30 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 14: advice for life

Prompt: What is the one piece of advice you have received that you’ll always carry with you?

“Do what you love.”

That is the advice my parents have given me time and again regarding my future. My dad is not particularly fond of his job for a number of reasons, but basically, because it is not at all engaging or meaningful for him. Going to work in a chore and he is counting the years until retirement when he can do something more interesting.

My mom, on the other hand, has completely embraced this advice in her own life. The year my younger brother finished high school she quit her job as a computer programer and went to grad school for a masters in public health. Since finishing her studies, she has worked for a variety of organizations that she believes in, finding ways to positively influence the community and help people. Whenever she begins to dislike what she is working on, she looks for another opportunity to explore. Some might call this flighty, but I see it as incredibly brave and wise. We only have so much time to live and as working is key to survival, why should we not follow the path that brings us the most happiness?

During my job search a few months ago, I kept this advice close to my heart, hoping that in my deep desire to be working again, I would not settle for something that I would dislike. Now, two weeks may be too short a time to tell for sure, but right now I am nearly 100% sure that I picked the right field for me. The projects I am working on at work fill me with energy and I look forward to heading to the office. It is rewarding to work out the problems I face, to harness my creativity for good and to have a purpose. Right now I feel as if I have made this advice a reality and I hope that it will be a pattern for my future career.
© Copyright 2015 KiwiBee (UN: k


30 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 12: Invention Love

Prompt: Besides communication or media devices (computers, televisions, phones, etc.) and advancements in transportation, what invention or inventions of the 20th century are you most grateful for, and why?

In today’s world, there are so many things that make life easier, from technology to transportation. I for sure would be lost without my computer and the ability to travel so easily. However, in considering those inventions outside technology and transportation, there are so many contenders. When I first started thinking about inventions, I wasn’t exactly sure what was invented when, so I did a quick Google search. Several things caught my eye: spiral bound notebooks (I couldn’t survive without notebooks and pens!), cameras, crayons, teabags and vacuum cleaners. But, then I started thinking about my life and realized that for me, the best invention of the 20th century was the civil rights movement.

While we, as a nation, still have a ways to go towards true equality, we have come so far in terms of allowing all people to follow their dreams and live the lives they want. The civil rights movement opened the floodgates of opportunity and helped to unpin so many groups of people from the pigeon holes in which they had been placed. I am thankful for this change in U.S. society because it has allowed me to live an extraordinary life that fills me with happiness.

I am grateful for the civil rights movement and its outcome because it made it possible for me to attend any university, to choose whom to love, to decide if I want to marry or have kids, to pursue any field of studies, to have a career, to travel solo, to have a voice and vote, to be treated fairly and most of all, to be my own person. No one can dictate my future for me and I do not have to conform to social norms that would suck the life out of me. And, for that, I am truly a fortunate woman.

30 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 10: KiwiBee’s Cauldron

Prompt: You are opening a new store in the mall. You can only sell five particular items. What is the name of your store, and what are you selling?

What to sell. What to sell?

My instinct is to say that I would sell office supplies, because I simply love such things. Notebooks, pens, markers, planners, sticky notes…I myself have far too any of them and can’t resist adding to my growing collection on occasion. I love the potential for creation that these things have, but as it is, there are already too many office stores in and around malls.

So, not an office store. I think instead that I would sell jars of happiness. Say what? I know what you are thinking, this girl is CRAZY! But, here’s my idea.

It would be like a build a bear workshop in essence, but with no teddy bear or stuffed animal bodies. Rather, people could get a jar, decorate it in whatever way they desire, and then fill it with the things that make them happy. I would have candy, a photo booth, shiny objects and sculpting clay so that people could fashion the sort of things they love. The jars would then serve as a reminder that happiness is the little things and that sometimes all it takes is a chocolate, a photo or a small trinket to turn things around.

As for the name, I would call it KiwiBee’s Cauldron.

30 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 9: In Retrospect

Last September I moved to South Korea to teach English for a year. I am not a teacher, but rather a journalist with a love of traveling. My significant other, A, and I had just finished university and were looking for an adventure before trying to become real adults with careers and worries. So, off we went to Korea and adventure we found.

It would be impossible to write about everything that happened over our year because each day was its own challenge, for good or bad. Our boss was delusional and perhaps a bit psychotic, which created all sorts of issues that I won’t go into here, but my students and my life with them is something I could talk about forever. I loved those kids and miss them every day.

Prior to teaching in Korea, I had little experience working with kids. I soon discovered that my students had absolutely no filters. Whatever entered their heads came out in a tangle of words and I learned pretty immediately that they had no qualms whatsoever about saying their observations, even if they were rude.

For instance, the teacher I replaced was nick-named Cucumber Teacher because she had a very long face. My first few weeks I was called Ketchup Teacher because my skin has a reddish tone to it, especially when I am nervous, which I often was those first days. By the time I left, my nick name had been changed to Princess Angel Teacher, as one of my younger students informed me that I have princess hair.

I think the best moments though, and the funniest, were the random things that happened over the course of the day. Like the day I got into the elevator and was followed in by one of our new students. He took one look at me and screamed then shouted that he just saw the ghost of Jesus.

