Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

June 13, 2012

tia is no longer in Korea.

7 months ago, I moved to Korea to teach English because…

1. I wanted to try teaching. without committing to teacher’s college. Both my parents were teachers. And I think I had some of the best teachers growing up- which is probably why while most little girls’ favorite game was house, mine was school. I would tape a piece of paper to my closet door, line up my stuffed animals and write on “the board.” So, after realizing my childhood dream -sort of- through the Junior Achievement program last year where I taught a class of eighth graders for a whole day, I thought hey! why not!

2. I love kids. Most of the time they talk Barney, Elmo, Dora and her little brother. But sometimes, because of their innocent and pure view on life, people and everything in between, they offer little nuggets of wisdom. Wisdom we’ve forgotten while growing up and learning to survive in the real world. I knew teaching kids would teach me more about life than I could ever teach them. I was definitely right about that.
3. I wanted to move to a new country to gain a fresh perspective on life. Pretty self explanatory- if not now, then when?
4. Korea sounded exotic– compared to other Asian countries we hear about all the time like China and Japan. I know this is a lame reason… but I’m having an honesty moment here.
5. Live in a place surrounded by mountains. I’ve always thought mountains were magical and fell in love with them the first time I visited Switzerland during my childhood. I’ve never lived in a place with mountains before Korea but Korea definitely filled that void. A fellow expat summarized it perfectly:

/\ – mountain

/\/\/\/\/\/\ – mountains

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ – Korea

Having lived and traveled around Korea a fair bit- I can say this pretty much sums up Korea’s landscape.

6. Move to a country where I know no one. (this is harder than you think for a Tamil with a BIG family- trust me. We have family everywhere.)

7. Take a break from the rat race corporate career path. Since graduating uni, I’ve worked at 3 companies doing 3 very different jobs. And although I loved my time at all three, I always felt I liked my job more because of the people I worked with rather than the job itself. And while that’s very important, (and I’ve certainly been lucky in that respect) I think it’s just as important -if not more- to find your calling. your passion. a job that fulfills you. they say find a job you love and you won’t work a day in your life. Either “they” are crazy or on to something genius. I like to believe it’s the latter.

At first glance, I feel like I’m right back to where I started. Korea was supposed to be this new and exciting experience where I (as cliche as it may sound) was supposed to find myself and figure out my passion, my purpose. I figured if moving to the other side of the world doesn’t inspire me to figure out what I really want to do with my life, nothing will. That was an ambitious goal. And by ambitious I mean unrealistic. Because that didn’t happen.

What happened was I changed. I became a totally different person. Reading some of my blog entries from 6 months ago- I can clearly see that. And I’m so grateful for having had this experience. They say that one of our most important core needs as human beings is the need to grow. And I can say Korea definitely allowed me to grow in more ways than I could’ve ever imagined.

So what does this all mean? And what’s next?

This blog has taught me that I love writing. And there are some people out there who like to read my writing. I know, it came as a surprise to me too. Since tiainkorea is no longer relevant, I have decided to start a new blog:

http://www.beeyouteafull.com

I saw this drawing on pinterest and fell in love- which was the inspiration for the url. I couldn’t believe it was still available!

beeyouteafull

And this is what beeyouteafull means to me:

because being beautiful isn’t an outside job.

it’s an inside job.

it requires you work hard like a bee.

it requires you to be you.

it requires you to nourish yourself with the good stuff- with a cup of tea maybe.

it requires you to be positive. to always see the glass as half full. even if it’s half full with air.

they say a beautiful life isn’t about the years in your life but the life in your years.

How will I live a beeyouteafull life?

Totally cheese-y? yes. Totally me? also yes. I’m not sure what I’ll write about. But the above will serve as a manifesto. I feel like having a manifesto makes it sound more official. Obviously, this is all subject to change.

So I will continue writing. But since I’m in no longer in Korea, I will no longer have a “job.”

I know that I don’t want to work a 9 to 5. And I don’t want to be chained to or “climb” a corporate ladder. And I know what you’re thinking- riiiiiiiight Tia. Welcome to the club. That’s the rest of us and our uncles. I know that. I know it’ll be hard. And I know I may not find my passion until I’m really old. Like 30. Or maybe I never will. But like some famous music artist once said, I’m going to die trying. Cliche? Yes. But did you really expect anything else from me?

Basically, I’m going to go on a “yes” diet. Try everything- every opportunity that comes my way.

To quote one of the best minds that ever lived:

“You’ve got to find what you love. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” -Steve Jobs

If you have any advice and/or suggestions as to what I should be/could be doing/trying, I’d love to hear from you.

If you’ve read this far, thank you. And I’ll see you at beeyouteafull.com

Inspired by Reddit

TL;DR: no longer in Korea. starting a new blog: beeyouteafull.com. looking for inspiration/volunteer work/job in Toronto.

