Whoohooooo! I'm back in action! I feel like I have an old friend back! (you!)
After some intense google-action, I figured out that if I install a different browser (Firefox rather than my trusty friend, Safari), than pictures will most likely load around the Chi.na fire wall. And golly-gee it worked! Yay! Thank you, Google and Firefox!
Here is a long over-due state of the union address so that I can get back to telling stories about the random crap that happens while living as a student/teacher/redhead in Chi.na.
A few nights ago a dear, dear friend of mine and I were chatting on the phone. Our conversation had taken a turn toward deep-ville and we were reminiscing on our "journey's" in Chi.na. Somewhere inside the conversation she said to me, "Jessica, you are the happiest I have ever known you... I like stable, contemplative Jessica." I replied with a pause, a reflective moment, and then a, "Honey, the crazy is still there, just under a layer of contentment."
And it's true.
I find myself in a great stage of life these days and I'm in no rush for things to change. (As all things must, alas.)
I have a decent job, a full scholarship to school with an awesome PhD advisor, I am able to study a language I love for free, I have a cat who is my pride and joy and calms my biological clock, and I have a man who is sweeter and kinder and more patient and thoughtful than I ever thought I would find. Between work, school, the cat, and my man, there is really nothing lacking in my life. I feel fulfilled, challenged, cared-for, validated, and peaceful.
Of course, the crazy is still there. But what I have found is that if there is contentment, if I am looking for my blessings and acknowledging them, then the crazy is allowed to co-exist. I think this is called "growing up," but I'm not sure.
This semester is a great reprieve from last semester. You are probably happy that I wasn't really blogging last semester. I had bitten off more than i could chew with taking on 30 students. I was a mad woman. But somehow it all got done. And my cat didn't die. And my relationship grew strong. And my friends didn't forget about me. (I think). This semester is a billion times more calm. I now only have 17 students. Hallelujah. I have decided that, "manageable," is a key word for the rest of my career. This semester is manageable. Work has been busy with a dinner meeting in Shanghai last week with the provost and several all-day meetings with university partners in Hangzhou. It's going well.
The weather in Hangzhou has gone from freezing, wet snow to semi-cold, wet Spring. It is our rainy season and I am determined not to let the rain affect my over-all mood like it can. Seasonal affective disorder is real, people! Luckily, there have been some gorgeous sunny days in the mix for outings and hikes in this gorgeous city. This time of year always replenishes my belief that I am lucky to live here. The winter drags on and makes me want to buy a one-way ticket to Bali and never look back, then Spring arrives in all its glory and I'm like, "Oh, ya! I love this place!" ha.
Well, I guess that is enough for a, "state of life address." I'm so excited to blog again and keep this e-journal of hilarious and sometimes serious happenings.
I'm so happy that you can join me here.
Have some eye-candy...
|Spring is here! And so are the imported tulips and windmills. Oh China.|
|My darling angel boo boo butt.|
|weekly, free, and mandatory Mandarin class.|
|morning hike by West Lake.|
|all official and stuff.|
walk slow. xoxo.