Goodbye Chicken. Hello, Dog!

 

[To be precise the Lunar New Year isn’t until mid-February]

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Christmas sunset on Bali.

Right before or right after New Years Eve, I have a habit of looking up the Chinese horoscope for the coming year. Officially, I go around saying that I do not believe in BS like horoscopes, but the inside the superstitious me is dying to double check what is up on the fortune spectrum. I do not understand all the water To be reasonable though, I have observed, in my sneaky horoscope reading guilty pleasure, the tendencies of self-fulfilling prophecies. Or more like attitude building. 2017 was supposed to be unstable and mixed bag for Rabbits. So I welcomed the year full of anxiety and fear of what was in stock in the future.

The year did turn out to be a roller coaster ride. After taking a year ‘off’ to treat my eating disorder and spend some well-deserved time with my family, I came back to Korea, without a job or a very clear idea what to do with myself. Slowly things started to fall into place, I ended up getting some amazing opportunities, which turned out to be both good and bad, that have been real building blocks. Unlike the horoscope, I wouldn’t call my 2017 bad. To use a crossfit metaphor, it was a year of building core strength. On paper, I may have not PR-ed but I grew both in experience and character. Here are some highlights, that I think contributed to who and what I have become.

 

  • The art of saying ‘no’. Due to my very low self-esteem and lack of confidence, I always struggled to refuse pretty much anything. Extra work from my bosses? ‘Yes, of course I’ll do it.’ Meeting someone at a most inconvenient time? ‘Sure, gimme a sec’. Doing favours that I can’t do at the moment? ‘Of course, I’ll do it for you’. However, this year, I learned to put down my foot. Because at the end of the day, in the project called ‘Me’, my needs and wants come first. Sure, I can and will willingly help and do extra work for people, but only when what concerns me is fulfilled first. The obvious thing, that took me 30 years to discover, is that there is no point in helping people if I am not first taking care of myself. And, alas, this year I refused to have extra work dumped on me by a senior (who proved to be a definition of ‘bad boss’), to get involved in a toxic relationship, to be used as poster girl for a project I do not support. I still have a long way to go in the art of saying ‘no’. But I think I am on the right road.

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Getting things done on my terms.

  • Co-living. For the first time since the one year I spent living in a dorm in 2009, I have lived together with 4 roommates (5 if your count the dog). if you have seen ‘Friends’, than you know that there were times we loved each other and times we wanted to punch each other. We got drunk together, ate together, worried about ourselves. Although I may have not told them, but I was touched by how my roommates cared about my numerous slips into the ‘darkness’ and how they tried to reach out to me. In the end we will be parting ways in a few months (once I gather enough money to get a place of my own). We are not a match made in heaven, mainly due to lifestyle differences. But I have gained a family and friends that I will do my best to cherish for years to come.

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Joys of roommates!

  • Startups. This year started with me being a ‘nobody’ on the Seoul startup scene, showing up on various events and trying feebly to sell myself as a freelancers by raining my business cards. By sheer luck (but also my connections made working as a bartender) I ended up running, pretty much single-handedly, a startup accelerator program. A lot can be said about the company that employed me, but they sure did give me an amazing opportunity to prove myself. And now with a network and a reputation, I can have strong foundation in the community. This will really be helpful in the Startup Weekend project that some friends and I are preparing for 2018.

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Seeing two of ‘my’ startups end up in top4 (out of 50)
sure did give me a nice, fuzzy feeling

So what’s in store for 2018? The horoscope says that finally Rabbits will have some luck, although it will require putting in some hard work. When is it never like that though?

A lot of things regarding my future will resolve within the next few weeks, but I will be staying, fo now, with Korean startup scene, for good and bad. Resolutions? Rather than setting up concrete things, I rather have some areas I have to keep in mind.

  • Health. Crossfit has been my jam for the last year and a half and it’s here to stay. I want to now focus more on eating healthy and keeping a healthy life balance. It’s a hard feat to accomplish in Korea, but that’s when the previously mentioned ability to say ‘no’ will come in handy.
  • 1% better person everyday. Being the crowd pleaser that I am, I always want to achieve 150%. Which means that when I cannot do that (which is more often than not), I get frustrated, upset, angry. This year I will try to be a better version of myself by 1% everyday. 1% better manager, 1% stronger crossfitter, 1% kinder to the world, 1% more loving to my close ones.

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Step by step, pull by pull, I am getting better every day.

For this blog, I plan a bit of a shit in the subject matter. I will keep on writing bar and venue reviews and bartender trend overviews. But I also would like to share my personal insight into the challenges and flows of managing startups and communities.

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For now, let’s be prepared for the unknown!  

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