Happy New Year to all! At this moment, I am back in Hong Kong, one day into my school's winter quarter. I was in the States for two weeks and I managed to spend time in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Tacoma, Phoenix and Tucson. The two main purposes of the trip were a) spending time with family and friends and b) showing my girlfriend my home country for the first time. Both went extraordinarily well, but of course, that made it harder than ever to leave. So it goes.
This was the first I'd been home since last Christmas and though the two trips were similar in many ways in the way I spent my time, my mindset was different due to the length of time since I'd been a US resident. I haven't been living in the US for a year and half, while last Christmas it had only been six short months. This time I felt more nostalgic, needing to dig deeper in my memory when thinking about the last time I did a particular activity or saw a certain person.
I put a lot of effort into keeping in touch with people, but this is a blessing and a curse. By the end of my trip, I was feeling quite overwhelmed after I'd had half a dozen two plus hour conversations with individual friends in as many days. These hours are invaluable and mean so much to me, but after a while, sometimes it's best to take a break by shifting the conversation from various life decisions relevant to most twenty-somethings to, how 'bout those Seahawks?!
Forgive me for sounding a bit less positive and optimistic than usual, but that's honestly not how I feel all the time, so I don't plan on hiding these emotions in my blog. Seeing all of my closest friends and family for two weeks then parting ways for the next fifty is one of the biggest challenges about being an expat. Particularly one with a serious love of his home turf. As my girlfriend said, all this is sort of like going to a party and then coming home to your house and feeling suddenly aware of your solitude, but on a much larger scale and with a language barrier.
But instead of endless dwelling, it's time to share some New Years' resolutions. I was pleased that my class teacher Katie had our class write personal resolutions on their first day back. Of course, the resolutions of a six-year-old aren't much more than "tidying my room" or "saying please and thank you" but nonetheless, it's nice to see children joining in on the refreshing hope we adults try to take in at this time of year. For myself, I plan to be more creative, continue to improve my Cantonese, read like a fiend, and exercise more. I have countless other little goals but those are some that I'm trying to keep at the forefront. At this very moment, I'm working in the creative category so as Barney Stinson might say, "Self five!"
More on the matter of this blog and my writing in general, I'd love to see posts here take all sorts of new directions. I write for myself and for you, dear reader, and by expanding the content, I think I'll do better to keep you and myself engaged. 2012 saw twenty-two posts, mostly about what I've experienced, which I'll continue to write about. But a year later, I find myself more intrigued by writing about what I'm thinking about, especially if I can do so in a way that doesn't feel self-righteous or indulgent. That being said, please let me know if it comes across that way :) On one of the six different flights I took recently, I read a great quote from Obama in Time about why he considers why writing in a diary is important. "...writing has been an important exercise to clarify what I believe, what I see, what I care about, what my deepest values are; that the process of converting a jumble of thoughts into coherent sentences makes you ask tougher questions." This blog is not a diary by any means but it also shouldn't be pure journalistic documentation of my time here in Hong Kong. I'm usually dealing with a jumble of thoughts in my life and I agree with our President that writing is a great way find meaning from that jumble.
To conclude this long and winding road of a post, here are some photos from my trip. Land of the Brave.
|Sharman and the King|
|The Newest Addition to the Seattle Skyline|
|Gray but Beautiful|
|Bainbridge Island's Landmark|