November 18, 2010

Change your mind

Few things in life make me more uncomfortable than when I am unsure of myself. It seems as though the bulk of my time since August 1, when I tried to fly here the first time, has been spent with me wading through a swamp of uncertainty.

It bothers me so much because I am so wishy-washy – I have an uncanny ability to logically talk myself into and out of things seamlessly. I drive myself crazy, not to mention my friends who have to listen to me and offer their bits of advice.

For three weeks now I’ve been weighing whether I should stay in China or not. I was hell-bent on going home in January for the first three weeks and I made my opinion known to my family and friends.

Then all of a sudden I got a little nugget of confidence, it was hard to recognize at first but as time continued to pass it grew until I realized that I do in fact want to stay here until May.

I’m not sure what changed my mind, maybe it was seeing other westerners who developed a close camaraderie in Xi’an, perhaps it was navigating restaurant using only Chinese for the first time. I don’t really know. The initial terror I felt when I came here has dissipated and I’m ready to experience more of this place.

Granted, this spring is not going to be easy. First off, I’ll be going it alone. Alex is going home in January, so once I return from semester break in February I will have my very own 15th-floor digs in Hangzhou.

I’ll just have to savor Alex for the next nine weeks. We’re going to try rock Thanksgiving and Christmas as best we can – at least we have each other for the holiday season.  

I’m actually excited for my job though, I will be writing an English website for the university. (My job description for spring semester has been all over the board, it’s nice to finally have specific details). I will have an entire morning or afternoon each day to have student organizations and impromptu English lessons. I’m really happy I’ll still get to work with students, they’re the best part about my job.

At any rate, I’m sick of the uncertainty and I’m tired of not being sure of myself. So I’m just going to make China my own in the next few months.

In other news, I gave my sweet student Zloz some new English name options today. Her jerk of an American English teacher last year dubbed her “Zloz,” which a) is not a name and b) does not suit her shy and sweet personality. She chose Daphne.

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