Eating Beijing style noodles (炸酱面) with college friends.

Accepting the repatriation blues

This was the week I finally accepted something I already knew to be true, not just as an idea but as a reality. Repatriation is hard. It takes time – a lot of time. And there is no shortcut. It is challenging to invest in a place my heart is not attached to – my mind has been in the world that I have known and loved and invested in for more than a decade.

The End

A lot of people have made comments along the lines of “but you’ll be back”. I hope that’s true, but I don’t know for sure. It’s important to me that I close this chapter well, that I don’t leave things hanging. I need this to be a real ending.

Something new

While I’m not excited about leaving China, I am excited about WHY I am leaving. As surreal as it is to be leaving the world I know and love here, I want to continue to grow – which means being me in different places, doing different things.

Obviously foreign

I am obviously foreign in a country whose citizens are, for the most part, quite ethnically homogenous. I stand out. Not everyone sees past it all and connects with the person underneath. I love when it doesn’t matter that I’m a foreigner.

I’m going to miss my xiaomaibu

These interactions are something I’ll miss when I leave. They make me love speaking Chinese, and the way it helps me think from another culture’s viewpoint. It makes me want to learn more languages, and live in more places.

A farewell to furniture

I remember how different my apartment felt when that furniture arrived. They weren’t just things – they meant something. It’s so strange to think they won’t be mine again. That these solid pieces of my life in China are just gone.