The Road Trips In Life

SPEAKING OUT LOUD

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018
It’s funny, isn’t it? The road trips we take through life. The people we meet and the conversations we have along the way. It’s usually when we’re close to our destination that’s when we have panic attacks. I often see this displayed through my son.

The greatest lessons we’ll ever learn as parents are the essential ones taught by our children. At such a young age, he teaches us about road trips. The journey we undergo and take on throughout our lifetime. It took us 11.5 hours to arrive at our destination, with four short breaks. As a family, we laughed endlessly, danced uncontrollably, and practiced how to say, “hello” and “bye bye” with our hands. When the car was parked, Micah Isaiah (MIT), drove us away, with his little roaring laugh thrilled that he was upfront with Daddy, he turned (at least tried to) the…

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The Road Trips In Life

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018
It’s funny, isn’t it? The road trips we take through life. The people we meet and the conversations we have along the way. It’s usually when we’re close to our destination that’s when we have panic attacks. I often see this displayed through my son.

The greatest lessons we’ll ever learn as parents are the essential ones taught by our children. At such a young age, he teaches us about road trips. The journey we undergo and take on throughout our lifetime. It took us 11.5 hours to arrive at our destination, with four short breaks. As a family, we laughed endlessly, danced uncontrollably, and practiced how to say, “hello” and “bye bye” with our hands. When the car was parked, Micah Isaiah (MIT), drove us away, with his little roaring laugh thrilled that he was upfront with Daddy, he turned (at least tried to) the stirring wheel with  so much excitement. He made our hearts burst with joy because he was so happy.

Thirty minutes to our destination, MIT grows impatient. If he could talk, what would be his sentiments? “Are you guys serious? I’m still in my car seat! It’s been two hours already! It’s time for a break! Get me out of here Mama! I’m over this road trip!” My little boy would let me have it. I chuckled to myself, as I thought about his words to us, as he cried this painful screeching sound. It didn’t matter what I said. He wanted out now and fast. About five minutes to our destination he finally calms down. He just sighes a defeated breath; “Mama’s not taking me out of my car seat, and Dada’s still driving.”

~Arrival~

We arrive, and MIT bounces up full of life. “Yessss!” Eyes wide open. “Freedom!” As he takes in his new surroundings, I watch him, while taking in us, his parents. At that moment, it dawns on me; we are a reflection of this child. We act out differently, but our feelings are the same.

~Destination~

It’s always when you’re close to a destination; a blessing that remains unmarked, anxiety kicks in. We become disoriented with our emotions, uncertain in ourselves, and the ONE in charge of us. The wait to what’s next is never easy. It’s more daunting than anything. But when we trust in the ONE who knows and wills all things; we realize our fear is only about things that are imaginary, not fixed reality. When we consume ourselves in fear we lose sight of our present peace. We miss the importance of what we have in front of us. We disregard who we are and all we possess within ourselves. The wait does two things it could mold us by making us better people to ourselves and others, or it could make us turn away from our morality.

Road trips are fascinating and filled with adventure in the planning stage. The preparation for it is the nonexistent phase. But, when it’s time to ‘hit the road’ life has a way of coming at you fast. Perspective keeps you focused; while distractions causes unbelievable accidents. Embrace the road trips in life. Allow them to teach you the beauty of waiting, trusting, and believing in your future destination.

Signing Out,

W.S.Thompson

The Shifting of Seasons

Our lives are reflections of seasons, the experiences are ever-changing but forever imprinted in our hearts.

SPEAKING OUT LOUD

Our lives have a way of shifting with each season. The winter starts off beautifully. The snow descends from the sky, silently, and accumulates or dissolve without notice. Sometimes I miss this side of the winter season because, as time goes on, winter becomes bitterly cold and encumbering. But, when the seasons are changing, the harsh winds transform into cool air. What was once dead, perks back to life. The flowers blossom into beautiful vibrant colors, and the trees cascade wonderfully as a shade from the piercing sun. In the blink of an eye, winter suddenly transitions into spring, summer, fall, then back to winter again.

Seasons are a reflection of the shifting that happens in each transition. Around this time last year, I was living abroad in South Korea. I was in my second year teaching English as a foreign language teacher to elementary students. I was pregnant, and…

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The Shifting of Seasons

Our lives have a way of shifting with each season. The winter starts off beautifully. The snow descends from the sky, silently, and accumulates or dissolve without notice. Sometimes I miss this side of the winter season because, as time goes on, winter becomes bitterly cold and encumbering. But, when the seasons are changing, the harsh winds transform into cool air. What was once dead, perks back to life. The flowers blossom into beautiful vibrant colors, and the trees cascade wonderfully as a shade from the piercing sun. In the blink of an eye, winter suddenly transitions into spring, summer, fall, then back to winter again.

Seasons are a reflection of the shifting that happens in each transition. Around this time last year, I was living abroad in South Korea. I was in my second year teaching English as a foreign language teacher to elementary students. I was pregnant, and my heart was bursting with joy and fear at the same time. I never experienced pregnancy before. Who would help me navigate through this process of bringing life into this world? My husband and I were seven thousand miles from any close relative. I was happy, but fear gripped me at my core. It was an underlying deterrent, impeding on my joy; this fear was hardly spoken but greatly felt.

