June 27th 2015
changes are inevitable
Packing boxes is one of those things that one moment can be the most exciting thing and the next be rather sad. Taking memories down from shelves, off of walls and from out under the sofa can’t help but stir up some long lost memories and trigger some hidden emotions.
My time in Shanghai is coming to a close and while I am ready to go, ready for a new chapter, a new backdrop to the path I am walking, there are moments when I don’t want to pack a box, I just want to leave things where they are.
In August I will be moving to Guilin & continue my China story, China Part III.
China Part I was crazy. It was 2007 when I moved to Shanghai. I was 24, had just split up from a long term relationship and was able to live like a queen in Shanghai. Everything was cheap, available and accessible. It was to be the last of my crazy rebellious years – at the time I didn’t know that – and I enjoyed all that was offered. My hangovers were horrendous, I rarely saw daylight on the weekends and some of my “friends” were as fickle as the latest trend but I would not change any of it for the world.
China Part I showed me I could be someone. I could challenge myself & I could succeed.
I tried food I would never have eaten in the UK.
I met people from countries I had never heard of.
I lived in a country where I didn’t speak the language.
I travelled to places I couldn’t pronounce.
I saw some outrageous things, Living in a city of 24 million people means the norm is turned on it’s head most days.
Above all I made some amazing friends who are still in my life today.
China Part II saw my return to Shanghai in 2010. I was older and not so much wiser in the classical sense but my level of ‘worldly wise’ had shot through the roof. 14 months in Thailand had had many a positive affect on me but I was still not quite ready to follow the path I am on now. I knew about it and had had glimpses of it from time to time but was not ready to commit to it.
China Part II saw a lot more daylight and in turn a lot more of China. Shanghai’s bars were growing old and I couldn’t be dealing with the hangovers from fake alcohol anymore. Prices were going up and the quality of living was going down. Gradually small changes were made, some consciously and some not and I started to travel more. Adventure was addictive, life was contagious and living was directing me closer to the path I am on today. Any opportunity I could I travelled and that was what opened my eyes to China, the real China. Not Shanghai, China.
China Part II was when I started going to the gym and decided to try yoga. My first thought about yoga was that it’s kinda embarrassing not being able to touch your toes. I probably would have never gone back but the yoga lesson was at a convenient time after work and I rode past the gym to go home so it made sense to go aka the universe’s way of pointing you in the right direction.
China Part II saw a lot of changes in my lifestyle, hobbies and truthfully in my friends. Changes happen all the time. They are inevitable. Not only could I see my path for the first time and I felt ready to walk down it.
China Part III will start soon – August 2015. I have no idea how this part of the story will go but I am looking forward to it. A new job, studying for my MA, a simple, cleaner, healthier lifestyle & a more relaxed quality of life. Time to take some time out. This looks pretty good written down, a world away from many of my friends who are buying houses and planning babies but it is my story and this is how I decided to write the beginning of China Part III and as when I suffer doubt, I just remember , what is good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander.
There are many directions China Part III could go but I know if I listen to the world around me and see every opportunity for what it really is, China Part III is going to be nothing short of amazing.
So now I pack my boxes with excitement know that when I unpack them my memories will have new selves to live on, new walls to be displayed on and new sofas to live under.
Actually, thinking about it, if it lives under a sofa, it probably is time to move that memory along…