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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Closing the door to Jinzhou

My last entry was somewhat of mess. It was a true reflection of how I was in that moment of writing. It was Thursday the 1st when I wrote it. It’s now… Sunday the 4th. The week has been so crazy. The only time my head was clear enough to write, was on Thursday – but really, after reading what I wrote I figured out that my head was nowhere near as clear as it could’ve, should’ve or would’ve been, had I slept and rested more throughout the previous days. Either way, no worries. This is what’s been happening since leaving the office last week Sunday.

I’d said my goodbyes to most of the teachers and once I stood outside the school, I was free. Emotional of course, but positive. I was then taken to dinner by the ‘foreign gang’ from work. Which was so nice. They’d arranged it for me, and really made an effort to give me good send-off. Afterwards we went for some drinks in a bar. Something I’ve not done in ages, but it’s what I needed. As well it was so good to ground myself in the company of the teachers who are and always will be an important part in my Jinzhou experience. So I was grateful for the way the evening planned out. The goodbyes again, affected me more than I imagined, just like the goodbyes I’d said to the kids throughout the day. And it was only by saying goodbye, did it really hit home, just how much others appreciated me being there… It was something I never really was aware of, not until I took a step back later that night; the entire day, started rolling through my mind.

This thinking, kept me from my sleep… 3 hours is all I managed to get. I was then up at the crack of dawn on that last day and needed to get so much done. But, if somebody had been watching my moves during the day, they’d never have guessed! Because I was literally floating, in a tired daze. I got absorbed in journaling, when really I should’ve been packing. I was meeting a few of the Chinese staff from work, to say goodbye, when really I should’ve been sorting some ‘business’… I was sitting in a coffee shop, by myself, writing poetry (!!!!!) when really I should’ve been getting a few last bits from the market. I was meeting the new boss from work, when really I should’ve been PACKING! Man oh man… it was so strange. I was floating and I didn't care less... I was enjoying my last day, being carefree… There wasn’t any stress involved at all. And to be honest, I don’t even think I’d have had the energy to stress myself out ;)

In the evening, I was working on my last painting… still not packed!!!! I then began to wonder if and when I was actually going to start moving things along… But suddenly I kicked myself into gear at around 7pm. And the packing commenced. A whirlwind took over my apartment for around about 2 hours (it was me, by the way) and then I hit a bump. But that was fine. I figured the last little bits could wait until the following morning. And the bump struck at the perfect time too; Helen came round for a chat and to pick-up some stuff I was passing on. So nice it was, to actually speak about what was happening…

By this stage, it was like I wanted and needed myself to be stressed and fearful and excited and emotional… at least if I was experiencing ‘normal’ feelings due to what was happening, I’d truly feel that something big was changing in my life. But, they never came. Instead I was calm and focused. I guess I wanted to flow with this ‘massive change’ MORE SO than I wanted to stress and panic myself over what I was doing and the risks that were involved and the affects the move could end up having on me. There proved no fear to be felt and instead a great deal of flow to be experienced. Sad emotions had all been disposed of, the night before. And Monday night was time for calm and settled feelings.

My last night of sleep, in the apartment that was so ‘beautiful’, but no longer mine, only lasted 3 hours….again! Whaa… the excitement was kicking in. And sleep didn’t feel too important. So, when the sun finally rose, I was happy and extremely eager to get the show on the road! Things needed to start moving. I needed action. And sure enough, in due time, action came knocking at my door. One of the managing staff from work arrived at my apartment at 8am, to take the keys. As cool as a cucumber I was packing my last bits and pieces, my backpack was still growing and becoming heavier by the minute… But that was just a minor weight to bear… My muscles would prove to be getting the workout they’d been missing over the past months ;)

Anyhow, I was so ready to move on, it was almost daunting. Usually I’d want a moment by myself, to properly absorb the space I’d been living in, the place I’d never again set foot in, before closing the door behind me. But I didn’t even need those moments… Nope! I figured I’ve most definitely had too many hours of being alone in that space, that a special goodbye wasn’t too much of the essence. And I realized that, no matter how luxurious it was… it was never really my home. It was just an… apartment after all. I'm sure there are gorgeous ones everywhere in the world… and anyhow, I was off to India to find my gorgeous hut instead!!!! Way better than a space in an apartment block situated in the north eastern part of China (oops, didn’t mean to slip in some bad notes about Jinzhou…) All in all, closing the door behind me, on Tuesday morning (the 30th), felt like the most natural thing in the world. I was simultaneously closing the door to Jinzhou too... or maybe leaving it on a small latch - I've learnt how important it is to NEVER burn any brigdes :)

The last taxi ride through Jinzhou as I made my way to the state… was … good good good! I was heading to Beijing! Helen and I set-off together, which is something we planned the week before. She wanted to visit a friend of hers, Roger, who also offered to put me up for 2 nights - giving me 2 days to explore Beijing. Helen would stay for 1 night and go back to Jinzhou on Wednesday afternoon.

The excitement started to hit home, once I was on the train on Tuesday morning… It was so cool to realize that there was no turning back. No matter what would threaten to stop me in my tracks, there really was nothing that would ever stop me in my tracks… how reassuring!

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