Quick update on my life: ready go!
The first month of the year brought a couple firsts for me. The biggest one being that my team is now in First Place!!! Yeeeee. We’re currently streaking 10 straight wins and can’t wait to see where we go from here! With 8 games packed into this month and the snowy winter weather in full force here, all the other firsts for me really just included eating new things, watching new shows, and setting new vball stats…but no complaints because time flies when you’re busy 😉
I rang in the New Year in quite the unconventional, yet still rebellious way. On New Years Eve, all the players were in our dorm rooms early for our curfew but then managed to have a sneak meeting together before midnight. We had some cake and watched Korea’s version of Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve equipped with tons of K-pop performances and the ringing of a giant bell at one of the temples in Seoul. I was asked about our celebrations of NYE back home, and never felt more ridiculous trying to explain that we have a giant sparkly ball slowly drop on a pole as our countdown gesture, and that the night was more about partying hard, rather than their evening gathering with family. By far the funniest part was when it was time to countdown we had to do it in whispers and silent hand gestures because downstairs our coach was expecting us all to be asleep. Quite the RAGER, but hey what can you do when you have full days of practices both NYE and New Year’s Day…(yes, we all live together, yes, the walls are thin, and yes, we do have a curfew).
I have never been a huge fan of the commotion of New Years Eve anyway, however there is always something special about the fresh start of a new year. And hate on them all you want, making those new cliche resolutions really can be energizing.
The first part of January wasn’t the easiest. With my mom just having left leaving me with a tease of home and knowing that the end of season was getting closer, but not close enough to really see the light at the end of the tunnel left me in a bit of a funk. Before we started the next round 4 of games, my coach pulled me (and my translator) aside one day and told me if I “really go for it” this round, it’ll be recognized. Just that little conversation from him made a difference, and I felt more responsible to make the gains and take those resolutions more seriously. Not that I havn’t been “going for it” the first 5 months here, but this past month I finally feel like the strides I was making became visible. And welp, I was named the league MVP for Round 4, and got some help with getting my bro bro over here for a visit in a few weeks!!
I’ve mentioned before that here they have quite an obsession with English words, but rarely know the meaning of them, yet you can still see English writing everywhere on clothing, restaurants, packaging, etc. I’ve noticed that there are certain English phrases here that stick with them and they use, but are often in different context. One thing that took me a while to get used to was that after I do something well, it was common to hear “nice try” which is actually something you’d hear more often after making a mistake at home instead of doing something right. Another term I’ve become familiar with hearing is “cheer up” I have heard this so many times, especially from fans and at first I was confused that I was giving off a real sad vibe, but it turns out they just mean it as a “hey, be happy, it’s all good” kind of gesture. Just the other day a teammate asked me what “show me the money” meant and I was dumbfounded to find an answer for her…turns out there is a Korea tv show rap competition that is called Show Me the Money…hilarious but at least a better title than the female version of the tv show called “Unpretty Rapstar.”
The other day my libero and captain who I adore was talking to me sans trans about how the team and myself have been improving since the start of the season. She repeatedly used the phrase “level up” and I loved it. The conversation from her went something like this..”You round 1 to now..you level up. Next playoffs, level up again. More more always.” We have 8 regular season games left, then playoffs kickoff the second week in March. So with that being said, it’s time to LEVEL UP again and keep this rhythm going!
Not a whole lot to report this month, other than day dreaming of a championship win then my return to America for what will be the most deserved epic spring/summer ever. Despite all the cruddy things happening in the U.S. in the news recently, I still have never loved America more…peeps at home I ask you to please don’t take that beautiful land of freedom for granted.
With under 2 months left I can say I’m officially in the homestretch, approaching the final lap, rounding 3rd and heading for HOME. And it feels AMAZING.
stay beautiful my friends 🙂