Saturday, May 5, 2012

Flying AGAIN! ( and what "settle down" looks like)

I just booked my flight to Taipei for May 14th, 2012. I've been home for about a month and two weeks and I am already going back.  Not back... to Foshan ... not back to China ... but back to that side of the world.

I'm will be starting my second year of teaching ESL abroad- this time in Taiwan. Between yesterday and today my stomach has been in knots and my appetite is not really been so great .. my body has just not been feeling the greatest ( probably 50% due to it being the first day of my period too.... but at least I now know that it has come for the month and it won't be happening ON the airplane. First day of your period on a 15 hr flight .... has got to be the most uncomfortable thing .... I could not imagine that. I'm grateful that WON'T be me ... at least for this trip.

I am excited to go to Taipei. I've had some really helpful little Skype sessions with one of the Reach To Teach recruiters who lives in Taipei, I've emailed with Carrie ... and she's already talking about the May RTT  "Monthly Teacher Outing"  in Taipei that she has pushed back to later in the month so that I can attend ( SO thoughtful.). I've emailed with a teacher who works for the school that I will be working at and who has had a lot of positive experiences there and really seems to enjoy his time /classes, etc. 

It's just .... a bit like whiplash. A bit quick. I thought I would have a little more time to spend at home. In my mind I was picturing "July" ... but I had to grab this position - because they are rare in Taipei - and if I didn't I might not get another chance until mayybe September .... and I can't see myself waiting THAT long.

So it seems again I'm "trying to tie up the loose ends" ... trying to "see everyone" ... or at least try to see who I can, when I can. (there will ALWAYS be SKYPE... and to me, Skype feels like you are talking to someone in the next room ... SO clear, so close.)

When I came back here everything in NY felt familiar and not too much had changed. Before that I had left Foshan - and after a year everything felt comfortable and easy enough .... 

My dad asked me once, while we were driving in the car -  a week or two ago - about when I was going to "come home". Pretty much wondering when I thought ... all the "smoke and dust" would clear and something "tangible" and "firm" would emerge? when would I "settle down" I guess?...

Honestly I think I am going to be in Asia ... for at least these next two years ( coming home in between to visit). I want to become fluent in Mandarin and I want to have at least 3 yrs of teaching ESL abroad under my belt - that to me looks and sounds better "than 1year in China and can speak some basic Mandarin phrases". I told him this and he seemed to understand and agree. I don't know though ... maybe it will be more/less? Maybe I will learn about ESL schools and maybe the school that I'm working at in Taipei will want to expand to teaching new immigrants in the US ... and maybe I could start a branch of the school ( that has branches in Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Japan, and the UK already) in the USA - in New York City?? ... that would be exciting. Then it would be even that much easier for Lisa to move to the USA- getting her work visa/green card - because I could hire her to work for me ... and .. and .... my thoughts are a million miles ahead of my body right now.

TRUTH IS: I'm excited about TAIWAN 
Taiwan SPCA ( maybe I could be a foster Mom to a cat or two while I'm living in Taipei?)
BIG ASIAN CITY ( with the LARGEST collection of Chinese art in the world - more than Beijing/Mainland China!)
a LESBIAN COMMUNITY ( however small, even if there's only two girl bars - it's more than I had last year ... and it would be nice to make some friends and here their stories.)

My stomach is just in knots now. Anxiety and uncertainty. I want everything to be really wonderful with Lisa for this next year. Somehow being in Taipei feels farther from Guangzhou than being in New York City. At least in New York City ... I could send her pictures and know what I was talking about... send her pictures to lure her to come visit/live. With Taipei .... I want her to come visit too ... but I don't want her to think that I'm having this amazing time without her/not thinking about her. I want her to work hard to learn English. I feel like I inspire her and she inspires me. But I also know that I've had moments of doubt and frustration and .... wishing that time would speed up. Just like "Zhi Shao Hai You Ni" - that song we sang at KTV ... there's a line that goes... "how I wish that we could grow old in one night and never be apart" ....

OK so maybe not grow old THAT quickly ... but just to have that certainty...that seems to come with age and time and routine... that time would move THAT quickly and we could get to being those two retired gray haired lovers living in our apartment in New York City-  in Chinatown ( or on the Upper West Side- around 73rd St. and Amsterdam Avenue) . Like that first story/segment in "If These Walls Could Talk 2" but with a happy ending ( and with one partner being Chinese). 

(Your positive thoughts and prayers regarding this are much appreciated friends!)
I didn't describe it in quite that way when my Dad asked me in the car.... 
but I hope that this is what my "settle down" looks like. 

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