Sunday, December 2, 2007

I Must Have Been Crazy

Looking back at my blog entries from the past month or so, I'm shocked and astounded.

If it wasn't for the stunning wit and clarity of the writing style, I never would have imagined
the author was actually me. Letting myself get pissed off by bureaucratic B.S.? Getting frustrated over not having a job? Being dissatisfied with free time and a complete lack of responsibility?

What the hell was I thinking?

What it took was a good, frank talk with a good, frank friend to smack me out of it. This friend helped me realize several really important things:

1) My Chinese, while excellent for a white kid, is still far-cry from perfect, and actually studying-- with books-- can still help it improve.

2) Making a real life and real friends in a foreign country takes time; as long as I'm meeting new people, developing new relationships, and learning new things, I am in no way wasting time or being unproductive.

3) I don't NEED money. I want money to fulfill a manly sense of independence and indulge myself in various luxuries, but those are pretty crappy reasons to chain yourself down to a job 9-5.

Ever since we had this talk-- around last Wednesday-- I've felt a huge pressure removed. Thing is, these points are all totally the kind of thing I've trained myself to be sensitive to (I'm kind of incredulous that I didn't figure it out myself), but sometimes you really just need to hear someone else say it to make it real, to make it valid.

So what's the new new plan? For one thing, be more happy. Lighten up a little bit. These past couple days I've pursued creative projects, wrote letters to friends and loved ones, exercised, met new people, flirted, shivered in the cold, read, had good conversation, thought idle thoughts, and dreamt sweet dreams. Pretty good life, huh? Why rush to kill it?

More specifically, the new new plan looks like this: chill out, study for a month. It's been a dumb semester at a dumb school, but just like Prez Bush, I want to sprint to the finish line. Improve my accent. Get a finer understanding of how certain words work. Increase my reading speed. Purify my Chinese.

I'm going home for Christmas, and I'm going to see if I can extend my ticket to stay an extra week into January. Spend more time with my family, make a movie with my brother, visit old friends in the city.

When I get back here after New Years, I'll still have three months on my visa to figure out what I want. I can continue looking for jobs, I can take a teaching gig to make money and get a new visa, I can keep trying to do freelance stuff. Or I could find a (better) school and continue studying. Shit, I could start studying another foreign language here... everything I learn would be explained in Mandarin, so it would kind of be a two-for-one kind of thing.

Anyway, we're talking about a positive change in attitude and a lot chillier approach to things. It's just like the ancient Chinese saying: anxious hearts can't eat hot tofu. So true, so true.

And this blog, hopefully, will see more writing about happy living and less about stressful dissatisfaction. I know many readers are interested in the job-search aspect of things, and I'll continue to post about whatever opportunities I encounter... but no more agonizing over such petty things as working for my livelihood.

Let us once more commence that most wonderful celebration, that most precious enjoyment of life.

1 comment:

Nadia Chaudhury said...

when are you getting here? i'd like to see you before i leave and before i go to penn. for christmas?