I do miss home a little, but not as much as I thought I would by this time in my journey. I actually like the rate of how things are going; if anything it might be going a little fast. It’s up to me personally to live through each moment, take advantage of these endless opportunities and to be present in all experiences. The main thing I wanted to receive through this program from the start was growth. I wanted to feel myself growing and becoming a better me than I was before I got here. I’m glad to say that the process has initiated, but I crave so much more and I know with the remainder of time I have here that I’ll receive it.
I really like how easily I’ve been able to adapt to China being like my second home. This experience alone has me thinking about traveling to as many different areas of the world as I can. I enjoy how being engulfed within a new culture could diversify you so much more than you can imagine. There’s so much I’ve learned already from their way of life that has shut down previous misconceptions and minor, ignorant stereotypes. I just wish I spoke better Mandarin so more people in turn can try to understand me or the culture I come from. The citizens generally seem so friendly too, if only I could have a casual conversation with some of the many non-English speaking civilians. Even though this doesn’t get to happen, I could still feel the love non-verbally sometimes. Being so lost in verbal communication has made me observe more of people’s bodily gestures, facial features, and has made me count on my common senses even more.
I remember before arrival I was worried that my experience in China would result in culture shock; if anything, it seemed that certain individuals were shocked by my presence. Things were new to me, but no matter how far-fetched or complicated things seemed I always found a way to relate it to my life or try to understand it from their positioning. There have been times when people were so shocked by my presence that it caused a scene. They tend to be very infatuated by your physical features, wanting to take pictures, ask questions and touch your hair. People never really overstep their boundaries, but it still makes me wonder why the reactions are so big. I’m more use to it now and I simply see it as love. When growing, you don’t always initially recognize the process of it; at times it seems like the total opposite. If you could somehow get through the confusion and what seems like a downward roller coaster with openness and faith in change, then something worth it will sprout up.
I had to start this journey open to growth and continue the process through all of these new experiences in order to be able to handle them accordingly. I’m glad I’m here right now and I can’t wait for that Xi’an trip.