Category: Life

Apr 20

Reasons I Missed Home

Life, Musings 2

Spring cherry blossoms in South Korea are beautiful…and so is the road ahead.

Not book-related. Well, mostly not book-related. Just me. On all the reasons why moving home after 2 years abroad is such a huge deal. I’ve had great times in Korea…mostly related to the people I’ve met, not the place. The place has been an experience too, and one I’m very grateful to have had…but I’m a homebody. I miss MY family. I miss MY mountains. I miss MY traditions, MY food…my freedom. I’m going home to the States, but I think these feelings can apply to anyone who loves where they come from and is uprooted.

  • I miss my family. My family is nuts. But I love them, and so I miss them. I miss knowing that no matter what goes wrong, I always have a safe place to sleep. I could call my grandma, many of my aunts or uncles, if something in my life went horribly wrong…and as soon as I could get to them or them to me, I would be loved and cared for. I am so blessed. I know so many people who DON’T have that…one of my life goals is to be that place and that person for as many people as I can.
  • I miss having friends that share my interests. Over here…the Americans I hang out with think all my artsy-fartsy-ness is weird, for the most part. Occasionally I’ll get a “Oh that’s so cool I could never have the patience for that!” comment, but for the most part…I’m just the weird nerd standing in the corner while everyone else gets shit-faced drunk. But I’m also the person they call if they don’t know how to get something done. So…yeah, whatever folks. I love you guys, but I’m tired of feeling like I have to defend the things I like to do. Also, I don’t speak enough Korean to really try to find a group of same-interest folks. In the past 3 months I met a Korean that I quickly became friends with, who I share lots of interests with, and it kills me that I have to leave so soon after meeting her. One of those people that you would have done anything to meet earlier.
  • English. I.e., my native language. And my native language is one of if not the most dominant language in the world. How the HELL do people who speak a very minority language survive? Obviously, most of them learn the language of the country they live in, but…goddamn. My hat is off to all those people. I can barely speak a few phrases in Korean. When I first got here, I would get a headache every time I went out because the sheer NOISE of another language being spoken. Now it’s familiar, even if I don’t understand much of it…but I still nearly cry when I go out and someone speaks to me in English. Watch me go home and just spend 2 days bawling in the street because EVERYONE speaks English.
    • That said, this really has opened my eyes to have immigrants and other non-English speakers must feel when they come to the US or UK (or Australia?). I’ve also realized how awkward it feels to not speak the main language of the country in which you live. I see people all the time who just EXPECT South Koreans to speak English. Um, why? This is their country. They speak Korean. We are not entitled to people knowing how to speak English here (even though many do…many more than would speak Korean if they came to the US). Americans…get over it. Stop expecting the world to bow to you. I love my country just as much if not more than the average citizen, even if I admit to and see the many faults our country and government have…but I respect and admire other countries and cultures as well, and I expect that I will have to bend myself to their country when I visit, not the other way around.
  • Cultural differences. I’m all for experience another culture as much as you can. However…I have a lot of hangups when it comes to food (I’m very picky, heh). Also, the personal space bubble. This is far from being a Korea-only thing, as lots of countries and cultures have a much smaller personal bubble than Americans or maybe even other Western countries…but I get really freaked out when people stand all up on me in line, or on a train, or when in a store. It’s not rude here for people to run into you or even push you out of their way…it’s just how it is. And it drives. me. nuts. For god’s SAKE let me breathe.

Does anyone ever truly get used to a place so different from where they were born/raised/lived the majority of their lives? I wonder. I see many people here who have come from the US or the UK and made South Korea their home, and I wonder if I am just a freak or if I just missed the secret to being so happy here. I love experiencing new places and people, but in the end…I don’t belong here. I will miss some people here, very very much. I hope we can stay friends through e-mail and FB and if they ever come visit the US, they will have first dibs on my guest room or couch, whatever I can offer. But in the end, I don’t belong here. This is not my home. These 2 years have been hard. REALLY FREAKING HARD. I’ve struggled in relationships, struggled with my own depression, struggled with feeling like I was doing nothing of value. On the other hand, I have made friends that I know will remain friends no matter how many miles separate us. I have made friends that transcend time and distance, and for them I am eternally grateful – they are what has made my 2 years here worth it. No cultural “experience” can match that.

I’ve learned that making a difference in the quality of people’s lives is probably the single most important thing to me, and knowing that has driven me to make decisions I might not have otherwise had the strength to make. It takes a lot for me to make a decision. I’m not a very decisive person, but I’m hella stubborn and once I’ve made a decision…it pretty much takes hell itself to change my mind. I’m looking forward to the new changes coming, even if they may prove difficult and require some sacrifices.

