What’s Up Wednesday: New York, Weddings, & Lying Low

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What’s new?

I suck at blogging.

This What’s Up Wednesday thing was supposed to put me on a schedule so that I could start blogging regularly again. And then I missed a month worth of Wednesdays. Fail.

But I’m back. I imagine this is because I’ve just spent the last two days at home, lounging about in my PJs, trying to get over the last of my jetlag, so I finally have free time to just blabber on.

The biggest thing that happened in the last few weeks is that I flew to New York for my girl, Cerena’s, wedding.

I haven’t seen the professional pictures yet and I, stupidly, didn’t bother to take any photos throughout the day because I was too busy sobbing and then drinking and then dancing but I managed to snag one that the happy couple was tagged in on Facebook:

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What’s Up Wednesday: Vesak Day, Theatre, & Awkwardness

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What’s new?

Happy Vesak Day!

Singapore is enjoying this midweek public holiday and flocking to their nearest temple to take part in celebrations. I have yet to shower and get dressed so … you know … priorities.

I completely missed writing a WUW last week thanks to my utter laziness. I woke up late and then spent the rest of the afternoon getting ready to go out for the evening. But this wasn’t any normal going out.

I’d treated myself to theatre tickets.

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One Year Later & a Return to Blogging

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It’s been a year.

A whole year since I packed my bags, left Korea, and moved to Singapore.

The last time I properly blogged, I was 3 days in to my new life. I was living in a hotel in the red light district, getting adjusted to the heat and new atmosphere, preparing myself for a new job, hoping & praying that this move would heal my depression, and that I’d eventually find some happiness.

Thirteen months have passed and I’m here to tell you that Singapore has been good to me. Living has been easy and kind to my mind. I feel like me again and I’m enjoying everything I surround myself with.

I love the feel of the sun on my skin every day. I love the ease with which I can get around on this island. I love the sounds of the Singlish ‘lah’, ‘lor’, ‘ah’, and ‘leh’ that roll off the tongues of my neighbours and colleagues. I love that I’ve discovered how good I am at working with children and that it drives me to work hard and give it my all.

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The End of a Generically Awful Year & Some Awfully Generic Resolutions

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Well, here we are.

2014 is coming to a close and, if I’m honest, I’m happy to see the back of it. This year hasn’t been the best for me and, for the first time, I’m going to let you in on why this blog came to a bit of a standstill in the last 9 months.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that I lost my writing mojo. Any idea I’d had for a piece of writing was quickly dismissed by that stupid dark cloud I let follow me around for the majority of the year.

Yup, ladies and gents. I don’t mind saying now that I may have been suffering from a touch of depression.

Crying fits; Waves of constant exhaustion; Dread at leaving my apartment; Irritableness; Complete lack of interest in anything; More crying fits.

It hasn’t been pretty.

I don’t really know what brought it all on but I do know that it can’t have been helped by a few factors: The mountain of bad personal events that happened within the first few months of my arrival; Getting physically ill for most of the summer; Gaining a lot of weight; And experiencing quite a bit of extreme culture shock.

And the worst thing was that I was scared to tell anyone the truth. I didn’t want to admit defeat and that I could feel myself spiraling back into the depressive state from 8 years ago. Not after finally growing up to become a confident, self-assured adult who was ready to take on the world.

Every foreign teacher I met here was having the time of their life; Korea was the bees’ knees for them. Friends from back home would write me about how brave I was and that they wished they could go off and do something like this.

But, for me, it was like the clichéd nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. Dramatic, eh?

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Doing Time in the Green, Green Grass of Home

newmebeachI’ve been back in Wales for over seven months now and I’m stuck.

Not stuck over where to go or what to do but stuck with this blog. I get so many ideas over what to write about every day but never feel as though I can write.

I know I’ve been neglecting the blog a lot lately. There hasn’t been much of a steady flow of posts and, the longer I leave it, the more I feel I can’t go back and start writing again.

I remember experiencing something similar in university for my Romantics module. I missed weeks and weeks of lectures. Those weeks turned into months and, while a big part of me knew I should start going again, a small voice would whisper ‘You can’t go back now. It’s been too long. No-one will remember you. And the teacher will ask where you’ve been.’ Yeah, that’s kind of how I’ve felt about this blog.

