In war, innocent casualties are a given. It is unfortunate, it is sad, it’s better to be avoided, but it is a given. People who have no voice, no quarrel with the status quo and no involvement in the disagreement, die. It is the same with divorce. While nobody dies, hopefully, there are innocent casualties. The children.

As a child of divorce, saying goodbye is a painful process. Whether its to a friend, a loved one, a country, a home, or a way of life. Whether it’s temporary or permanent it still bears the same emotional weight. It’s deeply, heart-breakenly heavy.

It’s a reminder of the first and worst goodbye we ever had to say, to a bond broken, a union separated and love dissolved. To the back of a parent walking out the door and out of your life.

My parents have been divorced for 25 years now but I still sometimes struggle with a simple goodbye. I still get emotional, I still cry and I still get sad.

I’m far into the last stages of a life lived in a foreign country. And I’m in the beginning stages of saying my goodbyes.

As I enter the last 4 days of a 2 year life lived in Korea I look back at all that was foreign – the land, the people, the language, the smells, the food, the culture, the weather – and I marvel at how familiar it has now become.

So familiar that I consider it my home away from home, that I consider my friends here my family away from home, and I consider my colleagues here my friends away from home.

As I start to say my goodbyes and I start to acknowledge that this is the last time I’ll eat at this restaurant, speak to this student, catch this bus, walk to this school, smile at this lady and see this person, I feel the weight of the goodbye lighten. I feel happysad.

I made the most of this opportunity. I embraced the change. I travelled. I met wonderful people. I laughed. I ate. I drank. I celebrated. I cried in frustration. I made mistakes. I dated assholes (that’s my father speaking right there). I expanded emotionally and spiritually. I lived.

I realise even more now in saying my goodbyes the importance of staying in the present moment. In savouring it. In absorbing it and in enjoying it. Days, weeks and years seem to be flying by. 2 years seem to have gone by in a flash. And in that flash I have accumulated an infinity of fond memories and adventures. Moments caught in the forever of my life.

And it’s for this reason, as I change lanes for the next part of my journey, that I leave feeling content, happy and free.

Thank you Korea, with love and gratitude,




A Pain Killer

In a few hours I’ll be heading to Beijing so I’m very happy to be sharing a guest post with you today. It’s by one of my favorite people in the world, Leanne Tee. The question people ask her the most is “Are you a model? Actress?” When you see her pic you’ll understand why. She’s a great example of someone who goes after her dreams. After having kids, a career in marketing and starting a business with her husband in South Africa she still felt like there was so much more out there to learn and experience. With the support and blessing from her husband and kids, they all packed their bags and moved to New York City so she could attend Parsons School of Design.


Sharing 3 ways to deal with Pain.

With the tumultuous present times intent on volcanically shaking us to the very core, everywhere is a HOT mess. Hot emotions have erupted in every direction spewing like molten larva all over the place…  it’s clear to me that its time to deal with the uglies.

Wait. The uglies?  It’s my new phrase for a collective of pain manifesting and wreaking havoc the world over in infinite ways. The anger swelling in the human ranks is palpable. I mean, in my home country right now where the have-nots are trying to get what the have’s have had for the last 60 or more years, there’s outrage over an artists impression of the Presidents penis. In America, the have’s are upping the ante to maintain the status quo against the have-nots, in what is shaping up to be the showdown of the year, the November 2012 elections. It’s lovely to know, if you take the long-term view that the net effect of all this is: Progress.

But for now… the uglies await us. So, if you want to stop reading here, I understand. Pain is painful.

For the braveheart.

The uglies as I’ve said, is a variety of emotional and physical pain felt by each us in one way or the other that emanates from fear and resides in the ego. It manifests and wreaks havoc in infinite ways. The uglies have so many forms but it all boils down, in the end, to one thing fear. The uglies have so many faces but in the end have one common factor, pain. The uglies have so many expressions but in the end it helps us discover one thing-who we really are.

