Scattered Post-It notes
Half-finished class projects, finished class projects, ideas for class projects…
Manic dashes to 7-11, the grocery store, and other places to pick up last-minute items and run last-minute errands.
Good talks with a friend
These have all been parts of my days recently, and I think that I am most thankful for the last one on the list. Recently there have been many thoughts floating in and out of my head. Thoughts of the future, especially. And this past Sunday dinner was very helpful in getting all of my emotions and feelings out there as well as reminding me that we’re never truly alone, even if we think we’re the only one at that moment in time.
See, I’ve passed my two year mark for living here, and if you include the first four months of 2009, I’ve officially been in Taiwan for 2 1/2 years. That’s a long time. A long time of not seeing family. A long time of teaching English to non-native speakers. A lot of sideways glances directed at me on the street. A lot of answering questions about my home. A long time of repeating those same answers…over and over. And it’s to the point where I’m wondering if it’s nearing the end here. I came here to support Jeremy, no doubt about that, and I’ve done my best to help him along, and I want to make sure that everything is in order for him first because I couldn’t be prouder of all that he’s accomplished thus far and want to make sure that he’s able to succeed in his goals. However, the last leg of his Master’s program is coming up, and while I’ve enjoyed my time here and still have some things I would like to (and need to) do before heading back home, I have begun to feel very stifled lately – like maybe my last leg of this journey is coming just a little bit quicker than his. I’m beginning to pray about it and am giving it time before I officially decide if I will head home early (still another year away), but time will tell.
At first I thought that maybe it was just one of the phases of culture shock rearing its ugly head again, but after some consideration (and discussion), I definitely feel that it’s something different. And I’m not the only one apparently. Stef is leaving in a few months, and she’s been harboring some of the same emotions as I have been – especially in the inspiration department. Maybe it’s the city. Maybe it’s the smog. Maybe it’s the lack of sunshine in this mountain valley called Taipei. Maybe it’s a mix of all of these, but whatever it is, there has definitely been a lack of motivation and inspiration for the past few months. We’ve had goals and things we wanted to accomplish, but this lacking focus and we’re both wondering what it is about this city that makes us feel so…blah.
The days and weather here have been blending together so much so that it’s become hard for me to tell what season it is, let alone when an important event is coming up without frantically flipping through a calendar to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Sunday afternoon was the first bit of sunshine we’ve had in Taipei in almost two weeks. Literally. I felt (and still feel) as though everything has become routine, so this was very welcomed. I took my camera off of the shelf and went out for a bit because I was finally feeling a bit more inspired (thanks to our wonderful talk the previous night as well as the sunshine) in order to complete some photos for my Picture Inspiration course that’s still up and running despite my lack of motivation and inspiration to go out and shoot for it. Last year it helped looking for Fall, and finding textures this time around wasn’t too shabby, either. However, I can’t help but wonder what’s in store for me in 2012 because, while I’ve been feeling better thanks to the sun and shared feelings, there are still many things to ponder and figure out.