Happy 2021! (& reflecting back on 2020)

Hi everyone! Happy New Year! 🎉 (In Korean, we say 새해 복 많이 받으세요 which literally means “Please receive a lot of new year’s blessing.”)

This is my first blog post in the year 2021. I thought being more open with you guys and sharing my personal story would be a meaningful way to open up a new year’s chapter. So I’ll just go straight into it without further ado.

Push

Starting from 2019 to 2020, my life has been a series of push. I pushed myself to get out of the mess that I had unknowingly piled up for myself over the past years. And a huge part of that push was work. I worked really hard, and thoroughly enjoyed my English-teaching jobs and juggling that with making Korean lessons on YouTube. Work brought me a great sense of fulfillment and self-worth, and it became a healthy escape away from my anxiety and self-hate. It provided me a sense of meaning to continue forward, especially when I was on the verge of giving up and doing something that I shouldn’t do.

But, as the famous Bible quote goes, “There is a time for everything.” There is a time when that push is healthy for you and keeps you alive, but there are other times when that push is not ideal for you, and can kill you from the inside. And that’s exactly what it was; it wasn’t the time for me to continue pushing, and I missed the timing to let go of the push. There was a price I paid for that, which was my own restfulness and ease. I don’t want to blame myself too much for that, because I understand my circumstances and why I was like that. Even if I go back, I don’t think I would do things any better. I guess the best thing I can do is to be mindful of my mistakes and learn from it.

But during that push, there are also positive things that happened that I dearly cherish, two of which are the growth of my YouTube channel and the community I created with learners I’ve met along the way. I honestly don’t have that many friends, but by communicating with learners who are following my channel, I have felt so much connection, intimacy and support, especially in times when I needed it the most. And that is really precious, and I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart.

Birthday wishes from my amazing students ♥

For the last few months of 2020, I haven’t been creating a lot of videos for you guys. I’d have to give you a background story to ask for understanding.

The sunset view from the place I live now

Since around September, there have been a lot of changes in my environment. I moved to another city to my family’s house, and I’ve been living with my parents since then. I also dropped a few English-teaching jobs I used to have. Although it was great to have less financial liability and more free time, I felt very demotivated, lazy and kinda lost on what my next step should be and what I want. A part of me wanted to grow my YouTube channel more and focus on making more and more videos, but for some reason, making videos didn’t feel as fun anymore because I kept being reminded of the times I got overwhelmed while being on YouTube. As a result, I felt very stuck, and after going through a series of depression, I came up with the idea of starting something new that I can still enjoy and not feel too overwhelmed, and those were paid 1:1 lessons and a Discord study group. They have been going well so far, and I really like it.

In the first month, I kind of overestimated myself and took too many students for private classes, and it got to a point where I got physically drained. One time, I had a bad cold, a sore throat and a really bad cramp all at the same time, but I still had to do classes. You can imagine how hectic it was.

I did reduce the number of classes in the second month and I was taking care of myself better, so I thought now I’m ready to focus more on YouTube. But in that same month, I got into a car accident, which made me feel awful for the remaining weeks. Luckily no one got seriously hurt and I’m fine too, but it did take a while to mentally recover from the shock, because I was the one who caused the accident. The depression that comes after the accident is just really bad, and I don’t want any of you to experience that. Always remember to drive safe guys, and don’t be like me haha.

The depression that comes after the accident is just really bad. I hope you don’t experience that, and always remember to drive safe, guys!

That was also my very first day of signing a contract with my new office, which I was really excited about. But after the incident, I had to cancel it, because I was sure it wouldn’t feel good on my way there after what happened. So no more office for me, and that made me feel even worse and disappointed.

I guess those are my excuses for not having been able to focus on YouTube for another two months.

But now that a certain period of time has passed, I’m able to look upon it with more clarity and a sense of relief. I think maybe I needed that accident, because it did strike me very hard unlike anything else, and made me actually sit down and genuinely reflect on myself. I think I am unconsciously used to pushing myself to reach somewhere fast, not just while driving but in many other things. And I think maybe the accident was a message telling me there’s no need for rush. I agree that sometimes we have to act on things fast because too much hesitation can block us from building good habits and character. But there are also times when going fast or trying too hard isn’t your natural flow, and it’s not good for you.

It shouldn’t be too difficult, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out.

When you feel really sad, what you thought you wanted or what you thought was you, all fall away, and you’re left alone with your bare emotion. As a result, you become better at coming to terms with what it is you really want, not what you think you do. And that’s how I was. I learned that what I really want, but have been neglecting all along, is the human connection. One of the reasons I don’t have many friends is because I worry about getting hurt. What if these people make fun of me, bully, or just hate me for no good reason? I also think it has to do with my natural tendency to be introverted. In my late teens to mid 20s, I was young and exuberant, and I loved every chance of meeting new people and hanging out with friends. But I no longer do. I guess I don’t have the same youthfulness and energy now, and I’m slowly going back to my in-born personality. But whatever it might be that makes me less social, be it my fear or natural personality, I still want intimacy and connection, because after all I’m a human and humans are supposed to be social.

I hope that in the new year I can find a balanced compromise between the things I can’t change, and what I can do despite them, to have what I really want. Not just in building relationships with others, but in other areas too. I have a natural tendency to be lazy, and that’s another thing I’d like to work on. I’m hoping there’s not too much push this time, and more of flow and courage.😊

So yes that was my short but sincere story. I think there’s a certain joy that comes from being open about me, so thank you for making this far and reading this post. I also think it’s a good step for me to be more intimate with you guys reading this, because I know that many of you are not just learners, you’re also my good friends.

I’ll wrap it up here.

Thank you again, and Happy New Year! 💕

2 thoughts on “Happy 2021! (& reflecting back on 2020)

  1. Just wanted to say that as someone going through something completely different, but also totally the same thing this last year, I really appreciate your candor. As a 29 year old at a crossroad in life, it’s nice to hear that other people are going through something similar. I hope things get better for you (and me.) And I appreciate all the time you’ve given to help people. Of all the korean teachers on the internet, you’re definitely my favorite.

    I’m a little late for the gregorian new year, but perhaps not so late for 설날! 새해 복 많이 받으세요!

  2. Take your time, Miss Vicky! You are an amazing teacher and you deserve the world. We have to be lenient and comprehensive with ourselves from time to time in order to take care of our own mental health. The world isn’t ideal as we wish it would be, so let’s make sure to not blame ourselves for things that already happened and we couldn’t really control at the time. Just keep doing what your intuition tells you, and you’ll be fine. I’m sure about that.

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