The shifting of a season happens unexpectedly. How I start one season does not dictate how I will end. At the beginning of my pregnancy, fear consumed me because I was more concerned about WHO would help me navigate, rather than HOW. I had to get to the point of shifting my perspective. I had to look at what I had and how I could utilize the resources before me to get me through this process of bringing life into the world.

The shifting of seasons brought forth growing pains I could never have anticipated. It gave me hard lessons of letting go of expectations. It taught me how to embrace my process of becoming; staying connected to my community, accepting the help of others while still educating myself through different outlets along the way. The most significant lesson of all was unmasking the lies I felt through fear with the truth. The truth was, and still is, I was blooming like a beautiful, vibrant wildflower. The growth process was never easy, but it was necessary. It was preparing me for the next season of my life, motherhood.

One year later, my family has journeyed the seven thousand miles back to the United States. My son is now four months old and the absolute joy of my heart. At times, I still feel that fear is making its way back to my realm of consciousness. However, when I think about how I made it through my pregnancy, my anxiety ceases. Our lives are reflections of seasons, the experiences are ever-changing but forever imprinted in our hearts. As I catch up with family and close friends, they often look at me with amazement. They say things like, “You’re so brave to have a child in a foreign country. I don’t know if I could do it.” They have no idea I didn’t have the strength to do it on my own either. Navigating through a transition is all about perspective, how an individual sees their season determines their outcome.

Signing Out,

W.S.Thompson

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

 

 

Seven Thousand Miles

It’s official, my family and I are back in the United States. We left Korea with so much joy and peace on March 2nd. Overall, the flight into the US was very smooth. My little three-month-old was well behaved; he didn’t cause much of a fuss at all. (Very proud mama!) We spent a weekend in Dallas, TX before heading back to the east coast. It wasn’t a planned detour, but we are so thankful for it. (Thank you mother nature.)

The weekend in Dallas was sunny with clear skies. Of course, we made an adventure out of it. We explored the city on Saturday; enjoyed American sub sandwiches and Mediterranean salad bowls. We took in the different faces, shapes, and shades of other people. Absorbed the noise all around us, while listening to the various English speaking conversations. I felt like I was trapped between two worlds. Physically I knew I was in America, but mentally I thought I was still in Korea. For instance, when I was asked a question, I found myself overthinking how I should respond. (Sometimes I would use Korean and catch myself mid-sentence, before making a fool of myself. Other times, it just took me too long to recall simple words.) It was bizarre.

When we finally arrived on the east coast seeing my family again was like a breath of fresh air, while at the same time overwhelming. What I did not realize until that moment was how my little unit, consisting of my husband and child, taught me how to appreciate and be love to my extended family members. Of course, my mom thought I was way too skinny. My dad shed tears of joy while holding his grandson for the first time. My brother couldn’t believe I was finally home. And my sister, she was just consumed with her new nephew.

Meanwhile, my little boy was very attentive to all these different faces. He was well aware it was no longer mama and papa, but grandpa, grandma, aunty, uncle, cousin-so and so. My little one scanned the room for his parents everytime a new face would come and take him. He would scream with his hands balled up into a fist until he heard our voices. At times he wouldn’t calm down until we took him away. All three Thompsons were undergoing an internal, yet public transition. We learned how to live with just the three of us. We are now learning how to allow our extended family in our world. As long as we stay grounded in God, all things will work out for our good.

Regarding reverse culture shock, there are customs I became acclimated to while living abroad. Such as smaller food portions, more vegetables than anything else on my plate, limited meat options, taking my shoes off before entering a home, asking before using anything, talking slowly, and being calculated with my word choices. I was used to the quietness. Don’t get me wrong, Korea is loud, but in America, everything is louder. It did not take long to hear the music from the car behind me or the blasting sound of the extremely, massive, TV.

My first visit to Walmart was quite the experience. I clung to my daddy’s arm in amazement; with wide eyes, I walked through aisles fascinated with all the choices. My dad was like, “What’s wrong with you? Would you get yourself together?” (LOL) I realized I’ve become more polite and absurdly friendly since arriving back on US soil. It doesn’t take me long to spark a conversation with complete strangers. Small talk was never my thing- but after having to break out of my shell, it has become innate in me to speak up and out for two years.

Overall, It’s good to be home. Surrounded by love and to be love to the community around us. I miss my friends in Korea, but the beauty of the world we live in today and the world wide web; we may be seven thousand miles away but still very much connected and a part of each other lives.

Signing Out,

W.S. Thompson

Monday, March 19th, 2018

The Search for ME

The 2 years of growing pains. Check it out: The Search of ME.

