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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

At the crossroads

I’m trying my best to keep these updates as short as possible. But it’s proving difficult… as so much has gone on… So I’ll try to keep focussed.

Once I’d found that I wasn’t happy and that I needed to change, of course I instantly wondered: where to go? Ireland actually never came to mind, until Mam said to come home. It was the strangest thing to hear her say the words that were urging me to return. And my reaction wasn’t one that told me I needed to go back. Not yet anyhow. But, before making any definite decisions, I tried not to feel pressurized into coming back but at the same time, I didn’t want to turn away from that option… This meant if I WERE to go back to Ireland, I’d know that it was truly because it’s what I’d WANT to do.

I sat for days and days, in a massive daze… in between 2 worlds almost. One world was the world of teaching… I was trying to plan lessons and teach my classes in the fragile, emotional and somewhat depressed mood I was feeling so intensely. The other world was travelling onwards… trying to decide what to do, trying to contain my emotions in the office whilst being around people and not letting anything slip. I was trying to keep this feeling of leaving as close to me as possible and to ignore any voices that would urge me to give it another go. I was journaling like crazy and looking like a zombie, even though I was sleeping okay.

I told my boss and the ‘head teacher’ the news, only a day after I realized I had to leave. I didn’t even feel nervous or bad for telling them that I didn’t want to stay the full contract. They were actually really supportive. That could possibly only be for hoping that for suddenly giving me understanding, I’d be convinced to stay. They said for me to think it over some more. I said I would, even though my decision has already been made. I’ll talk to them again this week, just to confirm my decision. On hindsight I realize I probably didn’t sound too convincing at that point, because I didn’t know where I was going to go. I only told them that it involved leaving China. But I didn’t care whether I was convincing them or not, I was just taking small steps so as this move would become my reality.

I got through the week… by journaling my heart out. I went from feeling so fragile and down to feeling a little stronger and little lighter each day… And once I felt less pressure, all options were open. I knew then that the answer as to where I wanted to go would come… And sure enough, everything I wanted and needed was pointing in one direction… India…

Why did I choose not to go back to Ireland, even if it were for a short 4 or 6 weeks, to refuel and put this Chinese experience into perspective? Well, there’s never just one reason. For one, I truly don’t feel it’s time. I know now what Ireland offers me - apart from my family of course. It has every ingredient to bring out the writer. And for this reason, I don’t want to be passing through just for a month. I don’t want to be trying to get to India, when a story needs my full attention, not like I was trying to get away, the last time I was there. At the moment, yes I still want to write another book, but what I’m living through right now, is the material I need so I'll reach that point once again. And I’ve not yet gathered enough... I’ll know when it’s time for me to fully ‘go there’…

Also, China may have been a false start to the adventures that I can experience, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I have to return home to ground myself. It just means I’m learning through travelling… And if I claim that travel is the main thing I need in life then I need to be able to trust that when the going gets tough I will always be able to sustain myself on all levels, independently, as I move and grow through the challenges this chaotic world can present me with. I need to do this for myself, and it’s not to prove anything to anybody. It’s not to fill out any expectations… I guess to simplify it once again; it’s to finally STOP dreaming about being back in India (which I’ve been doing since leaving in July of 2010) and just to START LIVING it again.

When making a decision we can never know if it’s the right one or not. And it’s not until we follow things through do we find if it’s for us or not. I needed to experience China, to realize it’s not for me. And the same approach goes for my next Indian adventure. If it’s right or wrong, I can only know by trying. But the peace and safety I feel for knowing that it’s happening so soon, is enough to tell me that it can only move me forward.

So… where do I stand now? It’s Tuesday the 2nd of August and I’m feeling relieved and safe again, now that I know where I’m heading. I’m still in between letting others know what’s going on, both here in Jinzhou as well as on the home front. But everything will come in due time. Even though I was dazed all week, I was able to think of the practicalities involved in moving to India. And I know it’s all possible. I’m still processing everything though and working on ideas as to what to do and when exactly to go. But I already know of certain things I need right now and India offers them. For now though, I think this is enough exposure on my part. Sorry that these entries have been never-ending almost… But I’m happy to have shared it now… It’s just means it’s becoming more real. Keep you posted on how the week unfolds 

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