To China and Back Again: The Year 2017

Walking over a bridge in China

2017 was filled with many challenges but so much growth.

When I look back at the year 2017, my head spins a bit. So much happened in a fairly short time. My life changed dramatically as I moved from Florida to China in 2016, settled there more in 2017, and then moved back to the USA.

However, I changed even more than my geographical location. Not understanding a word around me but having to find my own apartment and find directions taught me to ask for help even if I looked clueless. Teaching children and planning creative lessons taught me to trust myself more as a leader and artist. Working with children and feeling alone in a new culture taught me that I did want a family one day. Having a happy relationship continues to teach me that I’m lovable with all my quirks and faults.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Cleaning Out Boxes of the Past

A lake near a mountain

A lake near the mountains

After arriving back in the USA a few days ago, I’ve been busy cleaning out all of my old boxes. Although I just moved back from China, my goal is to move abroad again for my Master’s Degree soon. Thus, all of the clutter in my old room and closet needed to leave.

As I pulled out old boxes and rummaged through dusty drawers, glimpses of the past kept appearing.

My fingers were stained pink and blue from oil pastel paintings made in residential treatment for my eating disorder. Babies surrounded by darkness, blood-red monsters devouring me, trees half blossoming and half diseased – images of despair and hope mixed with every color.

Continue reading

Updated Bucket List 2017

In the Wide and Narrow Alleys

In the Wide and Narrow Alleys

Here is the fourth version of my bucket list. There are some things taken out and some added. Dreams come and go with time, but many have stayed the same.

Teaching and living in China is the biggest change since the last update in August 2015. However, I also transitioned to a new role at Disney World before coming to Asia and grew to a more confident and happy person. Continue reading

One Thousand Thanks: 1166 – 1176. Life in a New Culture

A temple in Wuxi

Wuxi

Wow. My last Thankfulness Thursday was in February of last year. Lately, my thoughts have drifted to dark and ungrateful places. My hope by bringing back these days is to encourage me to enjoy life in a new culture even when it is difficult.

1166. Spicy food – I never liked spicy food back in the US. To be honest, I never really tried it but convinced myself that I couldn’t take it. Here, nearly everything is spicy. It’s difficult to eat at times but so delicious. I’m realizing that I’m tougher than I thought.

Continue reading

Coming Back Stronger than Before

Cinderella

Disneybounding as Cinderella

I am not even sure how to start this exactly. The wait between these posts (both for you reading and me writing) has been far too long.

Life has been a bit hectic and full of changes lately. Since my last post in June (forever ago, I know), I have been offered a new job which I will be leaving the country for in a few months. After years of dreaming and doubting myself, I am going to be teaching English in China. Better yet, the Disney company will still be my employer.

The joy of taking this new step in life comes hand-in-hand with the fear of change. Am I really moving to a country across the world that I have never been to before? How will I learn Mandarin that quickly? How will I survive without my family and friends? How will I ever be confident enough to teach?

Continue reading