2018 was a year of more hardships, more adjustments and a whole lot of change. It’s due to this ‘backlog’ that I only post my reflection of my 2018 now, rather than over 3 months ago. Through this year, I’ve truly learnt and understood the role I take as a ‘working-adult’ who is expected to contribute back to society in its own way. Let me explain.
2018 felt like a continuation of 2017. What I had hoped would feel ‘fresh’ or new, never came. Rather, it felt that for anything that I didn’t accomplish in 2017, it left me an I.O.U for 2018 to catch up on. This was truly evident in my job, as well as in my personal relationship with a guy. It was a continuous chasing self by the tail type of period for me; never did I seem to feel like I finished something and was able to move on from it. And never did I feel truly organised or on top of everything. I’m certain that that vibe is very clear from this non-existent blog that I’ve got going on (at least some things don’t change).
For now let’s look over the success of 2018 through the eyes of Kpop. Many won’t deny that 2018 was the year the Kpop truly went global. Before Kpop was represented by the viral song “Gangnam Style” or as of 2017, BTS. However, with the year filled with Kpop groups expanding to the Western markets, to multiple collabs between Korean and Western artists, any fellow Kpop fan would be proud. My personal favourites are BLACKPINK/Dua Lipa and SUJU/Leslie Grace (and I still jam to them today).
But with such attention came with its downfalls. Particularly, with the spotlight on Kpop more than ever, big controversies were not just Korea’s to criticise, but also the rest of the world’s now. With the news of Cube Entertainment dropping both Hyuna and E’Dawn due to their revealed relationship, left many opinions and comments floating across the international waters. This one example spoke volumes for the multiple changes the country needs to make in order to still seem ‘progressive’ with the rest of the globe, touching on gender equality, acceptance and support for mental health and finally promotion of building and discovering individual musical identity.
Despite the mess 2018 left me in, it wasn’t all too bad of course.
Firstly work. Work was…difficult to say the least. I got promoted twice within the span of three months, but juggled with my three roles for at least six. To say that I was drained would have been an understatement. I was loyal and hardworking, and despite my manager being as supportive as he could have been, never did it seem like my efforts equalled my reward fairly. I knew that I was overworked, but couldn’t see an escape route. When things started to look up, more issues occurred, from random colleagues being poached away by other competitors, to internal toxic “he-said-she-said” talk that circulated around the company. And don’t get me started on the local office drama; that is a story left for another day.
Also, you haven’t caught on yet, I’ve been referring to my workplace in past tense. This is indeed because…that was a part of my past. The last three months of this year has been hectic because I’ve left my old job…and is finally a teacher! Bring out the trumpets and streamers, your girl FINALLY DID IT! I’ve returned to my old high school as a temporary full-time high school teacher. I’m currently juggling three subjects: History, Chinese and Maths. To say that I’m coping…would just be to comfort myself really. Being a first year out (and yes, technically I am) and having to launch straight into full-time teaching is not easy, especially when you’re juggling three subjects, one of which you’re not fully trained in and is your biggest load too. Many would call me crazy…and you’d be right. I am crazy, and I spend each and every day learning that lesson the hard way.
But despite that, I still feel a thrill every day when I enter the classroom. Being faced with a class of 30 kids, watching and judging your every move is daunting I’ll admit, but knowing that at least a handful of students will leave with something useful is motivating. Knowing that what I had spent 4 years of my life learning is finally being put to use is a game I play daily with myself, and I think I’m starting to see my exp points gradually start to pile up. Hooray for tertiary education?!
Everything about the school, from the students to my colleagues (I possibly am in THE best staffroom, hand-down) to the actual principal, is simply amazing. This was the school environment that I have been dreaming to go to and experience. My fellow teachers have been so welcoming and supportive, and my mentor has just been a sweetpea when it comes to teaching and watching over me. My students, particularly my Year 7 & 8s have been treating me well, and I can feel the mentor-like role working on them effectively. The experience of a teacher will come to me eventually, but with being in a new environment, being around young people who teach me new things daily as much as I teach them, is just the ‘new’ start I had been looking for all year. Come at me kids!
Next, my friendships. Thankfully, not much has changed, and last year taught me to value them more than you’d have ever imagined. Towards the beginning of the year, I went with my friends (just the three of us) to Queensland which was a fun, relaxing (and sometimes stressful) and precious holiday that we all needed. Throughout the year my multiple night outings and random lunches made me learn and know that I don’t simply just call anyone a friend – they are more than just someone you know. Thank you to each and every one of my closest friends who I can proudly admit that I can rely on, and likewise support in whatever they wish.
Finally, my dear and loving family. Through this overview, it’s good and reassuring to know that some things don’t change, and I’m glad that my family is that – an unchanging love and support that I live to have. Through the stress and issues at work, it was inevitable that I would bring that back to the home. But they were always the ones to calm me down, to talk reason to me and finally make me understand that I simply can’t do everything nor fix everything. Some things just can’t be helped or saved. If I’m doing my best, then what else could be asked of me? And it is for that that I am both grateful, and just as equally sorry for being the pain I was during 2018. I promise to try harder this year, with the new start and opportunity I was given. Love you sis, and love you Mummy, as always.
And now I should take a moment to reflect properly. Hyunnie, during 2018 you were certainly not the best you could have been. You were stressed, overworked and ended up having that affect you in multiple areas. I know that you blame yourself for your failed relationship, but understanding that that relationship failed not just because of you, but because he wasn’t willing to act and change to keep you. I guess you knew that that was doomed from the start, but no one is going to blame you for trying anyway. At least you eventually learnt to let go, and no matter how much it hurt to admit that things wouldn’t work out, know that you did the right thing, and took the biggest step: letting go.
You’re now given a new opportunity to revamp yourself and do what you’ve been meaning to do for years. Make this year about you, and then worry about the rest for another day.
I hope that 2019 will bring forth new opportunities, challenges and possibilities for me to be a better me. Since the start of the year, I’ve been trying to watch as many dramas as I can squeeze in (it’s at times practically impossible when you’re planning lessons and whatnot) but at least I’m trying. I’m already quite satisfied with how 2019 has begun for me. My only desire is that this feeling doesn’t disappear. And so, goodbye 2018. You’ve treated me as well as you could have, but never do I blame you for my own mistakes.
Goodbye 2018, and thank you for your gracious welcome 2019.
April 26, 2019 at 11:26 am
Long time no chat–congrats on the new job! Welcome to the world of teaching. While I (only in my 4th year) cannot guarantee that it becomes any less daunting for students to judge your every move, it starts feeling a lot more rewarding once you can settle down and smell the roses. But I am so glad you got a supportive school environment–that really is key for growth.
I am truly sorry to hear about your old workplace/relationship, but in a weird way, isn’t the past there to remind us to appreciate what we have now? And you’re doing that just fantastically. I have full faith that you’re doing amazingly and are also going to be an amazing teacher in the future. If you ever want to chat about first year blues or anything I can help with, I’m always happy to lend a ear.
Always a pleasure to hear from you, Hyunnie! Have an awesome 2019 and–always remember–FIGHTING! 🙂 – Abdul
April 26, 2019 at 12:22 pm
Heya Abdul, long time no chat! Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words. Glad and relieved to hear that things will get better, although I’m sure that was coming some time or another.
I guess you’re right. I am probably the best one to confirm that learning from your past only allows you to appreciate your present even more.
Thank you again for the kind and heartwarming words. Definitely going to take up your offer for that lending ear. I feel like this year will lead to a lot of tears, stress and venting ahahha.
Hope you have an awesome 2019 yourself, and we’ll catch up in the future. Hwaiting!