I think the uglies will always exist in this world of ours. The great relief is we all have them. Even the pretty handsome ones, who would rather you think that all is perfect in their make believe world, have scars of pain. Even Presidents. Even Parents. Even Passers-by. Every people.

I have enough to last this lifetime and then some.  I’ve come to realize that in a whacked way, it’s what makes us human. Ughhh! Because you know, sometimes I just want to live in a nice, nice world all of the time….So before I lose my nerve and ditch this guest blog, let me share how I’m trying to deal with mine. I’ve figured this:

1. Deal with the cards you’ve been handed to get in the game.

Staying numb is not an option anymore. It’s time to deal with the uglies. It’s unavoidable. I have run away into denial land before. We all know it’s a temporary vacation, where you can enjoy free cocktails and overpriced cheeseburgers. When you get back to the land of the living, the emotional mess is still there. Life is just designed that way. Choose to deal and not deny.

2. Dance with your shadows

I’ve learnt that dancing with my shadow/s is like stepping in unison with the dance of life. The more I try to understand my pain the more in step I am with myself. Because you know that which you resist…persists. It’s the greatest experiment. Be daring enough to try out your own moves. There is only right and right. No wrong. Dance your truth. Dance the night away!

3. Design solutions for yourself

Lately, I like to think like this. I’m opening my heart and breathing in compassion. I’m listening carefully to my feelings. I’m building faith in myself. I’m zoning in. I’m only making moves when my hearts in it. I’m constructing my life around my dreams and the whispers in my heart. I’m getting fired up!

Brave hearts can conquer fear and pain. I’m fighting for my dreams. I urge you to join the good fight.

Where you can find me:

Leanne tee on Facebook

@leannetee on Twitter

@leatchi on Instagram

Balance, my friend, where art thou?

I may be pregnant or pre-menopausal or just highly imbalanced. This past week my emotions have been all over the charts but nowhere near the happy spot.  They’ve been lurking in the dark, shadowy alley of anger, irritation and sometimes rage, waiting to pounce and attack. And when they’ve not been in the dark alley of anger then they’ve been visiting the tearful ducts of sadness. Wallowing in a place of nowhere-ness. Knowing and not knowing, sitting in that uncomfortable place in my chest.

I have something to say but the words can’t seem to find the right channel for expressing themselves. Either they want to scream and shout and throw things, like an implosion of the self. Like that time in my other life when I threw my phone at the ex-caveman and it smashed against the wall and I got more upset, not because my phone was in pieces but because it hit the wall and not his head.

Or they want to break down and sob and cry and sniff sniff sniff. Like that time in my other life when I became emotionally unhinged, after the ex-caveman and I signed the death certificate on our relationship, and my sister had to come and put the screws back in. But don’t worry, all my parts are now safe and secure. The current caveman though,  poor thing, is not taking any chances, and is presently in hiding. Whereabouts unknown.

I started the week in a mood with a facebook friends massacre. I pushed that delete button like I was wielding a deadly weapon.  Delete. Delete. Delete. I was ruthless and deadly and it felt so damn good. And I ended the week with the purchase of my plane ticket back home, even though its more than 5 months away.

Balance is avoiding me like that elusive friend who says they gonna call you but never do, they gonna pay you back as soon as they can but never do, or they gonna see you soon but never do.

And I’ve been resisting putting pen to paper because the undercurrents of these emotions are pulling me in all kinds of directions. This blog was supposed to be about one thing and somehow became about something entirely different.

I hope I’m not pregnant or pre-menopausal or emotionally imbalanced. I hope I’m not losing my mind. I hope the caveman returns. I hope Balance stops avoiding me. He must be a man, who else would disappear at the first signs of emotional upheaval. And I hope my thoughts and ideas stop playing see-saw so I can get some sleep tonight.

A new week is about to begin, here’s to hope and finding Balance.