I’m looking forward to being home.

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Apr 15

To be Still

Life 0

See that face? Deceptively innocent. SO MUCH DECEIT.

It’s Saturday morning. I have 2 nights left in this apartment, and all our furniture was removed yesterday except what will be shipped back to the States (i.e., our bed, a card table, and the bookshelves). I’m sitting on a mattress topper on the floor, nursing my coffee and cuddling with my kitty. Said kitty is BESIDE himself with all the upheavals and goings ons. ๐Ÿ™ Poor baby. I woke up at about 3:30 a.m. to him sitting on my chest CLEARLY preparing to heave up the contents of his stomach. In my sleep-addled state the only thing I could think of to do was roll over, which deposited him onto the floor JUST as he successful evacuated dinner.

ARGH. Cleaning up vomit in the wee hours in the morning is not my favorite. ๐Ÿ˜› At least it wasn’t in his chosen place, i.e., ON MY FACE. Traitorous kitty.

So this morning I should be trying to finish up the two projects I am DETERMINED to finish before we officially move out (a knit toy for my goddaughter and a quilt that has been far too long in the UFO pile). I am also refusing to go sign out of the library until I have FINISHED the last book I have checked out from them, which MIGHT already be 30 days overdue. Ahem.

Anyone read Scythe? It’s pretty good. A new twist on the Grim Reaper business, that’s for sure! A little bit slow in the beginning but I’m almost 200 pages in now and OMG things keep happening. Hehe.

I am trying to allow myself to sit and relax, to center and just BE STILL. If I don’t, I know myself – I will go bonkers. My brain is going a million different directions. I need to just breathe. Breathe, breathe, breathe…

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Apr 13

Mini Sort-of Hiatus

Books/Writing, Life 3


Hi everyone!! Just a quick note…I’m not completely going on hiatus, but my usual posts are going on hold until I can get moved (hopefully about 2 weeks). I tried but I just don’t have the ability to do it all, I can’t concentrate! I’m still reading in the evenings – have to have SOMETHING to de-stress, but writing posts and reviews has kind of gone out the window. My place is a disaster zone, everything is halfpacked and everywhere and…AAAAAAAHHHH!! That picture up there? Yeah, that’s actually the floor of my spare bedroom right now. ๐Ÿ˜

On the bright side, once we actually fly out of Korea, we’ll be on vacation for about 3 weeks and I should have plenty of time to catch up. ๐Ÿ™‚ In the meantime, I’m throwing up some reviews on GoodReads now and then, so please go give me a follow if you haven’t already! See you all soon.

The Bent Bookworm @ GoodReads 

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Apr 02

Attack of the Zombies

Life 1

Zombie. Don’t lie, it looks VERY zombie.

Because that sounds cooler than what actually happened, and the end result WAS a very zombie-looking foot. ๐Ÿ˜›

Just in case anyone was wondering where or why I’ve sort of disappeared this week…I was so lucky (i.e., klutzy) last week as to break my ankle. While walking down a hallway and around a corner. No cool story, just…yeah. But, I’ve discovered that breaking bones is extremely painful and reduces my ability to concentrate to about nil.

Also that just wishing it would feel better and getting up and hobbling around usually does not work.

Fantastic thing to happen 3 weeks out from a halfway-round-the-world move. *eyeroll*

 

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Mar 19

Something Else Sunday

Books/Writing, Cats, Gardening/Herbalism/Nature, Life 2

something else sunday

So, I’m changing up my posting schedule a bit. I’d been thinking about it for awhile and then Puput’s post on Figuring Out Your Perfect Blogging Schedule gave me the extra little push I needed.

I love books. I love writing. I love writing about books. However, I also have 50 million other interests (I’m not even really joking), as well as a family. I am also getting ready to move from Korea back to the States, which is a logistical nightmare and will undoubtedly eat up more than its fair share of time.

In order to continue to enjoy blogging and not burn out, I’m paring down my posts and narrowing in on focus. And here’s what you can expect!

Mondays: Down the TBR Hole
Tuesdays: Bookish or discussion post
Wednesday: Writing Up Wednesday
Friday: book review

If I feel inspired or have extra time, I may add additional posts, but for now this is what works best for me. You might notice, if you’re paying close attention, that Something Else Sundays are not on that list. I created this series because I still wanted to talk about my other interests. And lately…I just feel like they don’t belong here anymore. So I’ve created multiple instagram accounts and a little side blog for my garden/nature pursuits. You can find me in these various places:

Fiber arts Instagram: BentNeedles
Gardening Instagram: BentGardener
Adventure/Exploring Instagram: BentAdventurer

Now these things may bleed over now and then and I may still do personal updates every so often, but trying to come up with stuff every week was just exhausting. Especially when a lot of weeks, it seems like all I do is work and read if I’m lucky to have time! Oh, and…

Don’t worry, Sir Tristan will still be putting in appearances now and then as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope this new schedule and the freedom from pressure I feel like it will bring me results in a blog that’s more fun for my readers, with less “extra” stuff that really isn’t in your interests!

