For the past year, time has zipped by, and it has stood still. New challenges arrive literally every day, so in general my brain is pretty active. This makes the time pass very quickly. But the first two months living in hotel seemed like they would never end. It drained my energy, not having a space to call my own, eating every meal out, having all the hotel staff watching my patterns. It tried my patience and i questioned my decision to take this life-changing leap.
The first big milestone was moving into the company apartment. That changed my whole perspective on the city. I started studying the language more, venturing out into the surrounding markets and restaurants, cooking at home. I felt settled, and every part of my life benefited. I was more focused at work and felt more connected to the city. It was the first time i was able to relax.
The following 8 months established a routine... work, frisbee, the band, parties. In general, i welcome change and adventure, but a certain amount of stability is soothing. It helps you notice little things right in front of you. Once you're comfortable with your surroundings, you're also able to branch out and test the boundaries. That's when you discover the hidden gems, which was important for really appreciating this huge, foreign city.
While a one year anniversary is only a symbolic milestone, this second year of my life in Beijing will be quite different. It's beginning with Ace's arrival, a new apartment, and Chinese classes. These three things are going to drastically change the rest of my time here for the better. I really enjoy living here and know this opportunity has been a blessing.
Thank you all so much, everyone who has supported me along the way... my family back home, my friends around the world, especially those in Beijing, my co workers at US/G, and Ace for helping me out of my comfort zone.
Update: Possibly unrelated, possibly a milestone for Ultimate Frisbee... you decide. Either way, it's a FANTASTIC article.