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Friday, October 7, 2011

"A Step Closer"

So I recently found a really great China blog (which, I may regret saying, is more interesting than mine....I think (?) ) - link to it at the bottom ;)

She wrote something that really touched me and sums up the reason why I loved China as much as I did and why I want to go back to China as soon as possible. 

"In China, especially recently, I live as the person I always wanted to be. That hero-version of yourself that you have in your heart. Everybody has it, I know you do, and I know that the times you ever feel most proud of yourself and when you ever feel truly happy, it’s because you’re taking a step closer to the person you always wanted to be."

That's perfect. That's exactly right. I experienced some of the most grueling tests of my life there. I truly found out what it was like to learn and actively exercise my language learning, self-reliance in the face of self-doubt, self-control in many situations, and experience true personal growth every day. China allowed me to flourish in every way possible. 

My friends know I am not exactly a friend-maker or like to be the center of attention, but Chinese people just loved me so much that I met new friends pretty much every single day I was over there. Lanzhou University of Technology, 兰州理工大学,never hosted a true exchange student before, so I was in very high demand on campus - I was famous. For the first time in my life, I truly felt like I was special and that I could accomplish anything and that with enough work, nothing was beyond my grasp.

Then I had to go home:

After I returned home, people were just as angry, if not angrier, at the government for doing this and doing that than they were before I left....mortgages/housing, credit, corporate greed, etc. - everyone feels beaten down and no one really believes that America is the land of opportunity anymore. Everything seems out of control and no one can do anything about it. People are so caught up in their careers and in their shopping - there is no sense of community in America, and I really miss that. I miss so much about China - community, my friendships, meal-time customs, "Northwestern Hospitality", speaking Chinese, friendliness, the mountains.....just so much. I am homesick for China. 

I miss that feeling of, as "Poise On Arrows" said, being one step closer to that person I've always wanted to be. I found that missing part of my heart and my spirit in Lanzhou, China....and now I'm back in small-town Texas and I've lost it.

If there is anyone out there who doesn't really know what to do with their life and wants an easy job, just apply for an English teaching job in China - all you need to teach university-level English in China is a Bachelor's Degree. As soon as I get the money, I'm going right back to China.

I want to find my true self again - I want to feel that true happiness inside again. I don't want to become 老男孩 - the old boy, the one who yearns for the loves of years gone by. I don't want this to become "Life After China."

*P.S. - don't forget to comment - you don't have to sign up or anything. Just leave your name and comment!!

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