Last week on the ย blog:

This week:

  • Down the TBR Hole #17
  • Crown of Midnight (YA review)
  • Writing Up Wednesday #8: Motivation
  • Walking the Nile (nonfiction review)

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Mar 12

Something Else Sunday #28

Books/Writing, Life 1

Well, it’s another Sunday and here we are. I actually read books this week! Not entirely in the way I anticipated…I ended up with a DNF because I’d been reading an ARC of the book for a MONTH and then it was released and my ebook expired. Whoops. It was a beautifully written book but it was just so darn SLOW. Like, “Oh look at the pretty…oooo shiny…ooooo…yawn.” Nothing ever seemed to happen. But I liked the writing, I really did! So I haven’t posted a rating yet because I feel like it would be unfair. Anyway. I actually wrote reviews this week, so that’s a big win. ๐Ÿ˜€

BIG NEWS: We have our tickets for moving back to the States!!!! And our several hotel reservations. And the beginnings of plans with friends. And I sent someone an e-mail that said “See you in a few weeks” and it was REAL. I’m so freaking excited. So many changes. So many things.

With all THAT going on, it’s been a bit of a struggle to concentrate on reading and writing. Especially writing. My poor novel has been SO neglected it’s shameful and I’m really doubting I will make my goal of finishing it by the end of this year. Hoping to sit down and revamp my goals a bit this week. I was really inspired by NovelKnight’s Writer’s Bucket List post this week (which I somehow, inexplicably, cannot find to link)…I think I may need to make my own.

I didn’t much this week other than work and read…and worry about all the crap we have to get done in order to move. But I did write blog posts! Even TWO book reviews. So proud of myself. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Last week:

This week:

That’s all for this week! Hope you’re all getting some warmer weather and getting ready for spring. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Mar 05

Something Else Sunday #27

Life 0

something else sunday

Hi everyone! This week…well, this week sucked. It seemed like nothing went as planned and I was having a super emotional and homesick week and I didn’t read much of anything. Well, I did read some during the 24-hour surprise shift that got thrown at me, but it wasn’t very good reading time, I couldn’t relax! Regardless, I didn’t get any reviews posted and didn’t finish The Bone Witch…boo.

My orchid died.

From this just a couple of months ago…

To this startling discovery one afternoon…

To this less than 2 days later.

First one leaf fell off and then within 36 hours the entire thing was lifeless. It was horrifying. After all kinds of YouTubing and Googling I believe it was hit with some kind of bacterial brown rot, which apparently this type of orchid is particularly susceptible to. I’m so sad. I get attached to plants too. Yes, I’m weird, so sue me. ๐Ÿ˜› This was my only plant here, so I guess this means I just get to have a completely clean slate once we move. Trying to make myself feel better and it’s not working. ๐Ÿ˜›

I have hopes for this week. High hopes! Work promises to continue being stupid, but what job doesn’t? ๐Ÿ˜›

Last week on the blog:

This week on the blog:

  • Down the TBR Hole #15
  • Writing Up Wednesday #7: Freebie
  • Black Beauty (classic review)
  • The Bone Witch (YA review)

 

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Feb 26

Something Else Sunday #26

Life 2

something else sunday

Hi everyone! How is it Sunday again? My last couple of weeks have been super full. I did manage to get all my planned posts up last week, though! *pats self on the back* Seriously though, my brain feels like mush a lot of the time right now. Our move is getting closer and closer and I’m thinking about the “purge ‘n’ pack” that must occur before and…

This is me.

I am looking forward to HAVING MOVED so very much, but the actual moving process…yeah, not so much.

I have no real “something else” to share this week, except to mention that I’m working on super-secret-squirrel project that will be released to the public some time in the near future…but I’m not sure many of my bookish readers will be interested. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I do want to point out that this is Something Else Sunday #26, which means I’ve been at this more roughly half a year (I think I missed a Sunday or two). I’m having so much fun with my little blog, getting to know people and find new books!

Oh, I did make a veggie tray owl. Which looked very…not-owlish. Oh well. ๐Ÿ˜› It was duly eaten (but not a single person noticed the owl), so I guess that’s what matters, right?

Anyway, here’s a look at the upcoming for this week! I feel like I’m kind of pushing it with aiming for 2 reviews…neither of which I’ve finished the book for (I’m about halfway through each, haha).

