Monday, October 17, 2011

I want to pack the U-Haul. I want to play house again. It's been too long.

Before I start writing... whatever this is about to become, you must understand that

it is taking all of my energy to post this.  I am ...tired. (But the title of this post says it all)

Today is my day off. I had plenty of sleep last night. I've got plenty of money in the bank here. I'm well fed. I have been living here in China for 6 months now and am truly over most of the "culture shock".

I know
how to work my hot water,
how to pay my rent and utilities each month,
how to buy groceries/clothes/etc.,
how to use the subway,
how to transfer money home to pay my bills
how to connect to "forbidden websites" - Facebook/Blogger (VPN account)
how to speak some Mandarin ( "Pu-Tong-Hwah")
how to speak even less Cantonese  ("Guangdong-Hwah")

I've been - to Beijing and Guangzhou and Hong Kong so far.
I plan on going to Thailand and Tibet in 2012.

I'm not tired for lack of sleep or being too overworked or busy ...
I'm just tired... of being single.

Being a single woman from NYC who planned on traveling to China for a year, I held off on dating in New York before I left. I was (am) NOT blind ...  but I didn't want to get into something that I couldn't be present for.  One partner being in China while the other partner is in NYC - gives the term "long distance relationship" a whole new meaning.  It's a whole different level. It's too long. It's too distant for me ( and for most people I'm guessing)

So... I didn't think about love before coming over here. I could only think in the short term - I knew that I was going for my teacher training in Beijing for the first week and while I was there I wanted to hike "The Great Wall" and see this live Martial Arts/King Fu show.  - and yes, I did both. Scratch those off the list. If love happened here, I guess I assumed that I would maybe fall for another "ex-pat" and that we would travel around China together and eventually settle back in New York or Canada or wherever together. I didn't really give it much thought.

But in the past 6 months I've fallen pretty hard for a "good friend" of mine here. A (former) Chinese co-worker at my school named Lisa. We email and go out for dinner and KTV with friends ... but since she quit her job working at my school ( last week) ... I am missing our everyday contact. A lot.

I know that she is busy looking for jobs in Foshan and Guangzhou right now. Before she left my school, I promised her that I would write her an email every week and that we would make plans to get together once every month at least.  I just don't know if I can "keep on" like this. Lisa has "deep feelings" for me. I know that. She has told me that she wishes that she could speak more English so that she can share her "heart feelings" with me. Although I have seen some of those feelings... when we have wrestled and played around in school. I know that she does not like writing her feelings because I think that she believes that people ( the government or our employers) might be able to read her emails.

I am just at the point where I am frustrated by not being able to use a lot of words to speak to her. I am trying to learn Mandarin AND Cantonese ( the language that she speaks in most often with her family and friends.... she's from here... from Southern China) as quickly as I can. But ... it's hard.

To fall for someone who is closeted and who does not speak your language ... borders on masochistic. It's 2011... gay marriage is legal in New York... there are so many out and proud and wonderful women in New York. Why make the whole thing so hard? The truth is I didn't mean to fall. Do we ever mean to fall? ... It just happened. It just happens.

Being patient and trusting and connected here with this requires digging up personal strength from previously untapped sources. Like tapping a maple tree in the summertime trying to get enough sap to make a bottle of maple syrup. ... who would do that? I feel like nothing is definite. Nothing is promised. I guess that's true with everything in life.... but most days we all forget that. Life is truly "no day but today" - but when you are married and you speak the same language, you can afford to put stock in tomorrow.... to believe in tomorrow.

This is all very new... in so many ways.

Here's a little list (see below) of things that are so sooooo new to me.

THINGS THAT I'VE NEVER FELT/DONE WITH A PREVIOUS GIRLFRIEND

#1. You find yourself researching and learning the words "Do you have a boyfriend?" - in Cantonese and asking your "good friend" this question  ("No") just to be sure that you are both on the same page ... just to be sure that the translation and the actions and everything add up.

#2. You get jealous of her friends for simply being able to talk to her.

#3. You have her phone number programmed in your phone, but you never call her.

#4. She gives you her last name "Li" (to add to your Chinese name "Xia Tian") within the first two months of knowing each other. "Li Xia Tian" - that's me.

#5.  The idea of "illegal immigration in the USA" suddenly doesn't seem so bad to you and you being to understand that there are ... exceptions. Well, there's one.


*sigh* we're not even technically "dating" so it's silly to expect the natural progression from 1st base to home base to happen here. I have to take it "one day at a time" but then sometimes I am so impatient and eager I want to flip ahead several pages to see what happens one year from now.  Will "we" be? I know that we would have to be somewhere with more of a gay scene, somewhere more "open" - like Hong Kong or NYC. A million thoughts about immigration and costs and things fill my head at times .... and then at other times I know that I can't afford to think that far. I'm just trying to hold on to a friendship. To learn a little more Cantonese and Mandarin each day. That's all that I can afford to believe in at this point. 

I had a blog on tumblr but "Big Brother" found it and deleted it. (I'm pretty sure he won't find this one though). I know that this first post here on blogger is not much of an "introduction" to me , but I kind of feel like I'm just picking up where I left off.  I'll fill in more blanks later. I'll provide a rough monthly 2-3 sentence update of April/May/June/July/August/September soon. I promise.

I also know that some friends and maybe family are reading this and I hope you know that I appreciate it. I love you and miss you more than words on paper ( or " a computer screen") could ever say. Being connected is... the best. I'm glad that I decided to have this *adventure* during the "iPad/wireless internet/computer technology age" when home does not feel nearly as far away as it would have felt having an adventure... say back in the 1700's. :)

Whatever kind of life I am building/experiencing here ... there is TRULY NO PLACE like HOME - New York/NYC. I have amazing family and friends who I love and thinking about you all makes any "emptiness and confusion and frustration" here immediately disappear.

OK I'll write more soon. Let me know if you have a blog or  if you know of any blogs that you think I should check out, follow, read, etc. 

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