Thursday, 17 July 2014

Returning Home

I’m currently in the Seattle Airport waiting for my connecting flight. I was given special attention during customs because of a chicken sandwich I bought in the Beijing Airport, and then selected for random security check, so you could say it was my lucky day.

I’ve been looking forward to this flight for a long time.
I had started a countdown in June and every time I crossed a day off the excitement rose. During that time I wrote three essays and completed three exams. I wrote the HSK5, tried my hand at a screenplay, and graduated from BLCU.
Most people ask if I’m sad to leave and truthfully I’m not. These past two years have been immensely eventful, mentally grueling, and full of ups and downs. This China chapter of my life is far from over but I don’t see the need to lengthen it out into obscurity. Something I noticed while living over there is how it seems to suck young people in and never spit them out. Perhaps it’s the easy cash, or feelings of independence, but one year quickly becomes three and then five. That sense of directionless bothers me and I feel that two years is a good amount, perhaps a shade too long. In fact it’s hard to pinpoint a perfect length of time especially when it comes to language learning. I’m sure we’ll all agree a continuous exposure to the language and the culture environment is the best but that would also require a complete life commitment. Being only twenty-two I’m not wanting to make it a permanent settling place since there’s still lots of other things I hope to accomplish. So even though it’s hard, and always feels like I’m on the edge of breaking another barrier, I think it’s time I wrap up my “official” language studies.
I’m very grateful to all the teachers I’ve had, friends that have been made and family members who supported me throughout all of this. I’ve come to realize you’re only as distant from those you care about as you want to be. In this time of social media and ever reaching telecommunication we can talk instantly and conveniently; the real choice lays in how much you want to divulge. This is where I haven’t made up my mind, the balance between saying too much or sharing too little is a hard one to find. As a rule of thumb I error on sharing too little since that’s easier to rectify and causes less waves. A quote I stumbled upon once, and haven’t been able to find again, runs with the idea that personal thoughts and opinions I will share with everyone but my privacy I will keep to myself. I like it a lot because I feel that personal beliefs tell more about a person then names and dates, and when some are so focused on getting the answer they want to satiate their curiosity they  miss out on a wealth of knowledge and don’t get to know the person any better than if they were reading an obituary.
Now that I’m in a time and place where I can write more I will; hopefully it will be worth reading and full of exploits. I’m back from Asia but have lots of plans for the future, not only is writing a good way to share with those I’m far from but it’s a memoire for me as well. It’s something I can look back on for the experiences and helps me to evaluate what has been done and what I still need to do. This summer is going to be great. It'll be full of family, good food and relaxation. I can honestly say there is nothing as good as being back home from a long trip away. 

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