T-11 Days Til I’m Back in Asia!

First…Picture Updates…

sistertime in Houston

Love this road home.

when Timmie picks me up at the airport.
Venezuelan food.
Coffee.
Paleo-chocolate chip banana bread.
She’s amazing!!! 

Met her in Taiwan.
Reunited in SoCal.
Eating Taiwanese food.
Yay life!

studying…

beach day. 

focused.

The first six weeks of grad school are complete. All As. I’m thrilled. It was a challenging six weeks living in dorms, going to class for 8 hours or so a day, plus group work, studying, and dealing with reverse culture shock from Indonesia. But I survived. I cannot thank my classmates, professors, and friends and family back home for their support. Everyone was supportive beyond what I deserve. It’s tough to manage time for class, studying, health, and expectations for myself. A good friend of mine recently sent me this article. Ironically since being back from Indonesia sometimes I will freeze out the shower. Just to remind myself how lucky I am, that many people don’t have these luxuries. That the minor discomfort was something I had struggled with for seven months. Pushing your comfort zone is indeed the key to self-betterment. I agree. The top “uncomfortable” things that stood out to me, that I do, or that are on my radar to improve are as follows:

2. Be honest. Honesty is probably the most humbling, scary, and rare things a person can be. Honesty is the most challenging. Because not only is honesty a reflection upon a person’s inner self, but their outer self as well. It’s something I strive for time and time again, but more often than not I keep just a small part of the whole truth to myself. So again I try. The experience of being fully honest with someone, no matter how painful, is usually the most relieving and uplifting feelings. 
3. Wake up extremely early.  I nailed this in the six weeks in grad school. 🙂 I find myself waking up extremely early when I go to bed at a decent hour. I find myself waking up extremely early when I have a dedication to do, like yoga or studying. I am most productive throughout my day when I wake up extremely early. I need to continue on this path if I want to achieve more and become a more productive person.
6. Eat only nutritious food.  Because I have such a sweet tooth. When I gave up sugar, gluten, soy, and caffeine for 3 weeks it was the best I have felt in a long time. So why don’t I continue on this health track? Laziness. And I give in to cravings. Or I get nostalgic for a food I miss. Like the article said…it’s mental too!
7. Practice public speaking. Not many people realize how nervous I get when teaching. But with practice, I have outgrown most nervousness. In front of groups, I am getting better. I am not as confident that I can get up in front of people without having practiced my script…but it’ll come.
8. Accomplish an almost impossible goal. Done and done. On repeat. Because living and working abroad used to be impossible…a daunting year ahead that used to lay before me. I didn’t come home. I acclimated well and integrated myself into the culture, made friends, and excelled as a teacher. Perhaps this “uncomfortable thing” of accomplishing an almost impossible goal was the easiest for me. I know I’m not a quitter, I don’t give up that easy. And I have Jesus. And He makes All Thing Possible. So a near impossible goal will always be possible. 
As I fly back to Asia for another year outside my comfort zone, my goal is to add these challenges to my year, to make this year in China, one of the best.
MAIS COHORT 11

Moved Abby to Houston after arriving back from California. Am so proud of my little sister moving to Texas to start her teaching career as a Kindergarten teacher. Will get to see my Aunt and her family in Dallas on the way home. Back in Nebraska before departing for Asia on the 17th! An intense August of travel, but I am ready!

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