Daily Journey Journal #315: not true

From April 7, 2015

Last night I went to a birthday party. I had too much to drink. I decided to drive home. The police pulled me over and now I am in jail with a DUI. And, I have a cold. I called my grandma this morning to ask for $1700 for bail. She said she would forward me the money except…

None of this is true. None of this.

This is in fact a scam in the form of a phone call that my grandma received this morning.

This is the story the scam artist told my grandma.

This is the story my grandma did not believe.

My grandma, being sharp and skeptical, told ‘me’ to call my father and then hug up before promptly calling my dad. Unfortunately, however, many grandparents do fall for this scam and it breaks my heart.  Not very many things really tick me off, but this is one of the few. It makes me so mad that these scam artists decide to prey on the elderly, to concoct these stories that hit them in such a vulnerable spot. It frustrates me because so many grandparents don’t have these exorbitant funds to spare but don’t want to deny their ‘grandchildren’ who are in trouble. While I am so thankful that my grandma saw through this story, I find myself wondering how many people fell for these stories today. I wishing there was some way to prevent this from happening, a better way to protect our grandparents who want to protect us.

 

Advertisements

Daily Journey Journal #285: two steps behind

From March 8, 2015

Whew! What a busy and eventful week it has been. I’ve been two steps behind and three thoughts ahead all week, my mind bouncing from thing to thing, barely pausing before jumping to the next idea. And now, here I find myself sick but unwilling to fully halt in my day to day activities. The candle is burning at both ends, but burning with such enthusiasm and joy that I dare not stop it.

Here is to hoping that next week I’ll get my steps back on track and start feeling better!

Blogging 101: Say Your Name

It’s day two of the Zero to Hero series and already I am feeling more focused. Per the assignment, I have edited both my blog title and the tagline. Previously, I had no tagline and the title was a bit…boring. After looking at the types of things I most often post, primarily little moments in the form of photographs and writing, I liked the idea of snapshots. I talked it over with a friend, who suggested the title Snap Thoughts. With a new title and a tagline, I decided it would also be best to update the design and layout for a bit more clarity and space. The previous design felt a little too crowded. With this design I feel like each post has a little more space to breathe. Over the next few days I might make a few little tweaks, but for now, I’ll let the newness settle in.

Blogging 101: About me

Hi!

My name is KiwiBee. I’ve been blogging personally for a few months now, mostly sharing pictures and short pieces of writing. This blog (https://kiwibeeblogger.wordpress.com/) is primarily a creative outlet for me. I love taking pictures and writing, so I thought I would share them periodically rather than keep them buried in the files on my computer.  I like having a space where text and photos can work together and how, when taken as a whole, they tell a story about a time, a place and people.

Currently I live in Yeosu, South Korea working as an English teacher, but I am originally from a small town in Wyoming in the western United States. Korea has greatly influenced the stories I’m working on and is the feature of all of my photographs at the moment.

I first got into blogging my last year at university when I ran a blog for a science grant program on campus. I loved the way the blog connected people and created a sense of community. When I moved to Korea, I started a blog to keep friends and family updated on life here and the crazy adventures my significant other and I have while teaching. While that blog provided me with a great avenue for sharing about our daily life, I didn’t want to fill it with tid-bits of creative writing and random photos. So, I started this blog as my play space and am working to keep a nice balance of updates on both sites.

I’m super excited about this challenge and have loved reading about everyone’s blogs!

~KiwiBee

Daily Prompt: Sixteen Tons (of Anxiety)

I am an English teacher at an academy in South Korea. At the moment, I can safely say that my job and I have a love-hate relationship. Sometimes self-talk is the only thing that can get me through the rough patches to the amazing things that wait in each classroom.

♣♣♣

IMG_9439Despite your run on the rocky, quiet mountain trails, your heart still bangs painfully against your ribs as you near the grey and yellow sun-bleach building. Vomit would be creeping up your throat, had you been able to eat. But, as it is, you could not. Words bounce off the sides of your skull, casting a bigger shadow over you than that made by the sun on the building. How can you do this when the impossible has been asked? How can you do this when the shame is still a bright red patch across your cheeks? How can you succeed when failure is all that warms your veins? Is possibly all that has ever flowed through your body?
Baby-step by baby-step you go in the glass doors smudged with fingerprints of all different sizes. Baby-step by baby-step you cross the cigarette-smoke infused foyer and climb the stairs. Baby-step by baby-step you enter the school, you go to your desk, you put away your things, you pull out your planner. The steps become faster. The plans begin to spill out across the page, ideas dribbling out through the trip of the pen until they flow across the page. Yes. Yes, you can do this. You’ve found the pot of creativity. His demands can be met, just possibly. Possibly.
Ideas become reality, printed out, collected, ready to go. It is almost time. Time again to try to prove your worth. At the last minute, he enters the office, focused on his task, his suit impeccably clean in the graffitied walls of the academy. You look down, focusing on your hands in your lap, aware that your muscles are tight, but you know it is not from your run. You are a failure. Do not forget. He doesn’t even look your way, his suit swishing as he marches from the room, papers in hand. The words in your head bounce around more frantically, stirring up the murky waters that had just begun to settle.
Time to go. They are waiting. In you go, materials, ideas at the ready. They smile. They reach out to touch you, see what you bring to them, offer a hug, ask for candy, offer candy, smile, laugh, question. They laugh. They play. They talk. Joy, joy, joy. At the park, they pull flowers from the budding branches and tuck them in your hair, place them in your open hands. They point to this and that, labeling each thing with their new words. They shower you with petals carefully gathered from the ground. They hold your hands. In the classroom they write your name across the board over and over, committing it to memory before they’ve even fully learned how to spell their own names. At the end of the day they whisper in your ear, “I love you, Teacher,” before racing out the door and into the afternoon sun.
And then, you know. You know all that you need to know to come back. You know that this is why. Why he insists on casting shame over you without reason. Why you trudge the path back. Why you stay. You know that those carefully enunciated words, the flowers in your hair, the tiny hands squeezing yours and the love that bridges the gaps of language and culture will bring you back, no matter what he says.

