Fighting!

by Sheryll on May 23, 2013

I’ve been in a bit of a slump.

Nothing bad has happened. Nothing great has happened. Nothing has really happened at all. I’m not happy. I’m not sad. I’m just merely existing. And I don’t like it one bit. I’ve found that I’d rather be emotional rather than not feeling anything at all.

It’s been 2 weeks since I posted my last blog. I try to write at least once a week, but I just….I just haven’t been motivated. To be honest, my life is not really that exciting. Going into my second year, things that I once thought were weird or difficult are normal and easy. I really and truly feel like I “live” in Korea. I bought an oven. I have clothes and furniture and nice baking utensils. I have a routine. All of this means I’m comfortable. Which means I’m not really motivated to do anything. Which means I feel like a giant blob just floating around. Basically, this “meh” feeling has been happening for weeks now. My days go a bit something like this:

wake up
shower
make breakfast
eat while watching Golden Girls/doing my makeup
realize I’m going to be late if I don’t leave my house in 3 minutes
rush out of the door
walk to school
drink a coffee
teach 4 classes
have lunch
click around the internet
come home and eat
workout
click around the internet
go to sleep.

I’m not doing anything. And coming from someone with mild depression, this is a big warning sign. I get into these slumps where I’m just going through the motions, and that equals a disaster for me.

So, I started taking MMA classes last week, in an effort to lose these last stubborn 1o lbs and change up my routine. Not going to lie, it’s been tough. Johnny’s also taking classes, but he’s actually a fighter, so he knows what the hell to do. And yes, I know it’s a class, and I’m there to learn, but everyone in the classes seems so advanced and I can barely do a front roll. And that brings me to my mini breakdown a few nights ago.

After stretching and doing a bit of cardio, we had to do front rolls, or somersaults. Ever since I was little, I’ve been terrified of doing somersaults. It’s a completely irrational fear and I don’t know why I’m still afraid. I just always felt like I was going to break my neck or bust my head open or something.  The teacher, though, being the kind soul that he is, helped me do some a few days earlier, and I was super proud of myself.  But when it came time to do it  by myself, in front of a bunch of people who could probably roll for miles, I clammed up. I couldn’t do it. I tried to. And I failed. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes…so I ran to the bathroom, choking back tears. I finally got into the bathroom and let out the most loud and ugly sob. Why was I so upset about not being able to do a front roll?! That’s what class is for…to learn! But it was also a sort of emotional release of all the pent up “blah” from the past few weeks. As I stood near the sink crying my eyes out, a woman walked in. Surprised, she looked at me, made the gesture for “don’t cry”, and said in the softest, kindest voice, “Fighting!”

For those that may not know, “Fighting” in Korea means good luck, cheer up, you can do it…basically it’s a phrase used for encouragement.

Something about that word…Fighting, touched me. It’s so simple. It used for encouragement here, but to me it meant so much more. I AM a fighter. I can fight this! I pulled myself together, and marched back into MMA class and finished it like a champ. I’ve pulled myself out of depression once, and I’m not going to let it happen to me again.

I love lists (and really, who doesn’t love lists?!). So, I made a list of all the things I can do to make myself feel better, to get out and do things, to break free from my comfort zone. I thought I’d share a few with you:

1. Write a new blog post at least twice a week. I love blogging. I really do. Writing is therapy for me. I need to start writing everyday, even if I don’t hit the publish button.

2. Stay in touch with family and friends back in the States. I’m so bad at calling my family (HI MOM!). I talk to my younger sister almost everyday on Kakao, but I need to actually call or Skype people. Just because I live overseas doesn’t mean I should neglect my friendships back home. I gotta work on it!

3. Take at least one picture a day, with my actual camera, not my phone. I love photography. I usually keep my camera on me at all times, but lately it’s just been sitting on my desk, collecting dust. Time is flying by, and pretty soon I’ll be leaving Korea. I want to document as much of my life as possible.

4. Try one new recipe a week. I really enjoy cooking. And now that I have an oven, my options for cooking have increased significantly. I want to experiment with baking my own breads, making different types of cookies and cakes, and stop being afraid to cook meat other than chicken.

5. Work out 5 days a week. I want to start working out not only to lose weight, but because it’s just something I should do to take care of myself. Without fail, working out always makes me feel better. I hate the process of going, but once I’m here, I feel 100x better.

There’s a few more in there, but that’s the basic jist.

I can get through this. I know I can.

Fighting!

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Lissette May 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm

I keep up with your blog and love all the wonderful posts. I hope to start doing the same when I continue into my second year here in Seoul. Honestly, it sounds a lot like me. Back in the states, I came from a mundane lifestyle and I also suffered from depression. Coming here, now 9 months in, I felt alive again. Things to do on the weekends and meeting new people, but there are moments where I get very emotional from the stress, missing my family, or little things and I start to cry for which seems like no reason. I go out and take lots of photos of new places, kpop keeps me going lol, and I hope to sign up for a gym to keep up with my energy. Lists are the best and I also keep notes of things to do and places to go. You can do it! FIGHTING! =)

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Sheryll May 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Hi Lissette! Thank you so much for your comment. Just know that you aren’t alone! This weekend, I finally went out and did something new and it really worked wonders for my mood. I just hope that the approaching disgusting summer weather doesn’t ruin everything lol!

