A few times in my life have I been at a loss for words. I usually always have something to say, an opinion, a story to tell.
But this past week, I found myself at a loss of words for my little bloggy! I knew I needed to document (how else will the grandkids know how I celebrated turning 26?! ha) but each time I thought about opening the computer to write I would think, "what should I say?"
Anyways...I don't want the blog hiatus to grow into a habit, so here I am. Tongue-tied and all hoping to update my corner of e-world on the past week and keep the Chin.a stories comin' at a decent pace.
On Sunday I turned 26. Half-way to 52. Double 13. Closer to 30 than 20.
Twenty-si.x feels great. Honestly, I have been telling people I am 26 for a long time because according to the Chin.ese lunar calendar I turned 27 in January. When a Chin.ese person asks my age, I uaually tell them what year I was born, this keeps things from being complicated.
I wanted to write something thoughtful, reminiscient, poetic about my 25th year, but when I sat, everything felt cheesy and forced. My birthday reflections this year consisted of me going through my "past 12 months" tab on my computer and laughing outloud at my year in pics. It was a great one.
Some things that made 25 memorable:
-Buying a cat.
-Backpacking northern India for 3 weeks with 2 dudes.
-Completing the Great Wall of China half-marathon.
-Finishing my first year of PhD course work - including changing majors from Comparative Education to Chinese Philosophy.
-Dating someone special who is no longer on this continent but remains a friend.
-Working as an adjunct professor for the first year! (including spending 18 hours in a Chin.ese mental hospital with a student who had a break down). Signed a contract for a second year.
-Continued orphan work, including a tv appearance by my best friend to ask the public for donations (a new thing in Chi.na). Also, the death of a mentor in orphan work that inspired me on the greater purposes for being here.
-My mom came to Chin.a for 2 weeks (by herself!) and we climbed Yellow Mountain.
25 was great. I am expecting equally challenging, awesome, and developmental experiences as a 26 year old.
Some goals for the year include:
-my first full marathon (Disney marathon in January)
-traveling during Oct. holiday and January (got my eyes on Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Dubai, or Africa...)
-complete PhD coursework and delve deeper into the dissertation.
-be more organized with my job.
-continue on my weight loss/health journey.
-and other more personal goals....
I didn't want to have a birthday party, but my friends stepped up and treated me special. I am thankful for them. Saturday night was hilarious, a cocktail hour followed by hitchhiking in the rain with two Chin.ese men in a landrover when there were no taxi's to be found. (kids, don't try this at home). We pulled up to several friends waiting to say happy birthday and the night continued with dancing and margaritas.
Sunday, my friend Natasha took me to get a facial and my friend Michael took a bunch of us to a Korean place for dinner. It was a low-key birthday in which I felt loved and pampered. I'm thankful to have good friends in a faraway place.
More recently, I have been fielding a million emails from my American students who are arriving very soon. My online class is up and running and I feel a sense of professional accomplishment because this year I'm not being as "hand-held" as last year and I like it.
Yesterday while riding the bus home from class at the hospital, I ran into one of my students from HDU many moons ago (two years). I am so thankful I remembered her name and we had a nice chat in Chin.ese. It was such a heart-warmer to see her and hear about her life. My little baby ducks are all grown up. (my age, haha).
Today I rode the bus to meet a Chin.ese classmate for lunch. He will soon be going to the Univ. of Miami to aid in a research project about Chine.se philosophy. He wanted to know about Florida and I wanted to know about some papers that I have due very soon. After riding the bus a few stops an elderly man got on the bus carrying a small, red bucket. He sat beside me. I looked down into the bucket after smelling an awful smell and saw 3 dead fish. Just chillin'. The best part of the story is that the man was staring at ME. Like I was the weird one. Yes, I guess a redhead in Ch.ina is weirder than a man with a bucket of dead fish on public transportation. Makes sense in C.hina. Ha.
It's been raining every day and my body is very achy after lifting weights too much on Monday and Tuesday. I took today off of running and will hopefully be back at it tomorrow. I'll take the week off of posting marathon crap and get back atchya next week.
Things are about to get nuts. One of my best friends just arrived from America! (weee!!!) and everyone else is due back soon. New people are arriving next week. The dorm will soon be full, there will be new friends and students to orientate.
So I guess I should enjoy this quiet evening with my cat, huh? Ya, that sounds about right. :)
walk slow. xoxo.