Daily Prompt: Moments to Remember

Each day, each moment creates new memories. Some stay with us for only a short time and others last through all the years to come. Though I have a whole life still ahead of me, I know that I will always remember these moments.

I will never forget the countless conversations my mum and I had at our dinning room table when I was in high school. We talked about anything and everything. Together we mused about the big questions, discussed the small details, rehashed the past, tried to guess the future. We explored our similarities; our differences; the things that make us individuals, yet connected to each other.

I will never forget that phone call that stole away my strength and the way Mum said my name over and over again, making her panicked face visible if only in my mind’s eye. H was dead. Gone. I’ll never forget the way that industrial carpet, worn and faded, felt under my hands and knees as I struggled to reply but could only whimper.  My whole body shook after I dropped the phone and  my roommate found me in the hallway. I’ll never forget that she carried me back to our dorm room until Mum arrived.

I will never forget the first night A and I spent together, sitting on the plastic bench on that porch in Tanzania. We talked about our families, our friends, our lives. I’ll never forget that warm night air, like a blanket on a cold afternoon. It hummed with bugs unseen and the stars above us felt so far away. Everyone had gone to bed by the time we first touched,  comparing our hand sizes. I realized for the first time that my pinkies are abnormally short and A loved that. I’ll never forget how warm, how strong his hands were and wishing that my boyfriend back home would break up with me so I could follow what my heart was saying.

I’ll never forget going to Da and Jacque’s house for dinner and movies during long winter nights when I couldn’t study another minute and needed a happy distraction. We always ate too much, eating even when we felt like we might pop because everything was so decadent. Jacque would buy Moscato just for me, and we would drink it together, with Bubby and Jenna, until we were all flushed and laughing ourselves to the floor. I’ll never forget feeling so loved, so safe and the happy escape that their house always gave me.

I’ll never forget those long hours when D worked down in the theater shop and M and I would bring him chocolate and snoop on his latest project. He always let as see the newest set for the latest play and explained any interesting parts of the design. The three of us could talk and joke about anything. We ate the Dove chocolates M and I had filled our pockets with, then we’d read the promises out loud. M and I later taped the promised we like best to our doors. I’ll never forget the joy in simply being with them.

I’ll never forget the morning little K came to wake me up after Da and Jacque went to Cheyenne for the day. It was the day we spent together, just the two of us. He climbed into the sleeping bag with me, whispering ever so quietly in my ear, “Auntie, it’s time to get up.”. His little cold fingers touched my eyelids, willing them to open. And up I got, though it was only 6:30 am and we watched cartoons until I knew the coffee shop would be open. I’ll never forget the way he looked at my shoes before we got in the car and said, “Auntie, I like your shoes. Did you get them at T.J. Maxx?”.

Some memories are like shadows, dark and obscured by age. Other are so clear that they are the murals painted on the walls of my mind. There are some things in this life that I will always remember, and though some are sad, I would never want to forget them. These memories are the stepping stones to who I am today, they are the signs that I have lived and loved. They are who I am in essence and the lessons I carry with me.

I’ll always remember that Mum gave me all the time I needed, her ears for listening and her voice for quieting my worries. If she ever wanted to be somewhere else, I never would have known.

I’ll always remember that even when life is painful, difficult, it is not the end. It is the beginning of a new chapter, a new path to travel. Strength can be born from grief, if you remember to reach out to those around you.

I’ll always remember that waiting for others to make things happen when you are perfectly capable of doing so is absurd. Though it can be hard and fill you with a sense of guilt or anxiety, it is ok to make choices that lead to happiness.

I’ll always remember that love and thought can be shown in so many ways that seeing it at first is impossible. It is only with time and distance that such deep care can be understood.

I’ll always remember that good friends and chocolate simplify the complexities of life. Without them, living becomes such a tangled web that it is easy to loose your way.

I’ll always remember that unplanned situations can be blessings in disguise. We just have to give them a chance to bloom.

Last, I’ll always remember that memories are my stories. They make my life bright. In order to fill the pages of my life with color and light, I must live. I will always remember, there is a difference between existing and living. And, that difference makes all the difference  in the world.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

bridge2By nature I am a planner. Spontaneity just isn’t something I’m good at, usually because it causes me to stress unnecessarily. This is something I am working to change because I bore myself with my need to plan every little part of my day. Fortunately, I like to have adventures and have great friends who like to wander the woods. So, yesterday after a rather crazy night out, we started out on what we thought would be a little hike. Nine miles later we found ourselves at the gate of a temple so far away from the city I could no longer hear to rumble of civilization. As we sat by the river reflecting and watching people eat their kimchi and get drunk off soju, I realized that this trek was not part of my plan for the day and yet, I wasn’t stressed about it. Rather, I felt a sense of freedom for doing something unexpected and finding myself in such a beautiful spot. What a great way to end the weekend.