Feeling a little overwhelmed… by myself…

10 May


Most people, when faced by the thought of  times to come and challenges that they may have to face can’t help but feel a little lost and a little out of their depth…

However, sometimes these worries may well be self inflicted, and as such you may discover that actually YOU are your own worst enemy: ambition mixed in with a hearty dose of perfectionism can be a lethal cocktail that can lead to one’s own undoing.

Thus begs the question – Am I doing this right, or have I got it all horribly wrong?


So, I made my module choices on Sunday evening.

At first I was flummoxed as what to do – For the Autumn semester I had the choice of Japanese Contemporary Society or something like Chinese Social Progression. Then, in the Spring semester I had the choice of Chinese business and management, Japanese History or Chinese Contemporary Society…

I figured learning about business and China would be beneficial to my future.. But then again if I plan to enter a Japanese university in order to do my masters then studying about Japan would also be very good given that one of the entrance exams is on “Japan and the World”…

So in the end I figured that taking Japanese History and Japanese Contemporary Society would be the best choices – if not for the reason stated above then for the pure and simple facts that 1) I love Japan and 2) Japan is something familiar to me and, due to my existing knowledge on the subject, is something I can possibly do well in.

I also chose Japanese Contemporary Literature – purely for enjoyment, plus it will serve as practice in reading which will help me maintain (if not enhance) my Japanese language ability.

All in all I am happy with the choices I made as I feel it will help take me to my goal – to become a Korean AND Japanese specialist, even if my degree is only technically Korean Studies.

However, upon making this choice I couldn’t help but think about the next two years to come: about how important they will be in determining my future. This also brought on thoughts about how little time I have left here in Korea; how fast it all has gone; how must I still have not yet done here; how I feel I have not yet made the most of my time here. Thus I have been feeling a little on the low side as of late.


Time is such an odd thing: It passes by so fast and leaves you with barely anytime to breath. I feel like the past two years have gone so quickly and already I am planning ahead the years to come with zealous enthusiasm, in neglect of (if not oblivious to) the here and now.

I remember that before I came here I had so many grand plans (as I always do in the beginning) and yet most have not yet come to fruition, leaving me feeling slightly hollow and unfulfilled…


It has come to my attention recently that I have a problem with ambition – I always start out with such high (sometimes unrealistic) expectations of myself, and yet I can never seem to recognize the achievements I have made, however big or small they may be. I’m just always looking to the next thing.

I want to get a high 2.1 or a 1st in my current degree; I want to study in Japan at a top university; I want to become fluent in AT LEAST Chinese on top of Japanese and Korean (maybe at some point other languages too, but i’m taking things one step at a time); I want to become knowledgable about law, economics, business, psychology, philosophy and many other subjects; I want to work a respectful and highly enjoyable job; I want to live and work abroad; I want this; I want that; blah blah blah…. It never seems to end.

This is a personality flaw that, no doubt, will carry on well into old age: I can see myself as one of those over enthusiastic, delusional-type grandmas – the type that refuses the aid of a walking stick and insists that they could climb Mount Everest if they wanted to despite barely being able to walk 3 meters on a flat, relatively smooth and obstacle-free terrain….


Perhaps it is a good thing – after all, ambition isn’t exactly in abundant supply for the majority.

Maybe I should savor my enthusiasm and drive to succeed…

But then again, what is more important in life: Working your butt off to MAYBE get somewhere, or taking life as it comes and taking everything in one’s stride – much like someone lay back in a deck chair on some white sandy beach; smoking a fat reefer; watching the tide roll in and out; bemused by life’s little complexities.


All I know is that, at this moment and time, I have this hunger to get somewhere in life – not to give up and not to back down. Just to keep going and keep upping the standard every single time…

Of course, only time will tell if this method of living will succeed or not. I just hope that this greed for knowledge and lack of satisfaction in life won’t lead me to being a lonely spinster with a house full of cats… ;p


One Response to “Feeling a little overwhelmed… by myself…”

  1. andalya May 17, 2011 at 5:12 PM #

    Contemporary Japanese Literature is entirely in English I’m afraid :< ^^ I also have this problem with being over-ambitious, then my natural laziness/ quitters attitude kicks in and I'm left feeling disappointed… so if you have the drive to keep going then 頑張って!

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