As I’m sitting here writing and listening to some of my favorite tunes, I’m thinking about all of the new things I’ve adapted to in China. The list is so great that a blog couldn’t cover it. Just think of normal life, reverse it to the opposite, and there you have life in China. I think the only things I can say are familiar are within the confines of my apartment. Once I walk through my front door to the outside world, familiarity is thrown completely out the window.
I can’t help but think of the things I want to do when I get home. Obviously the first things on my list are to spoil the heck out of my puppy, go back to the beautiful blonde me and to find out my job, car and home situation. Once those priorities are settled, these five aspects of life stand out to me most as changes I want to make to really prove to myself that I’ve learned something during my time as an expat.
Closer to God
I can safely say I’ve never felt or been closer to God as I do here in China. I know He put me here for a reason, and that may simply be THE reason. I pray every day—I have to, or I’d go insane. I’m lonely and right now the good old holy spirit is my best friend. I read a scripture from my 100-day bible app. I try to meditate and clear my mind of all worry, which is a very tough feat. I’ve let my church going ways of childhood slip as I’ve gotten older, and I don’t think that’s helped me ground myself in any way, shape or form. When I come home I hope to get more into a church going routine and to be more involved in my church where I can be.
Every year I say I’m going to cook more. I have this new body now, and I want to keep it and not scarf down McDonald’s and Jack in the Box every day. It’s more for convenience than anything, but saying that I have no time when I’m sitting on the couch all day and vegging out is just an excuse to not try something new. I’m not saying I’m going to be the next great baker, but I’d like to at least try some healthier options when I come home and enjoy cooking more instead of it being a unhealthy last-minute chore. I’d also like to invite people over to dinner more often as guinea pigs.
Stay True to My Accept All Invitations Promise
I made a promise to myself that when this was all over that I was going to say yes to every direct invitation I got for one year. Yes, I’ll probably be broke and really tired, but I think it will open some great doors in life that I’d never have laying on the couch.
Less Drink, More Yoga
I drank a LOT before I came to China, I’m the first to admit it. But honestly, it was more out of boredom than anything. In turn I would say that I couldn’t afford yoga classes, then go out and spend more time and almost as much money drinking. I know I’m not going to become sober by any means, nor do I have any desire to do so, but I hope to shift my time and money into more of the yoga practice I’m going to learn in Bali. I need a stress release, and I firmly believe yoga is the next chapter in that book.
Become a Normal Person Again
A part of my retreat process in Bali will be both inner and outer stress release, anger release and forgiveness. Even if I weren’t going on this retreat, I need to find a way to let go of some anger and regret I have from some things that have happened over the past couple of years. I’m already beginning the process, in fact. I have to let go of being angry at a certain few, and most of all, I need to let go of being angry at myself. It’s tough, and I know it’s a long road ahead. It’s a necessary road if I’m ever going to heal wounds and have the life that I so richly want and know I deserve. This includes mending relationships that I feel are worth mending and letting go of toxic ones for good.