SPEAKING OUT LOUD

Two years ago, my husband, Micah and I ventured off on an unknown adventure to South Korea. We knew no one. All we had was each other. We left the United States with the endless tears of our worrisome parents and siblings. The excitement and encouragement from close friends and the skepticism of associates. We left our small state, Rhode Island, with a desire to follow our dreams and to see the world in a different light. As we get ready to transition back to the United States, I sit with my morning coffee, reflecting on all the lessons, experiences, and revelations I have discovered while living in a foreign land. I come to realize we are ALL pilgrims on a journey. The moment we make a decision, we set out on an unknown path, hoping and praying the result will be rewarding. Sometimes the reward is far greater than…

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The Search for ME

Two years ago, my husband, Micah and I ventured off on an unknown adventure to South Korea. We knew no one. All we had was each other. We left the United States with the endless tears of our worrisome parents and siblings. The excitement and encouragement from close friends and the skepticism of associates. We left our small state, Rhode Island, with a desire to follow our dreams and to see the world in a different light. As we get ready to transition back to the United States, I sit with my morning coffee, reflecting on all the lessons, experiences, and revelations I have discovered while living in a foreign land. I come to realize we are ALL pilgrims on a journey. The moment we make a decision, we set out on an unknown path, hoping and praying the result will be rewarding. Sometimes the reward is far greater than we could have ever imagined. And there are other times when the end result is deafening. But as I come to the end of this journey, I wonder if it’s really the end result that matters the most or is it the small intricate details of all the experiences that helped uncover the stages in life and the beautiful treasures residing deep inside of me.

Adventure of A Lifetime

In 2016 when the decision was made to live and work in the Land of the Morning Calm, I viewed it as an adventure of a lifetime. I was curious and excited to be doing something new, out of the box, not mundane or ordinary. Living abroad used to be a dream and my dream was finally being fulfilled. It was no longer something I imagined. It was my reality. I was blown away at my life. Many times I thought I was in a deep coma and at any moment I would be jolted out of my unconscious state. When I first moved to Korea, I had a mixture of emotions. There were times when I thought I didn’t deserve to be here. I felt so small living in a big world with nothing familiar to call home, except my husband. I struggled with the oceans between my closest friends and I. At the beginning of our time here, there was no one for me to call on at any given moment to just hang out. As much as I love my husband, I desperately missed my girlfriends immensely. It took some time for me to step out of my shell and meet new people. But before I could even introduce myself to others, I had to be reintroduced to myself.

I never was in a position where I knew no one. I come from a small state and city; everyone knew everybody. It was here in Korea; I had to ask myself the questions no one really asked me before. ( Such as, who am I? What do I do for fun? Why do I like doing those things? What is Rhode Island like? Why did I move to Korea?) In the states, my friends already knew who I was, what I liked to do, and why I did those things. Rhode Island was nothing exciting for us because we lived there most of our lives. Moving to Korea, was bold and completely left field; but considered courageous. Among other foreigners in Korea, there was a deeper reasoning for moving halfway across the world. It wasn’t about working with international students and traveling. Truth be told anyone could have those skill sets in their home country.

Why leave familiarity?

So, why? — Why Did I move 7,000 miles away from comfort, familiarity, family, and friends? I had to force myself to sit in the truth of my reasoning for being out here instead of there, in the life I already knew. In 2016, I did not realize I was searching. I was desperately in pursuit of discovering me. I knew I had a story worth telling but was taught from a young age to suppress it. I knew I had a voice worth hearing but instead of speaking up, I mumbled. I did not think my words had value. I knew deep down inside I was enough, but I somehow convinced myself otherwise. Moving to Korea was a decision I needed to make to fully uncover my true identity.

The Freedom of Choice

With each new day, I had choices to make. I had to let go of my past. A past I recognized but never dealt with. Each new experience helped me unravel the lies that I was sold over the years. The great adventure of a lifetime I thought I was embarking on when I decided to move to Korea, was me. I had to climb up the steep mountains to peer over the beautiful landscapes I was overlooking. I had to dare myself to raise my voice in triumph, instead of cowering in defeat. I had to accept my process instead of running away from it. It was hard to stand outside of my box and see the state of my life and accept change as a diagnosis. Thinking differently and changing my narrative was a decision I had to make on my own. I could proudly say I recognize and understand where I came from, I know where I am, and I’m prepared to walk into where I’m going.

The Process of Becoming

Many may say, “Did you really have to move halfway across the world to discover these things?” Not necessarily, however, to get to a place where discovery, purpose, and revelation resides within; one must step out of what’s familiar and step into what’s not to find who they are in their process of becoming.

I’ll remember this venture because of my learned experiences. I’ll cherish this time away because of the endless people that left a lasting impression on me. Life has a way of rotating in cycles; past lessons that were not learned rise up in new seasons. Each shift brings a new level of challenge and growth. These past two years have been my growing pains.

As my time in Korea slowly comes to an end, my process of becoming continues and exposes itself to each new day. There is a famous quote from Katharine Hepburn, “It’s not what you start in life, it’s what you finish.” Life was given to me as a gift, the freedom of choice was never silenced but always mine, how I go about exercising and applying my decisions and voice determines my journey. I’m determined to live a life that welcomes discovery, and change. Because at the end of it all, it’s those beautiful treasures that transcend growth in me, my community, and the world at large.