After a month of "I should know by tomorrow what I'm doing..." I finally do know what I'm doing. For the most part, anyway.
By some sort of miracle, I have a really great friend coming with me to China. She tried to go to Korea in August and after a handful of punches to the gut for both of us, we decided to take our emotionally battered selves and go to China together. Though, we're both hesitant to get excited just yet because there is so much that's still up in the air.
She was the best birthday gift I could ask for; at this point in my life, I just didn't have enough inner motivation to go to China alone for 9 months. When I went to Rome, I didn't think twice about going alone, but Italy is a completely different breed than China. At any rate, at least I'll have a karaoke partner! (Ugh... I've never sang karaoke stateside and it's the social equivalent of going out to coffee in Asia...)
My friend and I are like little soldiers waiting for deployment. I'm drifting around Fargo for the next 10 days - 3 weeks (have a couch I could stay on?? Kidding! ...well sort of). As soon as our permits arrive, my friend and I are both going home then we'll meet in DC and take care of our visas there. From Washington it's onward to Shanghai. With any luck, we'll be there in a month from right now.
We'll be arriving 3+ weeks after the semester's start, so we'll literally get thrown into our jobs immediately. At least I'll have a jet lag friend to commiserate with.
I'm much more prepared this time around, I've learned more Mandarin, I'm learning how to become a teacher, and I've been through airport hell, so I'm ready for whatever is going to get thrown at me next. I've spent too much of the last month wrapped up in bad energy and anxiety. I'm completely spent of all the negativity from the situation and really have no where to go but up.
Cheers to a year full of adventures!
....P.S, I just want to give a big thank you to everyone who has put up with my atrocious attitude all month long. It's been such a strange time in my life and I really appreciate everyone's understanding and forgiveness.