Finally… I’m here! I’ve reached my new spot. At the moment I’m sitting at my new desk, just at the window in the new living room that overlooks the busy bustling streets of Jinzhou. I’m in my new apartment, I moved in 3 days ago (Tuesday the 26th) and I feel to suddenly have come home in China.
Man, I don’t know quite where to start. It’s been some time since I’ve updated. The past 2 days have been crazy – in both good and not so good ways. Going into detail, would make this “short update” into a 5000 word essay on people, relating and the importance of space. Will I go there? I’ll just touch the subject briefly.
My last week in Manhattan (the old apartment), was the toughest by far. Up until the start of this week, I was struggling with work and with a certain new colleague/friend/roommate. I was finding it hard to function properly at school and socially as well, just because of this particular person. It was very odd. I was so suddenly and so constantly around this person who knows no limits, who has no boundaries and who admitted to coming to Jinzhou partially for the fact that there was an Irish girl (which is me) here… I couldn’t believe my ears when the new Irish roommate (I’m still referring to the same guy who arrived nearly a month ago) told me I was part of the reason for him to come to Jinzhou. For him then to be living, working and socializing alongside of me, only made the feelings I was getting since his arrival, of being ‘spaciously invaded’ (on every single level), all the more reassuring: my gut-response was legit.
The past week I’ve been quiet, drained and withdrawn. Doing anything felt to be taking too much out of me. So much so, that pushing myself through the week was all I could be happy about. I did it with a smile on my face and the kids gave me everything I needed, all the while hanging on by the edge of my teeth. I had to close myself off from one particular person who was trying to get too much into my mind, my space, my life. I was becoming distant from that individual who was pushing to take things from me that weren’t on offer.
It may sound as if I’m talking in riddles here. And in some sense, I think I am. So, I’ll go to the day when everything reached its peak.
I went for dinner last Thursday night (the 21st) with Lauren (she’s another English teacher from America). The other person who tagged along was the one person who I couldn’t face to be around. I didn’t want him near me, but still I couldn’t say no. Being around him was the one thing that was forcing me to be withdrawn, quiet and desperate to seek isolation. At that stage, I didn’t know why he was having this affect on me. So I told myself to ‘get over it, to get on with it and to stop over thinking things’! So, I forced myself to smile – even when I was feeling sick at the thoughts of him walking through the streets with me, after dinner. But, just like I couldn’t say ‘no’ to him coming to dinner with us, the suggestion of him walking with me, was another thing I couldn’t say ‘no’ to.