Excuse me for Staring


Being in South Korea is still amazing!

I’ve found my groove with balancing school, teaching, being flexible with schedule changes, studying/improving my Korean, and sight seeing in my city.

As for the weather:



I’m from Florida ya’ll! That just can’t be helped. LOL

Anyway, back to the original point of this post.

Sometimes I find myself staying in on the weekends. For the entire weekend. I have my normal commute Monday through Friday and then I stock up on water and food to hibernate through the weekend. At first I would tell myself that there isn’t anything wrong with this. That in fact I was being responsible and saving my coin by not going out. That is true, but not the reason why I have continued to stay indoors on the weekends. And neither is the weather. It’s the ‘peopling’ that I am avoiding.

For the most part, folks in my city see me and just keep it moving. Which I fully appreciate. It’s the ones that lurk stare, invade my personal space when there is absolutely no reason to, and attempt to touch my hair without permission. One example of this was when I was waiting for the bus to go home after teaching. I like to use that waiting time to study for a bit, and once I did not have my hoodie covering my head. I was listening to music and could feel someone staring at me.

So I took off my headphones and tried to casually glance around. Sure enough, there was this ahjussi burning a hole into my skull with his laser beam eyes. Sigh. I made eye contact, mainly so he’d know that I know that he’s looking and gave him a slight bow (as a rule of thumb, I don’t smile showing my teeth). He then gives me a big smile and a wink, which prompted me to go back to reading my study notes. Just before I see the bus and get up to catch it, an ahjumma walks up and stands right in front of me. No greeting or nothing, just stares at me and reached her hand out to grab one of my twists. I immediately stood up (I have to catch the bus anyway – perfect timing) and she frowns before walking off and muttering to her friends in Korean.

For once I’m glad to not be at the level to where I can understand her.

Those moments are few and far in between – thank goodness. I try to minimize them more by staying in my studio on the weekends. I only go out to meet my tutor ya’ll – that’s it!

Staring doesn’t bother me – hell sometimes I stare too 🙂

I know that folks will stare and even say things to me regardless. The only thing I can do is control my reaction. It’s just even the thought of having to deal with someone else’s ignorance (at best) is exhausting! And then I find myself getting upset over having to consider that ish. Like, it’s 2018 – why? Why should I have to even think about answering borderline rude AF questions about my weight, my skin, and/or my hair?!

Umm…is that not one of the reasons why I’m here in a sense? To not only expose myself to Korean culture, but to also expose Koreans to foreigners other than Asian Americans? Shouldn’t we be learning from each other in a way? It’s almost as though I’m being expected to apologize for my appearance, and that is NOT something I will ever do. I spend unnecessary time avoiding folks so that I don’t have these incidents even become a possibility because I will never apologize for being in this body of mine.

With my favorite holiday right around the corner, I have decided to put an end to how I’ve been going about dealing with these things. I have to dig deep and find a new order -a new balance to how I have been dealing with these interactions. I know that I can’t respond how I would in the States, but being cooped up in my place is not the answer either. I hope what I’m saying makes sense. LOL

Making my way to South Korea was no easy task. Neither was finding the level of happiness that I have so far while being here. Having said that, I will end this post by sharing what ‘happiness’ it is that I speak of.

Just me. Being free to be myself. Without judgement.

It feels amazing and after years of search for this kind of solitude within, this chick wants to soak it all in.

And for those of you looking for your own version of happy, I hope that with all of my heart that you find it.

As always – be inspired and stay inspiring!


– Soprano Musings



Just Another Day

Only Zion T on heavy replay is going to get me through the next 2 days.

As most of you know, I have been in South Korea for the past few months. I was accepted into the TALK program. Overall, it’s great! For teaching English in a public school, I get to live and experience South Korea.

Then there are the days like today. Day one (of 3) of our culture trip. I’m in a pretty swanky hotel room, showered and ready for bed. But there is a curfew that I have to stay up for, so I decided to share my feelings with you all before studying for a bit. The hardest part about being here in South Korea is all the mandatory social interaction. From having dinner and scheduled fun times with my co-workers to these culture trips with the TALK program, I struggle to get through them.

