Bye Bye, Busan.

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I haven’t yet mentioned this on my blog but I left ‘Dynamic’ Busan, South Korea early morning on February 14th, 2017 before the contract at the hagwon (private school) where I worked was completed.

I left for several reasons. However, the main reason was because I was tired of being treated like a second-class citizen. I agreed to work at the private school after being told that my writing and illustration abilities were needed and going to be taken advantage of during my tenure. Shortly after I arrived at the school, I discovered that I had been fed lip-service and all went down hill from there. Even my method of teaching ‘good character behaviors’ were discouraged at the school; this was intolerable for me and the last straw.

As a 34 year old woman with a reasonable amount of professional work experience under my belt, I believe that I shouldn’t be obligated to ‘survive’ at a job for a year when I could potentially ‘thrive’ elsewhere. I am smart enough and wise enough to take my own advice; I have moved on.

I have started a new chapter in my ‘Adventurer Diary’; I have a lot to accomplish. I am currently residing in the United States once again and have missed the familiarity of ‘home’.

No, it’s not perfect here but there is a lot of good I can do in my home-country with my newly acquired skills, expertise and polished natural abilities.

I will continue to keep you posted on where my adventures take me… on this roller-coaster we call life. Trying to stay tuned-in to my intuition and do what feels best for me at this moment in time.

I don’t know where I’m going to end up in this life but I do know this: I will do my best to make the most of this adventure.

I still remember watching the movie, “Boyhood” on the plane ride back from Turkey. To quote a line from the movie, Patricia Arquette’s main character says near the end, “…I just thought there would be more.” What I’m trying to get at is, for some of us, it’s easy to fall into the trap of, ‘…my life will start when…’ but in actuality, all of this is our life; life has already started and is in full swing, whether we like it or not.

I’m not looking to say, ‘…I just thought there would be more.’ I’m interested in continuing to say, ‘…I’m doing the best I can to give myself a good life.’

I’m doing the best I can to give myself a good life. Not interested in surviving. Looking to thrive…merely aspiring to survive is for the unambitious and uninspired.

Let’s all aspire to be more, even if that road is an uncertain and uncomfortable one.

Blessed be this journey of discovery, positivity and inextinguishable hope for the betterment of our lives.

~Love, Leslie

 

New Year’s Eve Gift From A Stranger

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On New Year’s Eve, I was walking through Nampo-Dong and an artist insisted he draw a picture of me for free. The piece took him about 1 hour to complete and when finished, he handed me the artwork and asked if I were an American. I said, “Yes, I am,” and then he responded, “Good luck,” followed by a warm smile.

The action of him taking the time to draw me made my heart swell with gratitude. Sitting for this drawing attracted several onlookers, smiles, waves and compliments.

It was ultimately a kind gesture that culminated in a heart-warming, beautiful memory of New Year’s Eve.