You’ve worked for this sunrise. It’s what pushed you through the rough night. You look at it as though it were the first time. You take in a deep breath and exhale that feeling of relief. You did it! Gazing upon the vast green fields with its tones of orange, red, and yellow, you’re hit with a realization. You have to go back down. You see, the journey isn’t just going up the mountain. It isn’t finished once you’ve hit the top. The journey continues.  Your knees are aching and it’s like the rest of your body has had it. You just want to be done. But you can’t stop here. You pull yourself together and you carry on till you arrive at the foot of the mountain and then its finally over.

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Achieving goals like climbing overnight to the top of Mount Fuji to catch the sunrise all have the same requirement. You need to be resilient. Going up, you have to be tough enough to push yourself to the end. Whether you are ready or not, you need to commit yourself to the task. Once you’ve started, you may find yourself leaving people behind, but then you meet brand new people who make the journey easier and more delightful. It took us 10 long hours to arrive at the top and only 4 hours to go down. Admittedly, it would not have been such a good experience for me if it were not for the people I met. All those hours on that mountain was enough time for us to become acquainted with one another and end in non-stop storytelling and jokes, and that really made the journey more memorable.

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