A Year Away From China
Yesterday marked a full year since I returned from China.
It seems surreal to me that an entire year has passed since that time. In some ways, I feel like the past year has transformed me into a different person. In reality, I know that I have simply just become the person I was always supposed to be and that it all really started the moment I stepped on that plane to Changchun.
I left for China to escape a job I hated and a place I was bored with. I knew it would be a “cool experience”, but I didn’t think about it too much. I have a habit of following my heart and disregarding what my head says is logical (some say this is reckless…but according to who?).
I can’t say that every experience there was positive (you can go back through and read my e-mails in my blog for a more detailed version of my life there), but I can say that most of it was. In a country where poverty still overwhelms the society, I learned to live for the simple pleasures. In today’s modern society where money rules and people are driven by the desire to buy the next gadget that the media pushes at them, I found a place where that just didn’t matter that much. People couldn’t afford to live like that in the place where I was, so it just wasn’t an issue. It wasn’t a focus of their lives. Relationships with friends and family, living well, trying to do the right thing, working hard…these are the things that mattered to them. I was always happily surprised by the generosity of everyone I encountered.
When I returned to the U.S., I knew that a change had occurred, but I didn’t know how or to what extent.
In the past year, I was hired by a good company with great pay. I quit after only two months to work with my friends at their kiteboarding school-pursuing a life of chasing the wind, sharing my love of the sport and embracing the beach life. I started a new relationship with someone that is both refreshing and exciting. I lost nearly 20
pounds and am healthier than I have been in my entire life (I eat differently, I exercise differently and I do my best to live a life free of stress). I discovered Savannah with all that it has to offer and found a group of friends that truly share my passions in life.
So has it been a good year? It’s been a GREAT year! Every experience has its ups and downs and this year certainly has as well. I made a huge lifestyle change and I am still getting used to living this way. I had a dream to do something different and I was always afraid to really go for it. Living in China gave me the push I needed to go for what I wanted in life…
“Did you ever put it on the line? Have you ever not known and still jumped? Did you ever close your eyes and just let go?”