Book Launch & Spoken Word Performance


Last night was so unreal.

I accomplished yet another dream. I did something I would have never imagined I would do in a million years.

In the last month or so, I have not been feeling like myself. I was not in the greatest of moods and I feel limited at work. The novelty of living in a new country was gone. I was bored, and had fallen back into my comfort zone. I felt that I no longer had anything to really look forward to here in Korea anymore, besides the final week of February when my family comes to visit. I am more excited than anything for 2017, my travels with the family and returning home. There is so much to look forward to and I had many plans in mind, which allow me to continue to step outside of my comfort zone and grow as a person while doing what I love and accomplishing more dreams.

My thoughts manifested my deepest desires to do something different, challenging and memorable to end off 2016 right. Several months before I came across an event to launch a book with a group of Writers in my city. I knew this was a great opportunity for me to build my portfolio in writing and personal brand. Most importantly, it was exciting to be a published writer and share my writing and messages to the world. I've been slowly getting back into my love for writing, as I have been writing about my travel experiences on Verge Magazine on a monthly basis, but this was the next level.

I wasn't sure what I was going to write, all I knew was that I wanted to share my insights, positive messages, and inspire others in some way.

What came out straight from my heart ended up being a poetry, and a summary of everything that I've learned in the past 2-3 years. From the last term of undergraduate studies to life after graduation, to now - my first solo adventure teaching abroad in South Korea. Reflecting back to these huge milestones of my life, I realized that I had grown and accomplished so much.

I'm extremely happy to know that my poetry was not only going to be published into physical books, but it will also be sold online as an Ebook. Not only that, but 100% proceeds will be donated to the animal shelter. But, I was still in a pretty crappy mood. And so, I did something very unlike me, something that I knew that would make me feel extremely uncomfortable just the thought of it, but was very determined to do it because it just felt...right, oddly enough.

I signed up to perform my poetry at the spoken word event...which was the event of the book launch. After signing up I felt an instant pang of regret. After feeling uneasy for about a week, I allowed myself to let go of that fear. I was not backing out of this and I knew that I was doing this because I needed it to uplift my mood and live up to my poetry - which was simply about living in the now and not the unknown, stepping outside of your comfort zone, and challenging yourself. So, this would be the perfect reminder of everything that I've been through and everything that I've come to believe.

Even up to the day of the event, I was fine, but as I reached closer and closer to the moment that I had to walk up there and speak - public speaking, my biggest weakness. I also despise being the center of the attention most times. So yes, I do this on a daily basis because my job as an English teacher requires me to do so. But I do this in front of little children, not adults my age that understand every word I say as I say it. Yes, I may never see these people again, but...Why did I sign up for this?

Why do I always do this to myself?

The moment came and I stepped out in front of the crowd. The bar was filled with people and I smiled and said hello. Just read it. It's not a competition, you are doing this for myself. The mic stand was too tall, so I took the mic off and bought it closer to my mouth so I could be heard better. Good idea. And then I did it. Honestly, I was dying inside with every passing minute. My poetry was long, and I was shaking and stumbling upon words, and I felt myself heating up and speeding up. I finally finished and ran off back to my seat.

It took me a long time to recover, but when I finally did, I felt relieved. And quite happy. Two random strangers approached me and told me they loved my poetry and wanted  to talk to me more about it. How I was inspired to write it and the story behind it. That it was relatable and they were moved by it. Another also complimented my writing. I was feeling quite good about it, that my poetry strung feelings because that was the purpose. I wanted others to think about their own experiences and feel proud and inspired.

That night as I held onto the book and watched the video of my performance that my friend recorded, I was in awe. I actually looked more comfortable than I felt, and I can truly see how much I have improved as a person in just a year's time. Teaching abroad has given me the confidence to speak up in front of crowds of people. I moved around a bit, I was loud and clear, and I gave eye contact from time to time whilst reading. It was unbelievable...

I am so proud to show this to my family and friends. I couldn't sleep that night. I felt overjoyed for overcoming my fear. I'm still in shock as I write this. It's so unreal. I've accomplished SO much. 2016 was SO hard. But I survived.