November: I Kinda Really Hate You

I hate November. Those who know me best know this isn’t much of a secret. Ever since my dog died six years ago this month, I’ve dreaded these 30 particular days of the year.

Truthfully, I can’t remember experiencing a “good” November since 2006 attacked. I always anticipate strife and struggle and regret and remorse for this month. And it’s basically what I get every year.

I’m desperate to change my mindset this November. 

No November

November: The Journal Mission

Over the last month of “re-relocating” to California, I’ve not journaled too often. Normally I journal at least 3 or 4 times a week, and yet over the last month I’ve only journaled 3 or 4 times altogether. Five days into this horrid month, I’ve started reversing that trend.

In these early days of November, I’ve been journaling every morning and evening. Usually as my first task waking up and my last task before falling asleep. I’m writing more honestly and bluntly than ever before, and I’m hopeful of a better November than I’ve seen in over half a decade.

Writing is a vehicle of discovery for me. Others have confirmed this for me, and I certainly realize it myself. I’ve often journaled out some situation on paper, and life will make much more sense. Hope is suddenly easier realized.

I’m certainly searching for answers right now.

November: The Summer Search

Even though I just re-returned to California, I’m considering many plans for my life beyond this year. I’m not completely where I need to be with work/finances, but with my present situation slowly working itself out, I can’t help looking ahead, striving to find where God would have me this summer and beyond.

Because I tutor for a living, my summers are always a mystery. Two summers ago I adventured to Milwaukee to work for this awesome youth missions organization called YouthWorks.

Then last summer, I journeyed to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to work at a boys camp.

I’ve wept my soul dry at both camps, and I’ve caught beautiful glimpses into eternity at each one too. Grown enormously as a Christian and a person.

I’m currently 25, will be 26 next summer, and I feel like God has one more adventurous summer in store before He steers my life in a definite direction. For this upcoming summer of 2013, I’ve considered returning either to YouthWorks or this North Carolina boys’ camp, but I just don’t know yet. I could also pursue an entirely different camp-y atmosphere.

I should journal more about this dilemma.

November: The Future Search

I’ve also been pondered my future beyond the summer. I have a good friend currently teaching English overseas, and I’ve started wondering whether my wandering self would enjoy such an adventure. I believe I would.

I’ve basically lived in every corner of this country, so why not expand my horizons to the rest of this planet for a year or two?

Without achieving an expensive TEFL certification, my best option for teaching abroad looks to be in — are you ready??South Korea. Last Saturday was “Korea Day,” and I basically researched countless maps and FAQs and YouTube videos. It’s a legitimate option for next fall, but one I need to start preparing for soon if I’m indeed serious about it.

In many ways, I feel like ditching America for a year could be too convenient an excuse for adventure, masquerading as escape. I just returned to southern California last month, and I’m already fantasizing about leaving within the year?

Before returning here, I felt the distinct call to practice staying put for a bit. To plug in. Invest.

I want to be where God wants me to be. Desire that more than anything. If I’ve learned anything over the last quarter-century, it’s that God knows what He’s doing with my life far better than I do. He’s the one writing the story of my life; not me.

Whether that story includes a year teaching English in totally random Korea remains to be seen.

November: The Newsletter

Within the next couple weeks, I intend to start a newsletter for this blog, and with it a big announcement. Like, huge. Sign up for my newsletter when it goes live, and you’ll get the DL for all the goings-on of my life.

Winds are blowing. Trees are moving. Life is changing.

I have no idea where this breeze will carry me in a year’s time, but that’s the thrill of entrusting God with the story of my life. While I’m still young and single and searching for purpose and belonging, the entire world may very well be my oyster.

Hopefully November won’t be so bad this year.

Ever teach abroad? Know somebody who has? Where at? Ever visit Korea? Tell me a story!

  • MLYaksh

    For me, October is turning out to be my annual sucky month. Seems like that’s my life always gets rough, ever since I was like 12. I’m out of it now, praise God- maybe next year it can be redeemed.

    As for the South Korea question, I do know a few people who have been there. My girlfriend has been there the past two summers with Nehemiah teams to teach English and I have some college friends who have ended up there teaching English for a few years. The culture is unique and would DEFINITELY put you outside of your comfort zone (basically introvert hell from I’ve been told). But I think it could also be an incredible experience for you. Maybe that could be your summer option?

    But who knows what God has for you. Your breeze analogy reminded of something God told me. I was in Chattanooga last year praying over whether or not to move there. I saw a dandelion seed blow by and I started following it. It kept landing and then flying away again. God told me that He wanted me to be that seed- flying wherever the wind took it until it could finally settle in and grow. Go wherever God calls you- but know that you will land eventually. Maybe to grow, maybe not. But only God will direct you on that.

    Praying for you during this month, man! God can redeem anything- even months. 🙂

    • TMZ

      Yeah, from the limited research I’ve done, South Korea would majorly place me outside my comfort zone. On one level this is horrifying, and yet my life constantly seems to involve stepping further and further out. Following that trend, this dramatic move would make perfect sense. Thanks for sharing your Korea stories! And many thanks for your November prayers.

  • Hey
    I’m teaching abroad, although not in Korea.

    • TMZ

      Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! I really appreciate it. Will definitely check out your Sweden blog! This whole teach abroad idea is fairly new, so I’m still exploring my options. Definitely have no idea what I’d return home to America to if I did go through with this idea next year. But appreciate the insight! All best. tmz

  • I’m probably going to be the first person to sign up for your newsletter, haha. I am so excited!! Anyways just wanted to say I love you and your blog. 10 days from now is definitely going to be a rough day but you’ll get through it!

    • TMZ

      I most definitely look forward to seeing your email on my signup list! We’ll all get through this month somehow.

  • My roommate in Portland taught English in Korea for two years, let me know if you want me to get you connected with him.

    • TMZ

      Oh really? Yeah, will let you know if I ever pursue this and need a firsthand testimony. Thanks man!

  • Rebecka

    I know absolutely nothing about Korea but I’ll be praying for you and your future! I hope that this November will be a great one and that every one after will be ever better than the last!

    • TMZ

      Thanks Rebecka! Would truly treasure all the prayers for wisdom and direction I can get.

  • Jason Jefferson

    An announcement, eh? Excited!

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