I love being surrounded by my friends and family but, in all honesty, I haven’t felt that inspired to get writing about living back here. Living here not only brings my self-esteem down but there are genuinely a lot of everyday things that piss me off – politics, attitudes, lack of money, being away from the majority of my best friends – and the last thing I want to do is turn this blog into a whinefest. (Isn’t that what tumblr’s for?)

riverBut, at the same time, I realise that seven months of my life has gone by and I genuinely don’t know what I’ve been doing during that time. Blogging about the pretty amazing moments of my life have always kept memories alive for me. Reading back is like looking at an old diary that reawakens feelings and thoughts I had during those times. Without it, I get lost and, before I know it, months disappear from my mind and a big chunk of my life is gone.

So, after seeing how amazing Kirsten from First for Everything has been, managing to blog every day for NaBloPoMo, I figured I could at least try to do the same and push myself to blog a little more regularly, even if it’s about the mundane little things rather than the grand ol’ adventures.

So, to start things off with a (hopefully) more regular posting schedule (I’m laughing because this is probably the last post you’ll read from me for a year), here are some of the absolute highlights of the last seven months:

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Why Blog?

Dia Veinticinco – How you found out about blogger and why you made one.

I guess now we know where this meme originated, right? 😛

Well, I use WordPress now but this blog did actually originate on Blogger. I don’t think I really had a clear idea of what to write about at the time (I look at it now and the first couple of posts are laughable). I think, at that time in my life, I just needed to channel my creative writing into something. I’d just graduated from uni and was thrown into this adult world that wanted experience, not qualifications. The recession had hit us full force and I was without a job.

I guess, in that sense, it was kind of a diary. I’d had dreams of becoming a freelance journalist specialising in film and books reviews and also needed a place to channel my opinions. Everything kind of fit into place.

I chose Blogger because it was free and easy.

Over time I discovered the book blogging community. At the time I was on a personal challenge to read 50 books in a year. This was a tiny amount compared to the voracious readers I met online. But the comments I received from my newfound netfriends spurred me on to continue writing reviews and expressing my opinions.

I wouldn’t describe my blog as a ‘book blog.’ In fact, I would feel hard pressed to pick a subject it focuses primarily on nowadays. I think ‘Not in the Pink’ lives up to its name – being not entirely sane. It’s a blog filled with scattered bits and pieces from a girl waiting to follow her dreams.

My new blog is something that’ll focus on my passions (books, films, politics, languages, etc.) but will also chronicle the first steps in my new life: As a teacher of EFL in a strange and foreign land.

In a way, blogging for nearly two years has helped me get to this place in my life. People who write blogs automatically give you access to their opinions and facts about the things that affect their lives. From blogging, I’ve read about the different ways people live around the world and that you can reach for something that seems impossible. (As cheesy as it sounds.)

Blogging’s a big part of who I am and I can’t imagine giving it up any time soon. Sorry, interweb. I’m here to stay.

Books and Blogs

More books through my door this morning!

Or, I should say, at the post office for me to collect.

The first was Lonely Planet’s Mexico which I bought to compare with my Rough Guide to Mexico. So far, it’s hard to decide which guide I’m finding more useful. They each have their plus and minuses.

The other two were both huge clunky textbooks to go with my CELTA course: The CELTA Course Trainee Book and Practical English Usage by Michael Swan. I’m going to have to hand in my application forms soon. I had a proper look at some of the questions on the ‘pre-interview’ test yesterday and they’re not as scary as I initially thought. I just have to build up the courage to actually fill them in and send them off.

Speaking of the CELTA course, I think my first choice about where to study has changed. I’m leaving for Cancun on November 3rd. There’s a CELTA course that starts on November 7th in a town just south of Cancun called Playa del Carmen. Buses run from the airport straight into Playa and there are some pretty good deals on student accomodation compared to the high touristy prices everywhere else.

I wondered whether it might be worth actually studying there first of all before carrying on with my travels. At least I’d have a teaching qualification to help me out if I suddenly ran out of money. I shared thought with my mother and you should have seen the relief on her face. She said she’d much prefer I do something like that and “be better prepared” for my travels. 🙂

Guess that’s now my first choice then. 🙂

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On the subject of travels, I’m still in the middle of putting together my new blog. I’m kind of sad that I won’t be writing on Not in the Pink but, in all fairness, this blog contains some pretty personal stuff that I don’t necessarily want my parents reading (and I’m sure they wouldn’t want to read it either). I’m still going to keep Not in the Pink open. It’ll just go on a long hiatus.

At the moment I can’t get my new blog looking as good as I’d like it to be. I’m constantly comparing it to Not in the Pink (which I’ve grown into) and it kind of sucks in comparison at the moment.

Oh, well. Much more to do. 😛

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Dia Quince – What you would do if you were pregnant.

 

I don’t think we need any controversy on this blog. Let’s just say, I’m not ready to be a parent. I don’t even know if I ever want children. I can barely look after myself, let alone another person.