Or the day that my students started asking me if I was pregnant and patting my stomach, hoping for a baby (in Korea, couples who are married are almost expected to have a baby within a year of the marriage, and as my students thought A and I were married, they were expecting the same).

Or the time that one of A’s students came up and smelled me, nose to my arm and hair, then smelled A and announced that she could tell we shared a bed because we smelled the same.

It’s these things that I will remember most about my students. The frustration and stress of being a foreign teacher have begun to fade, but the quirkiness and personalities of my students will never leave me.

30 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 8: In the Shadow of Indiscretions

Prompt: Does an athlete’s or celebrity’s indiscretions overshadow their entire body of work in their respected field? Why or why not?

Athletes, celebrities, and lime-light individuals live and die by their reputation. They are famous because we, the lay-people, choose to honor them with our awe and cast upon them the title of role model, hero or inspiration. As such, I believe very much so that their indiscretions overshadow their entire body of work, especially if the indiscretions are ghastly, and not just in the Hollywood sense. Who cares if someone wore the same dress twice to two different awards? Who cares if their clothes were ugly or their choice of footwear distasteful. I’m talking about true indiscretions, like driving drunk, wreaking havoc for the fun of it, causing other people harm, general ill behavior or worse.

Justin Bieber, is a prime example of this. I have never been a Bieber fan, but to me his bad behavior and lack of consideration for the people around him only detract from his ‘talent’. It doesn’t matter what he sings or does on the stage if he wreaks havoc and endangers others simply so he can have a good time. His personal life decisions reflect the kind of person he is and I would not want my children oo-ing and ah-ing over someone who, in truth, is a horrible role model.

Tiger Woods is another example. Affairs happen all the time, unfortunately, but to have an affair as a public figure, and to do so when one’s wife is pregnant is just beyond repulsive. I didn’t have a much of an opinion one way or another of Woods prior to the media going crazy in his private life, but afterwards, I felt like it didn’t matter if he was the best golf player in the world. As a person, he is lacking in good character and that, to me, overshadows all the golf he could ever play.

In the end, I think that a person’s talent is only as good as the decisions they make outside their body of work. It matters not how talented you are if, as a person, you are lacking in those qualities that make a decent person. For me, I cannot separate the person from the talent. They are one and the same, and as such, their reputation depends on both.

30 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 7: 40 years to live

Prompt: How would you live your life differently if the average human life span was 40 years?

Forty years. Such a short amount of time in the grand scheme of things. There is so much we can accomplish in life, but it can’t all be done in four decades, can it? I don’t think so. Time gives us the luxury to live many lives, in a sense, to go through phases. Without so much time, that would be impossible.

If we had only 40 years to live, I would be more than half-way done with life, and that is a scary thought. There is still so much I hope to see, do and experience in life. Assuming nothing else in my life changed except that I had only 40 years to live, I would have to do some major evaluating of what I wanted in life (and do that evaluating at a really early age!). It seems that with half the life-span of what we currently have, I would have to pick one of two paths, because having both would be next to impossible: family or wandering? Unless, of course, I gave up doing almost all schooling and spent my early years traveling, then had a family, but I have to say, I would miss the education.

As it is, I do not think there is not much I would have changed about my life. I’ve wandered many paths, learned valuable lessons, met fantastic people, felt the full range of emotions and had beautiful experiences. I think that if I were to have to pick a path, I would be satisfied with this one, and perhaps would have embraced it a bit more, because there would be little need to worry so much about the future. Maybe I wouldn’t have come home from Korea so soon and instead spent more time in Asia, appreciating every second as much as possible. Maybe I never would have returned home at all.

The life of a wanderlust would be mine and such a grand adventure it would be.






30 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 5: Caught by the Bug

Prompt: When you come down with a cold or the flu, do you stick to traditional methods of dealing with it, or are there unconventional remedies you use?

As a kid, I got sick all the time, especially in the winter. It wasn’t unusual for me to get multiple colds, the flu and strep at least a couple of times. I would miss days of school amounting to at least a two weeks over the course of several months, during which I laid on the couch, watching Harry Potter and taking medicine as regularly as possible.
As I’ve gotten older, my yearly illness quota has decreased, thank goodness, but so too has my tolerance for medication. I am a complete light weight and it doesn’t take very much cough syrup to make me loopy. Likewise, antibiotics generally throw my system through such an ordeal that it takes weeks for me to feel normal again, even after the initial symptoms have disappeared.
So, in light of these reactions, I try to avoid taking medication as much as possible. Instead, I rely on sleep, sleep, Harry Potter, sleep, tea and more sleep to get better. I am one of those people who tends to push myself beyond my limits, which is why I get sick in the first place. So, it seems like getting sick is my body’s way of saying, “Hey! Stop being a jerk and rest, you weirdo. There is only so much an immune system can do and sleep is vital to that, in case you missed the memo!”
Generally, after a couple of days of almost none-stop sleeping and staying in bed, I am well enough to continue about life and avoid taking medicine at all, say for the occasional throat lozenge. Now, let me just cross my fingers and hope that this winter, I can skip this whole process all together and get enough rest before the bug catches me!