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Amy CT May 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Aw, Sheryll! I’m so glad you wrote this.

I am a long-time follower of this blog – I’m pretty sure I’ve been reading it since the beginning, and commenting under different guises as I tried to figure out my own blog and find one that worked for me – and the reason I read so avidly is because everything you write about rings so true for me, as well.

This post is no exception.

The line “I’m not doing anything. And coming from someone with mild depression, this is a big warning sign. I get into these slumps where I’m just going through the motions, and that equals a disaster for me.” is possibly the best way of explaining how my depression manifests itself.

I recently made the decision to sit up and do something about it, because I was realising that depression was ruining my future, and my relationship. And I’m so glad I did. Feeling better, even if it’s just a bit better and even if it’s just because I’m fighting, is a wonderful thing.

I wish you all the luck in the world with your search. You’re an amazing person and you deserve to feel that great, too.

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Sheryll May 28, 2013 at 8:23 am

Hi Amy!

Thank you so much for your kind and sweet message. It made me tear up. Messages like this are what keep me writing. Thank you again.

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Michelle November 29, 2013 at 12:31 am

hi there, happened to chance upon your blog when i was searching for korean brand facial pdts =) i myself is also a newly made expat (living in hcm) & i totally understand how you feel. this post is dated sometime back. i do hope you’re feeling much better now. i guess we all always have to remind ourselves that we’re never alone. you can reach out to your bf, frens back in states or even your readers for some complaining or encouragement sessions. if any case, fighting!

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jane May 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Hi Sheryll,

It’s your homegirl and big sis ?? Jane. We support you and encourage you to stay strong. The season, weather, hormonal, and body rhythmic changes affect me all the time. In a way, your sharing about what you’re going through is not only normal, but makes your blog readers feel more comfortable and encouraged themselves. We are NOT alone . You are NOT alone. We are all in this journey of life (the highs, lows, and especially the nothings) together.

Blessings, Jane

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Sheryll May 28, 2013 at 8:24 am

Hi Jane!!!!!!!! Thank you so much. This message really hit home. It’s so great to know that we are not alone in this. And yea, I definitely think whenever the season changes here my emotions go haywire. I remember I was completely miserable last rainy season. Luckily, I have some vacations in the works so I have something to look forward to!

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Brent Sheffield May 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Sheryll, after having a brief scare of cancer and surgery in the hospital, I just want to encourage you to keep pressing on. You have a wonderful attitude towards life and routines eventually way us all down given time. You may think you are drifting from where you want to be, but to those of us with an outside perspective, we have a better view of just how close you are. Keep to your commitments and the changes you want to make. Just remember, even when you fail, we all see something special in what you would consider your most mundane existence.

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Sheryll May 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Hi Brent! Thank you so much for such a kind comment. Totally made my day. I hope you are doing well!

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Jasetyn May 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm

You can totally kick ass at life. Hell, you’re already there. Keep fighting mama!

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Sheryll May 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Thank you so much Jasetyn!

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Victoria Kim May 23, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Of course you can! You can get through anything.
I mean, you’re in a foreign country and you’re making new friends and memories every day!
It must have took you a lot of guts to decide to go to a country away from your home,
but look at you now! Youve nailed it! You have students who love you, friends who miss you, people who like you.

I’m an average korean teenager who came to an American boarding school in Beijing this Februrary, and it’s been really hard for me, coming to a place where I don’t understand what all of the people are saying, where I’m not used to the food. But I think this is an amazing opportunity to get to learn more about the world than I could ever have done if I had stayed in Korea for my whole life. My grades have been fabulous, I’ve met awesome people, and i’ve visited so many amazing places. I’m going home for the summer in just 1 more month, and I’m really looking forward to it!

Both of us have amazing chances that not many people will get.
I know how you must feel, how you miss your family and friends, how you miss home.
But I also know that we can both do it, and make them proud!
Fighting, Sheryll! You can do anything!

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Sheryll May 28, 2013 at 8:30 am

Hi Victoria!

Your message really made me cry. You are an incredible girl. So brave! I couldn’t imagine leaving my family when I was your age. When will you be back? Where have you been? I want to hear all about it!

PS, do you know of any really nice night creams? I’m in the market for a new one!

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Rubella May 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Spontaneity is the best way to bring yourself out of your slump! You’re amazing, all of us that read your blog know it. Take a different route to school, make conversation with a total stranger, visit a place in your neighborhood you’ve never been to before. I’m trying to shake up my mundane life now, just to keep it exciting. Saving and working are wearing me down, but doing something spontaneous every now and then is the jolt I need to realize there is so much life happening all around me all I have to do is acknowledge it make myself apart of the game!
Cheers!

