One-way ticket

Yesterday was momentous: I received notice that my work visa was approved and then bought a one-way ticket to China. All the waiting, worrying, and stress finally has an objective, and one I can and will achieve within days. On Tuesday, 9/20, I will move to China.

It’s funny (funny peculiar, not funny “haha”) how my days spent languishing in a perpetual pause this summer now feel so far away with the autumn leaves crunching below my feet. “How literary,” I thought yesterday as I hiked on a dirt trail through my favorite local park. I needed those few minutes outside to slow back down. Focus. I don’t know how much longer I’ll get to retreat like this.

The veritable holding pattern of red tape I endured this summer did not break my patience. It made me cry, made my head hurt, and made me wonder when I could get on with my life. Now that I’ve got a when and a where, my patience is a tool to help me regroup. It’s patience with myself that I’m negotiating right now as I prepare to make the biggest move of my life. It’s patience that draws me to notice things like the sound of a millipede falling when I’m walking in the woods. It’s patience that brings me back to what is important during this enormous transition.

I’ve lived out of suitcases for most of this year. Coming home from three weeks in Japan in January led to eloping in February, then moving out of my apartment and in with my husband. In March and April I helped to make our house a home, but in mid-May we were both in Beijing. We came home again in June, which is when I finished up work and began packing to leave our townhouse. We made some visits with relatives in the deep South in July, and then I had that one day where I spent 20 of 24 hours on a Megabus to and from New York City. At the end of July, we moved in with my mother-in-law and I’ve been here since… It’s time to go find my new home and I couldn’t be more excited.

A one-way ticket means I’m moving, moving on, and moving forward with my goals. I’m looking forward to finding a routine, enjoying the everyday bright spots in life, and getting to know my new colleagues, students, and surroundings. This challenge is far from over, but for now I know when my move truly begins.



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