What a fucking year. More than any other I have felt the highest of highs and the lowest of lows these past 12 months. I knew leaving Hangzhou and moving to Xiamen would be difficult, and I accepted that. I accepted the lonely days and night in the beginning before I met anyone. I accepted the new routines and way of doing things in a new city. Big changes? I LOVE big changes! (It’s stagnancy I am afraid of, not changes) Six-months in I can say that this move was one of the best decisions I could have made. But despite the strides I’ve made and accomplishments I’ve achieved, something has been tugging at me ever since I’ve arrived.
These past few years I have been on an elevator ride to the stars. Anything I have set out to accomplish, I’ve accomplished. I’ve met amazing people and done amazing things. I’ve learned not to judge so harshly and how to love people and let them in. I’ve learned to let things go, see the joy in all things, and how to ride through life like I’m surfing the big wave—a bit dangerous, a bit exhilarating and totally worth it. I don’t just want to live life, I want to roll around in it and absorb it for everything that there is.
Much of these past changes are a result of my divorce. I was finally free to become who I always wanted to be, and as cliche as it sounds, I really did find myself. And I had so much success. As egotistical as this may sound I really love the person I became. (Although I wish we could all say that and feel that and it wouldn’t be egotistical at all.)
But now I feel like change is in the air again.
I’m a firm believer in fate. That some people are put in your path to teach you lessons, make you think about things you haven’t thought of before and help make you think of new things in a new way. I can tell when these people arrive in my life because I start questioning myself, my assumptions and beliefs. And that has been happening more often to me these days…
I feel like I was so successful at “climbing the mountain of happiness and satisfaction” that now I’m at the summit. There is nowhere left to go but down. But if I squint my eyes and look into the distance I can see another mountain, which is even higher. But how do I get there? I need others to show me and guide me and the people that have come into my life recently have been doing just that. (Though they don’t know it. Lesson? You never know how you affect others.)
Five years ago I wrote reflections about the ‘00’s. How unhappy I was before and how coming to China really freed me and changed me for the better. When I wrote it I remember being so happy, but when I read it now I see how unhappy I was back then. It was only five years ago, but I want to tell that girl to not worry, and things are going to get better. Or to continue my metaphor, I want to tell that girl she is only at the top of a tiny hill, and to start climbing that mountain in front of her, even if it looks too scary. (I’m not worried though, I know she’ll climb it.)
New Year’s is a good time for reflection, but for most of us I don’t think it’s enough. I think we have to keep these thoughts and ideas in our head longer than a week. We don’t change quickly and immediately, but slowly over time. We need to deliberately face our mountains and start climbing them before an avalanche comes down and buries us. We need to step with purpose into each and every day.
And on that slightly somber note I wish you a very good 2015, and I hope to see you on the mountainside fellow hikers!
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