Yes, I knew that these would be things that I would have to comply with while overseas.

Yes, I have been asked to do more strenuous and demanding work in my previous jobs.

Though for someone like me, who enjoys exploring solo and takes things in differently, this is difficult (AF). In the beginning it starts off okay – seeing and saying hello to everyone. Catching up on missed small talk and the commute from one location to the next. Then after 2 or 3 hours of listening to over 2 dozen folks talking and laughing on loop begins to wreck my nerves and I’m looking for an exit.

It is exhausting! And I need to recharge – stat. I try not to let it show by smiling when folks address me or by getting out of site, but it doesn’t always work. So I nap, listen to music, study, or find inspiration to write about to pass the time. Well, tonight I did a combo of 3 of these and it wasn’t enough. And I almost snapped at the girls I had the misfortune of dining with too.

Handling my emotional state is enough, so once they started in (and never quit) about how they didn’t like the food, I knew it was time to go! I ended up wolfing down my seafood dish with some rice and bolted out of the restaurant into the welcoming cold.

I say all this because my post lately have all been about my amazingly positive and wonderful thoughts about being in South Korea. As they should be, because for the most part – being here has been amazingly positive! I’m slowly gaining confidence in my Korean, learning the ropes as far as how to best teach my students, and I feel like my health has improved too from the lifestyle changes of having a BMW (that’s a bus, metro, walking for those of you out of the loop).

The holidays are rapidly approaching and it is my least favorite time of the year. And just as I did today, I will make it through them as best as I can. Because today may not have been the best, but that doesn’t mean that I should forget all the beautiful days that I had before it. Or go into the future with whatever negative vibes that I have about how today was for me. It’s just another day, and if I allow it to it can ruin my experience while overseas.

And I went through too much to get where I am now to let that happen.

I’ll be sure to try my best to post once more this month. Thank you so much for making it through this surprisingly long post.

As always, be inspiring and stay inspired Musings!

– Soprano Musings


The Anniversary of my First Love

The Velvet Rope, Janet Jackson’s sixth studio album was released in 1997.

I fell hard and fast in love with music in 1995.

When the realization that I’ve been in love with music for this long left me feeling all sorts of things. Shocked, awed, appreciative, and loved are the main things running through my heart. Folks have come and gone, I now have a few regrets, some gray hair strands, and have begun to travel the world.

But the one constant in my life has been music. For over 20 years now!

Making it the longest relationship that I have ever been in to date.

Of course, I had to write about that, because I am proud of that fact. It tells folks so much about me, in a weird way. What I was like growing up, my political stance, my pride in being a woman,  my ‘sexually awaking’ moments, and how I like to be silly and dance half naked in my bedroom….


And I flove how Janet Jackson is still apart of my life’s playlist. The first song I remember hearing from her is ‘Pleasure Principle’.  I remember being home alone and seeing that video of her just dancing and singing her heart out.  The feeling that I felt watching her was new to me and I didn’t know what to call it until much later. It was happiness.

I was fascinated with her then, and that fascination only grew when The Velvet Rope came out. The video ‘If‘ aired on MTV and I was glued to the screen! Then came ‘Together Again’, ‘Go Deep’, and ‘I Get Lonely’ and I was head over heels for Ms. Jackson then. There was no going back after I finally heard the full album that December!

Up until this point in my life (at the tender age of 13 or 14 – seriously, someone should have been monitoring what music I listened to back then! LOL), I had not seen many black women express themselves in such a way and it captivated me. Seeing her with her curly hair, septum, and natural roots style – I knew that would be my look when I grew up.

Even though I didn’t get my septum piercing until 2015 🙂

Other artists and songs have come along since, but Janet Jackson is still one of my all-time favorites. Her gentle voice, honest lyrics, and boldness in always experimenting and allowing herself to be as free as possible through her music are almost unrivaled to any other.

So, allow me to thank her and celebrate the anniversary of one of her best albums within this post. As I celebrate the beautiful anniversary of my first love –  music.

Thank you.

-Soprano Musings