It’s that wonderful time of year where once again we become reflective, introspective, and get excited for the new year. As my mind floats about, daydreaming of future adventures with my honey, I can’t help but be reminded of the past, and how every decision, large and small, has shaped the life I live today. This thoughtful tradition takes me back to two great pieces of advice I’ve received; advice that has strengthened my spirit and given me the confidence to make decisions about my life that are purely right for me. I share them with the hope that they will inspire someone else in the same way.
The first piece of advice came from my Uncle George. In college, I was stressing about the future (as we all do) and how I would make a decent living (as we all do). I already had the intent of pursuing a journalism degree, but was second-guessing my decision and juggling the idea of trying out different majors. In my moment of confusion, my uncle emailed me a simple sentence that has always stuck with me, “Do what you love and the money will come.” Though I’m still waiting to see that monay, I know that I have never felt more fulfilled than I do now. To be teaching, writing, and traveling is the greatest blessing. Thanks to that advice, I have the confidence to pursue these passions of mine wholeheartedly, knowing that with persistence and dedication they will turn into something great.
The next piece of advice was given to me just one month before I made my big move out to South Korea. I was talking to my classmate and friend, Melissa, about my hesitation to leave Seattle. I had just lost my first grandparent and I had another who was getting sicker by the week. I was scared that my grandpa would die when I was gone. Then Melissa said to me, “There’s never the right time to do anything. If you wait for the right time, you’ll wait too long.” She was right. Staying in Seattle wouldn’t make my grandpa live any longer. I had to make the most of the time I knew I would have with him, and I did. Shortly after I moved to Korea, he passed away. I also had a younger cousin unexpectedly pass away. These moments were totally devastating–and I won’t even start on missing the funerals–but I also learned that the perfect time is nonexistent. If it wasn’t waiting for a death (how morbid), it would be waiting for a wedding, then waiting for a birth, then another death, then another wedding… Whatever it is, don’t wait; just do! It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.