This week on the blog:

  • Down the TBR Hole #14
  • Writing Up Wednesday #6: Give me ALL THE SETTINGS!
  • The Bone Witch (YA review)
  • January OwlCrate Review

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Feb 24

The Get to Know Me Tag

Life, Random 4


I saw the Get to Know Me tag over on Kourtni Reads, and it looked like so much fun I had to give it a shot! Fun and random…I’ve had quite a few new followers lately so I thought it would be fun to do. ๐Ÿ˜€ If you want to do it, consider yourself tagged!

Vital Stats

Name:ย Elizabeth
Nicknames:ย Liz, Lizzy
Birthday:ย Soon ๐Ÿ˜‰
Star Sign:ย Pisces
Occupation:ย EMT/jack-of-all-trades

Appearance

Hair Color: Red (yes, I know it doesn’t look red in my pic…it’s a very dark, moody red that refuses to play nice in artificial light).
Hair Length: To my waist
Eye Color: Hazel
Best Feature: I think my hair and my height (is that a feature?), but my husband would probably say something else. *cough*
Braces: Nope!
Piercings:ย Two in each ear and used to have my belly button done but I took it out for a job and it closed up.
Tattoos: A tree of life inspired by Jen Delyth’s artwork
Right or Left: Is this about hands? Left.

Firsts

Real Holiday: When I was 8, my parents took a 5 day vacation to Gatlinburg, TN.ย 
Best Friend:ย Mara. Since I was 16 and she was 15.
Award:ย Uhhhhh….I have no idea.
Sport:ย Swimming!!
Concert:ย I have, uh, never been to a concert. *embarrassed*

Favorites

TV Show(s): I’m not much on TV, but Sherlock and Outlander are awesome. Also The Big Bang Theory and Scrubs, for lighter stuff.
Color: Green.
Song:ย Hmm. 3 Doors Down “Life of My Own” or Within Temptation’s “The Truth Beneath the Rose.”
Restaurant: Right now anything that doesn’t have a South Korea side chain, hahaha.
Shop: Probably Barnes and Noble…at least until I move to a new town with a good indie bookstore!
Books: Ack. Outlander, I guess? Lord of the Rings…anything by Gail Carriger, Naomi Novik…
Shoes: Flipflops that don’t make my toes hurt.

Currently

Feeling: Stressed. Work sucks. ๐Ÿ˜›
Single or Taken: Taken and married!
Eating:ย Nadda. I had Subway for dinner.
Thinking About: Our upcoming move.
Watching: Nadda. Husband is out so the TV isn’t on.
Wearing: Yoga pants and an Under Armour hoodie.

Future

Want Children: The 4-legged kind! I have a lovely little kitty right now, but hope we can add a dog once we move!
Want To Be Married: I am and quite enjoy it. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Careers In Mind: Medical doctor, eventually.
Where You Want To Live: In the mountains.

Do You Believe In

God: “g”ods, maybe?
Miracles: Ehhhh…I think there are some things that can’t be explained, but miracles typically imply divine intervention and I doubt that very much.
Love At First Sight: Not for me, at least!
Ghosts: Maybe
Aliens: Maybe
Soul Mates: Maybe
Heaven:ย No
Hell:ย No
Kissing On The First Date: If it feels right!
Yourself: Sometimes.

Tagging

If you want to do it, consider yourself tagged! No pressure on anyone. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Feb 20

Something Else Sunday #25

Life, Musings 1

something else sunday

Happy Sunday, everyone! It’s time for another Something Else Sunday and unfortunately about the only “something else” that I got to this week was my job. ๐Ÿ˜› Haha. However, there have been MASSIVE improvements on that front…a day late and a dollar short, but I will definitely enjoy them for the rest of the time I’m here. I haven’t been getting a whole lot of reading done either, sadly, but this weekend helped some with that. I actually did massive amounts of adulating this weekend…laundry, groceries…all that dumb stuff that’s necessary but annoying. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, I did get the pieces of my Iris the Gourmet Monster knitted. Now just to add eyes, stuff, and sew together! This is for my goddaughter (who I will meet for the first time when we go home in the late spring!). I’m using a yarn I spun a few months ago. I think it’s going to be pretty stinkin’ cute, if I do say so myself!

I also participated in the second Beat the Backlist Instagram challenge – I was behind the entire week but I’ve posted all my entries now! I’m not a huge romance reader so I struggled a bit with this one but I got a few good or at least decent pics.ย 

Other than that, here’s the rundown for the next week!

Upcoming Posts:

  • Down the TBR Hole #13
  • Iron Cast (YA review)
  • Writing Up Wednesday #5: What’s your POV?
  • The Get to Know Me Tag

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