As the story has it, one day I headed to the opposite side of the globe – the Flipside. I arrived in Korea on February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d do a year, then leave. I went from being some random foreign girl to taking on labels I never imagined – university professor, film extra, professional boxer, reality TV star, CEO of my own girls-only fitness company (Flipside Fitness), CEO of my own boxing club (Hulk's Club, formerly known as Hulk's Boxing), and now I'm launching my 3rd business -- Empowered Clubhouse.

After 11.5yrs in Korea, I then picked up one day and returned to Toronto, Canada. But then I left again. This time it was for the Philippines. That's where I am now, living in the land of the happy people. The struggles are real and the struggles are many but I'm living life on my terms, I'm calling the shots, and I'm doing what I love. Life is an amazing adventure and this is my story of yesterday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Preparing to Drop the Bomb... Tuesday, September 20

Let it be known that I'm still technically with Snickers, legally that is.  The legalities of that relationship seems to be more of a handcuff than anything but Canada served as a means of freedom.  Freedom from the restrictions that came with being a Western woman married to a Korean man, a Korean man whose immediate family had labelled me as "not good enough" and the "forever outsider".  His extended family, like his aunts and grandma, approved of me however and I do miss them a lot.  I often regret not officially saying goodbye to his grandma, Granny Kim.  I love that woman.  She's like no other woman I've ever met in that country -- so strong, so independent, and so not the stereotypical norm for what it means to be a woman of her age and status.

But anyway, I'm rambling... sorry.

I came to Canada as a sponsored athlete, sponsored for a year.  It was the story I sold Korea to get my plane ticket out of that country.  But the plan was for me to return after one year.  My year ended this past August 5th.  I'm still here, obviously.

When I touched down on Canadian soil last year it was like that handcuff had been taken off my wrist and I was free.  For the first five months of living here I think I cried every day, tears of happiness and tears of just pure relief to be here.  To be so free, to be so safe. 

I traded in my boxing club and my success for my safety and sanity.

Snickers was the love of my life, don't forget that.  I loved him like none other but I don't think I ever want to fall in love like that again because I almost completely lost myself in that relationship.  We've been together for 7 years and it went from incredibly good to bad, to ugly, to downright embarrassingly ugly.  We chat often these days, on KakaoTalk. He'll ask about Canada, I answer.  I ask about the club, he answers.  And then when he asks when I'm coming back I dodge the question and either say I have to go or circle back around to that of the club.  There is no "couple talk" but about a month ago he asked me if I miss him.  Sure, I miss him but not the "him" he had become in my life.  I miss the man I married, not the person he had become.  He's a different person now and I don't know that version of him.  I don't know if I like that version of him but I don't really care to get to know him.  I'm just so done.  I was done two years ago.

I think he was done with me before I was done with him but we were done with each other for totally different reasons.  He scared me and I disappointed him.  I never gave in to the whole "settle down and have kids" idea his family anticipated me to adopt.

I thought I'd have everything figured out after my year here.  I figured I'd have stuff set up here for a whole new life I could start living but I haven't yet gotten there.  Canada works at a much slower pace than Korea and I feel there's a sensory overload of opportunities that overwhelm me and that I never anticipated.  The temptation to throw in the towel and just return to Korea is there every single day.  I met with a friend tonight, to talk about my Second Dream and me trying to "take on" Canada.  He told me "if you want to swim with the big fish you have to learn how to big fish swim".  I laughed at what his advice, it sounded silly, but it was pretty applicable.  Maybe I've been swimming wrong in Canada.  I can't swim here in the fashion that I did in Korea.  Sometimes it feels like I'm drowning here though, like I'm barely treading water.  "The struggles are a part of the story", is what I tell myself every time I feel like I'm drowning here.  The struggles are the sour to the story but they're also what makes the sweet taste sweeter so you need the sour to enjoy the sweet.  I could go on here with additional analogies and affirmations but I won't.

My sponsorship continues -- the money from Korea continues to be dropped into my bank account on the last day or two of the month.  Sometimes it's a day late but none the less it arrives.  I've started to prepare myself for the day that it stops.  I've got big plans for the day it stops and when I think of them I feel sick. 

Ten years ago my exfiance traveled to Korea to search me out, to get me to change my mind about our breakup, and I have a feeling that Snickers is going to do the same when "my plans" go down.  Until then I'm flying somewhat under the radar.  I've started to cover my tracks.  I've yet to drop the name of the female-only club where I coach part time because of this.

When my sponsorship ends, either I'm going to Korea to end things or he's going to show up here. I'm totally anticipating this to get ugly, to get real.  For now I feel we're both dancing around the inevitable, circling around what we both know is coming -- the "technical" end.

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