Off the Beaten Track – Again

It’s been more than a year since I’ve written in my blog.   I haven’t written at all.  I’ve missed out on many things in life, as life continued.  How is that possible?

I went back to work in a field where I felt I barely knew anything anymore.  I felt humiliated.  In that time, however, I ended up handling some of the firm’s most important clients.  

My hours were generally long.  I would arrive at work around 8:30 and stay past 7.  I didn’t get paid overtime, and not a few of my coworkers asked me why I would work so hard if I wasn’t getting anything for it?  

Well, I needed to – I needed to prove to myself that I could do well.  I needed to try to rebuild my life from where I had left off and felt I had lost so much.  

My assignment ended at the end of last month, after a year and 3 months.  The company decided to move all of our jobs elsewhere where labor was cheaper, first to Houston, then India.  

The funny thing is that I was looking forward to my assignment ending, although I took pride in my work and in working with a wonderful group of people.  My boyfriend, who is a retired fireman and paramedic who broke his neck in the line of duty, told me, “I’ve had to rebuild my life maybe three times.  You’re still drowning in your first one.”  

And I realized what he said was true – I was putting all my energy into proving to myself that I could make it back in New York.  And when I had done what I set out to do – settled down in a nice home, a good job, walked in the familiar and yet new streets – I came to realize that I had changed.  It wasn’t what I needed or wanted anymore.  


Off the Beaten Track

Today, I am happy because I would like to share something beautiful.  I love writing because every time I write, I use something of the little I know and discover new things.  But the sum of who I am is not one thing.  I am more than Chinese and American and more than just my writing.  Everything that I come across is a part of me for a little or longer while.  I try to spit out what I don’t want.  If I find myself feeling negatively about something, I try to examine what bothers in front of me, as if I am holding an object, for a little time.  I try to see it for what it is and accept it so that I can let it go. I am very often unsuccessful at this, which can be quite funny, and I have often made a fool of myself, but I want to keep trying.

I have been through a rather dark period in my life, and for more than a year, I have been more or less a hermit.  I have been afraid and felt much pain and did not do much of anything.  I did not see my friends often.  I did not go to the museums or for many walks in the parks or even through many streets of New York City.  But my time away, in a sense, perhaps, gave me rest.  Perhaps it was a bit like sleep, which helps restore the mind and body.  I now prefer to think of this period as one of being in a cocoon.  Just very recently, I have been able to do more of the things I like.  

In working on this blog, I want to say thank you to all that have shared with me, whether you know this or not.  I have had the opportunity to experience wonderful worlds through others’ lives, writing, photographs, and art.  Even if it is just one piece or thing that I like, it makes me smile.  I see that a piece of conversation or art is a sum of other’s experiences.  Many are made out of careful thought, but, more than that, out of a desire to share, learn, enjoy and, really, out of spirit and love.  (The word in Chinese that comes to mind right now is  shen, which means “spirit.”)  The world can be a chaotic and messy place.  Still, we manage to find the courage to give of ourselves and to receive from others.  And nature always seems to give.  (Right now, there is beautiful light in my kitchen where I am standing and writing.)

The thought I have for today is, Thank you for sharing.  I would like to begin to share more with you also and with those around me.  And although I am not religious, I feel thankful to God for giving me the chance to grow older and, hopefully, a bit stronger, wiser and kinder.

Finally, I would like to share a few sites that I came across recently that I find beautiful.  I would like to recommend more sites in the future.  (There are so many to choose from!)   I hope you enjoy them.