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May 4, 2012

9 Things My Bicycle Has Taught Me

1. When in doubt, go with the 2 second rule.

What’s the 2 second rule you ask? The 2 second rule is something I learned while reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell- one of my favorite books. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

Here’s a summary from wiki:

The author describes the main subject of his book as “thin-slicing”: our ability to gauge what is really important from a very narrow period of experience. In other words, this is an idea that spontaneous decisions are often as good as- or even better than- carefully planned and considered ones.

And that’s exactly how I bought my bike. I had been contemplating the idea of buying a bike for a few weeks but considering the fact that the last time I actually rode one was 15+ years ago and I knew absolutely nothing about buying bikes, I kept putting it off.

That is, until my 26th birthday 5 days ago. I walked into the sports section of Homeplus (British grocery chain Tesco’s Korean offspring), did a quick scan, and bought the first bike that caught my eye. There were no pink ones on display so it was a baby blue one that I fell in love with.

It was hands down the easiest and most painless purchase I’ve ever made. And I’m still in love.

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2. You need to put your OCD in check to enjoy life.

If you know me personally or have been reading my blog for a while, you know all about my germaphobia and my general OCD about it. So here are the thoughts I’ve had to ignore and shoo to the back of my mind in order to enjoy owning and riding a bike:

Are bugs splattering on my face the same way bugs splatter and die on the windshield of a car? I wonder how many germs are on this wheel. Must. avoid. contact. Why do locks have to be thread through the wheel. Why are bike racks so close to the ground. What’s this goo. I wonder how many diseases I’m going to contract after touching that.

3.Slow down to smell the roses.

Walking is too slow. And too personal. Especially in crowded places. You have to speed walk to avoid walking beside the same person for 2 blocks. And driving is too fast. You start the car knowing exactly where you want to go. It’s a point A to point B kind of transport. You can’t exactly “stroll” in a car. But biking? It’s perfect. You can stroll when you want to and zoom zoom zoom when you want to.

I found this cool man selling fresh biscuits on the street. While strolling.

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4. Backpacks are cool. And Practical

(and sometimes, it’s okay to sacrifice fashion for practicality. sometimes.)

I’ve always thought backpacks were so juvenile, unsophisticated, so 90s and Cher in Clueless. I mean what outfit, except for the 6th grade back-to-school outfit, do you know that actually looks good with a backpack? Thought so. And then I realized how annoying it was to have a purse constantly sliding off your shoulder while riding. Especially when you have this tendency to lose control of the bike while trying to push the purse back on to your shoulder with one hand and riding with the other.

Insert backpacks. I LOVE BACKPACKS! Free hands while riding? And (almost) 0% chance of crashing? Yes, please!

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5. I really do love the feel of wind through my hair.

and I think biking may just be my favourite kind of wind through my hair.

6. Try to live/be in the moment.

Because if you don’t, you’ll either a) fall off your bike while trying to cross the street b) bump into a nice lady while trying to pass her and apologize profusely but you know she doesn’t understand a word because she’s giving you a really mean stare. That or she understands and hates you anyway because you just tried to kill her or c) fail to see a huge pot hole and almost die… in front of your students who will probably never let you live it down. This is all hypothetically speaking, of course.

7. It’s okay to depend on other people. Especially when you suck at something.

So when I first started learning to drive, my mom always made me say a prayer to the mini statue of Ganesh on her car dashboard. I think the prayer she thought I was saying was probably something like this:

Dear god, please let me get to my destination safely. Please protect me from harm’s way.

However, my prayer usually went something like this:

Dear god, you and I both know I suck at driving. Please make sure all the cars around me at all times have good, experienced drivers driving them.

My prayer now while bicycling is pretty similar. I pray that the pedestrians know to give me plenty of space and know not to get too close and that the other bikers know I’m an amateur. Sometimes I do a little wiggle with the handlebar when I’m passing another bicycler. So they know. Just in case.

8. It’s okay to get lost.

Getting lost on foot is kinda scary- especially if you end up in a rough neighbourhood. Getting lost while driving may put your hearing in jeopardy with all the honks you’ll have to put up with while trying to figure out where you are. But getting lost on a bicycle (with an iPhone for gps in your backpack as insurance)? Best. Thing. Ever.

Because if you don’t get lost, you may never find yourself. (I know, I know… how terribly cliche of me.)

9. You make a living by what you make. You make a life by what you give.

Ok, so my bicycle nor biking taught me this. Winston Churchill did. But I will be using my bicycle as a vehicle to give. Sort of.

I know this is a really cheesy way to end this post. But I needed a way to plug my cause: Ride For Heart. That’s right guys. I will be riding my bike on the DVP- a highway in Toronto (don’t worry, it’ll be closed) to raise funds for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. For that, I need your help. Please donate what you can. Every little bit counts!

Here’s the link to my donation page: Click here.

To see your funds at work: Click here.

March 10, 2012

Housewife-in-training: Fitted sheet

Today, I folded a fitted sheet.

Before:

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After:

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TA DA:

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