Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Corporate Exodous

It's been almost a year a since my last post. I thought that my pilgrimage back to the states to live meant the end of my Serendipitous Adventurer spirit, but I should have known that it was only a matter of time.
So I came back stateside last October with apsirations and idealistic notions of the "American Dream" like so many other young people my age. Everyone around me was getting married, buying a house, having their 2nd and 3rd child and pursuing careers. And there I was some lonely expat with a million and five AMAZING experiences, bags full of foreign trinkets,only 3 pages left in my passport, and new global sensibility,trying to repatriate myself into a country that no longer felt like home.
Three days on American soil I had an interview. Two weeks in,I had a corporate job, and in less than a month back in the states I had a fab midtown apartment, a corporate wardrobe and a cute little VW Beetle. To the naked eye I made the transition seamlessly.
It was a whirlwind of change.
Trying to shrug off Asian social norms and re-acclimate myself to the world I'd left behind two years prior was a great deal harder than I had expected. I found myself starting most of my sentences with " When I was in Korea..." and trust me I didn't want to be that annoying girl who talks about living abroad ALL the damn time, but that was all I had known. I wasn't up on Pop Culture , I was WAY behind on TV shows, and let's not even get started on music. My first few months back were rough socially. I felt awkward and out of place. Like some dark skinned Asian in a country of strangers. Which is almost laughable if I hadn't been so sad. I willingly gave up my Korean life for the American life I thought I wanted. Which ended up making me feel even more lost and misplaced. The old saying holds true, the grass isn't always greener.
Note to Self : next time I'm missing family, friends, black hair care products, and delicious American food just come back for an extended visit!
After a few months I'd made a few friends but all in all I still felt something was missing. I'd go on Facebook and browse through my travel albums, sigh at the fact that my life was just well for a lack of a better word...ordinary.
I went to to my 9-5 office gig, wrote curriculum, trained teachers, wrote reports, and did a little domestic traveling. I wasn't complaining because , there were people in America out of work, barely able to support themselves and there I was sitting in my office discontented with my 9-5. I hungered for something more, something extraordinary. As I settled into a routine , battled the 45 min daily commute, and put on my very best " I'm an adult, and I care about what you're saying" face, I started resenting coming back stateside.
I started questioning why I ever left Asia in the first place. I started reevaluating my job and my life. And with 30 creeping up on me I knew I needed to do something. I refused to become a lemming. "yes I'm on the verge of 30! That doesn't make me irresponsible because I enjoy living in different countries every couple of years!" Im probably part gypsy but have you ever heard the quote " All who wander are not lost!" Even Dr. Seuss encourages us step outside our comfort zone in Oh The Places You Will Go!
I was tired of trying to conform to what is expected of me because honestly it just made me unhappy.
Im not meant to fit inside some box. I take my steel toed boot and say "Ahh... fuck your box!!!" as it crushes beneath my bedazzled knee high Doc Materns.
I was over making excuses for my awesomeness. I know that sounds pompous but seriously there is a truly awesome individual inside each of us, it's just some choose to embrace it while others just make excuses for it. So I starting weighing the pros and of going back overseas. It seems as soon as I owned changing my life, the opportunity presented itself.
Fast forward month or so and here we are.
I know this post will resonate with my fellow expats but also with those of you out there wanting a change in their lives. Don't wait around for the right moment because it may never come. I'm no life coach but if you want to change your life or step out of the expexcted norm, just do it.Don't doubt yourself. Don't wait for validation from others. Be fearless,take hold of the life you imagined for yourself and begin living you happiness.
No more monkey suits or putting on a "serious adult " face complete with "I'm thinking" hand gestures. No more drab colors, no more desk warming 9-5, or feeling creatively stifled in the workplace. So onward to the Corporate Exodus. I feel like Jerry McGuire, with my colored pencils and messenger bag in hand "who's comin' with me?" I'm just not cut out for the corporate world. * Kanye shrug*
With that said, in four weeks time I will be embarking on a new journey. Walking through the red door once more in search of something amazing.


  1. I completely overstand you Tiffany...Be happy!!!!

  2. This is your "LIFE" Tiffany...enjoy every moment. You are an amazig individual who inspires others, WALK TAll and keep your colored penciles and messenger bag close. I look forward to reading scribes of your new journey!

    -Carpe Diem

  3. Tiffany, go for it! No sense in being somewhere that makes you unhappy, especially if you have given it a fair try. If traveling and exploring brings you the most joy, then do it and inspire and help as many people as you can on the way. It takes courage to step outside of the box with the gray color pencil. Hope to visit you in Asia someday or wherever you land. Keep being the beautiful unique flower that you are.