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Sheryll May 28, 2013 at 8:32 am

Hi Rubella! I took your advice this weekend and went into Seoul and went to have a picnic along the Han River. My boyfriend and I rented a couple bike and rode along the river. It’s something we’ve both never done before and it made me feel SO much better. Shaking things up really does help. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

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Rubella May 30, 2013 at 1:18 am

So happy to hear! Keep it up ;)

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Christine May 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Way to be brave and try out the class anyway! And props to you for being proactive and not letting yourself settle into a slump/routine.

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Christine May 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Thank you so much for posting this, as I was reading I was nodding my head. I totally understand how you feel, I always say I want to live and not just exist. Being back in the states after living abroad, I am starting to have those same “back to the grind” feelings I had before I left. I am trying to break up my routine a little- take a different path home, try new recipes, read more about things I normally wouldn’t of to expand my mind a bit (could be dangerous lol). Hey I even bought a pink bag and tried some make-up (thanks to your great post). So, yes…keep fighting! Have an amazing day :o)

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Sheryll May 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Hi Christine, thank you so much for your comment. I really like the idea about reading things you normally wouldn’t. I’m going to get on goodreads and find some new books! Thanks!

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Naomi May 24, 2013 at 3:38 am

It’s amazing how much of a difference a few encouraging words from a stranger can make! I think we all suffer from these mini-freak outs when living abroad but I think you’re going the right way about it by coming up with an action plan. Keep on fighting Sheryll!

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Sheryll May 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Thank you Naomi!

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Vivian May 24, 2013 at 4:55 am

I love lists, I’m going to write my own in a second, because I’m in a bit of a slump at the moment too. Good luck, Sheryll! I hope things start looking up asap :)

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Sheryll May 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Lists are everything! I hope you start feeling better soon as well :)

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Erika May 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I think it’s awesome that you are noticing the warning signs and doing something about it… something to spice up your life and situation. It’s not easy staying in one place and having it become… well, normal… for people with wanderlust. So I think pushing yourself to work on other projects and things will definitely help! :)

And, of course, I would enjoy more blog posts! :) So I think that is a great plan, haha!

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Sheryll May 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Definitely. My boyfriend and I debated briefly on staying in Korea for an extra year, but in the end we both decided no. It’s time to move on. My itchy feet are killing me!

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kezia May 25, 2013 at 11:08 am

Keep fighting Sheryll

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Sheryll May 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Thank you Kezia!

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tjack May 25, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Your funk may also have to do with the season change. I heard it can have that affect on people. It is great that you are on top of it though. How about go to the gym 3 times a week and do something athletic 5 times a week (including gym time)? That can give you a little more leeway.

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Sheryll May 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I definitely think it has something to do with the seasons changing. I remember around this time last year I felt the same way. I also like your idea about the gym. I think 3 days a week is a bit more doable, as I have so many other things I want to do too. There aren’t enough hours in the day!

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mari May 28, 2013 at 8:04 am

i recently came across your blog and i love it. your are so honest and have a great voice. i will be moving to korea soon and your blog has made the move seem less daunting. thanks and keep fighting! =)

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Laura May 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Hey, I just wanna say I really enjoy your blog. I’ve been in Korea for 2 years and definitely understand what it’s like when you feel like you’re in a slump. I don’t think the weather helps much! The winters here are too cold for me & all I want to do is just curl up and hibernate. And then the summer is just soooo humid. It’s gross. I think exercise helps a lot and having goals for stuff in the future, like vacations or if you’re trying to save money, think about what you want to when you’ve saved enough (that’s how I cope, anyways!) Also, I have to say, I LOVE all your blog posts about makeup, I am a massive makeup addict, and I love trying out Korean makeup :)

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Deniece May 29, 2013 at 2:51 am

Hi, I recently came across your post about korean cosmetics and have been a silent reader since then. Till I read this post and I just wanna say: keep fighting!! =)

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Linn June 7, 2013 at 5:53 am

Oh Sheryll, if you could just read Swedish (although I really don’t recommend bother to learn Swedish unless your are planning on marrying a Swedish guy (and clearly not) and/or moving to Sweden since basically about 10 million people know Swedish so you can’t call it a very useful language), anywho, than you would know that I went through EXACTLY the same thing a few years ago when my job made me feel like I really didn’t care about anything. And, usually, I am a person caring about a lot of things. I went through days just functioning, not living. Months passed and I forgot what it felt like to smile and to laugh with my heart and not just my lips. And I’d rather die before having that kind of existence again. So keep FIGHTING because you are one living proof that you can do it!! Moving to a whole new country, quitting your job and leaving your friends and family to explore yourself and opportunities in life, that is an amazing achievement! AND being able to inspire so many people; I talk about your blog a lot with friends and not only to mention any of your stellar make up reviews but for your ability to take on life head on!! I can’t thank you enough for adding the perfect amount of Korean and FIGHTING spirit to my life!

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Ceri June 9, 2013 at 3:17 am

I know you can do this, girl. As soon as you mentioned running to the toilets and crying, all those memories of when I was suffering from depression came flooding back too. I remember that feeling of being in a slump all too well and I’m so proud of you for refusing to let it get you again. ?

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