How Did We Get Here?

It’s kind of a long (but interesting?) story…

It came as a surprise to many who have known me from my childhood days that my biggest dream and ambition is to have a successful career as a multi-talented entertainer. As a little girl, I was quite the quiet, space-cadet (later in my twenties, I would find out my behaviors were most likely early signs of developing ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Executive Lobe Dysfunction). Starting from my early middle school days I began enjoying and excelling in speeches, presentations, and basically anything involving being the center of attention. Even before that, at 7 years old, I began showing two amazing dogs in 4-H obedience and showmanship competitions and did so for about 10 years. It took me towards the end of my time with 4-H to realize the reasons why I loved competing in dog shows so much. It was in part because I, of course, loved working with Maggy and Sadie; two of our many dogs growing up who were top class performers in the ring. It was also because I would really get a kick out of being in the center of the ring where the applause would hit me like shots of espresso. For several years, after becoming therapy dog certified, Maggy, Sadie, and I also visited numerous hospitals and nursing homes. Seeing the smiles we created gave me the same indescribable feeling that the applause of the show ring did.

During my late middle school years, I was introduced to the Japanese language and culture by a group of friends. This same tight-knit group also helped me to dive into the Korean language and culture a few years later during our high school days. My love for entertaining was always there during that time, but it was during those high school years that I realized my passions for singing, dancing, and acting specifically. We filmed and performed various cosplay skits, and began uploading my own singing and dancing covers on YouTube It felt great to get tons of positive feedback and comments on my skills, but I really got a “high” off of every smile and every comment from someone telling me that I made them happy, inspired; that I affected them in some positive way. 

It was during the early part of my senior year of high school when I decided that I wanted to pursue a career as a multilingual, multi-talented, global entertainer. I can even remember calling my big sister and telling her. So I would spend the next eight years reaching out to multiple entertainment companies through emails, post mail, and online/in-person auditions. During this time, I began my studies as an undergrad at Rutgers University (all the while hoping to pursue my dream). My middle school and high school years are when I fell in love with Japanese and Korean culture (not just pop culture!) and I continued to pursue my passions for cultural and language learning as an undergrad. In 2016, I had the incredible opportunity to study in Seoul as an exchange student through Rutgers University during Ewha Woman’s University’s summer program. During that time, I fell more in love with Korea’s traditional culture, people, and the country as a whole. After that experience, I decided that I would need to get back to explore the long-term. Over the next few years, I kept that desire to explore while receiving various other ideas, suggestions, and advice from numerous friends, family, professors, and the voices in my head. Things got really twisted, complicated, and messy in my mind. As a result, I got a bit off track, and after years of continued tries to get in contact and in contract with an entertainment company I was unsuccessful. I woke up one day to realize I would soon be a bachelor’s degree graduate and with that society would tell me that I had two options. I could either go to grad school or immediately settle into the 9 to 5 grind, get married, settle down, have some kids, have a green lawn and a white picket fence while working for the weekends and dreaming of retirement. For me, neither of those options sounded very appealing (especially the latter). I instead chose option three; I still wanted to return to Korea to explore the culture and country long term. Unfortunately, to explore as I wanted to required money.

So, I decided to try becoming an English teacher in Korea. I heard that I could get set up with an apartment, a very well paid job, and some benefits like vacation days. Pretty sweet deal, right? I thought so at the time. I got TESOL certified during my senior year of university. I still remember when presenting my demo lessons, our instructor asked me if I was an actress in theater as she said I had lots of charisma and was very entertaining- sometimes we just don’t notice these funny little signs, do we? Anyhow, I got a teaching position, and I was all set to go when I thought to myself, “since when did I really want to be a teacher?”. I realized I was about to use the job only to be able to live in and explore another country comfortably. In doing that, I realized that I would actually be quite miserable probably. I definitely never wanted to be a full-time classroom teacher in America so why and how could I enjoy doing that in any other country? So, rather than going to Korea with no job or means for financial survival while exploring I moved from New Jersey to Atlanta, Georgia for some change of scenery. I worked and lived there for almost a year but I still felt unfulfilled and unsatisfied with how I was living. I made a leap with absolutely no plan in August 2018 and flew back to Korea hoping to quickly get in touch and picked up by an entertainment company there. I won’t go too much into detail but I ended up flying right back to New Jersey. Without a plan, I got overwhelmed, confused, I defeated myself.

I spent the next six months battling severe depression; I’ll be honest when I say that I really hit rock bottom mentally. My thoughts became more dangerous and pretty scary at times. Which brings us closer to today. In January of 2019, I was officially diagnosed with adult ADD/ADHD and Executive Lobe Dysfunction. I decided then that I needed to figure out how my mind works to tap into discovering what I really desired. What did I really want to spend my time on earth pursuing and achieving? In what way could I contribute to this world? In what way would I enjoy making those contributions? I knew that I had to work and support myself, but I also wanted to enjoy it. If we don’t enjoy how we’re living our lives, what’s the point of it all? These and so many other thoughts crossed my mind on the daily for months. Let’s just say, things got real philosophical. I decided to move forward, I needed to go back to the beginning. Now after almost three years of troubleshooting, some stopping before starting, a ton of mental reflection and preparations, I think I’ve finally found the way…again. Entertaining.

I’ve finally gotten a great contract offer from an entertainment company here in South Korea! It is now the Spring of 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and (after a slight travel delay due to COVID restrictions) I have returned to Korea! Oh, and I’ve brought a canine butterfly with me. I cannot wait to see what the future holds as I finally begin to pursue my dream career while traveling the world (and later on; working as a polyglot professional translator/interpreter, starting a dog cafe/shelter business, and who knows what else… hehe…I’ve got quite a to-do list and the possibilities are endless.) Stay tuned ^_-) 

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