Every time the word "apartment" comes up, the old song by Barenaked Ladies pops into my head, "The Old Apartment". A friend sent it to me during my recent move, and it carries my mind right back to Buffalo, NY, circa 2000: apartments and break ups and get-back-togethers, along with struggles and joys.
Struggles and joys, 2018 hasn't changed much from 2000 in that regard. While I have struggles -- many -- the overwhelming thought is gratitude. I do have a good life here in Chengdu, and I am very, very grateful! Is the job ideal? No. Is the city perfect? No. But my quality of life, including my job, new apartment, location, security, freedom, friends, increased prosperity, and access to transportation, healthcare, food, travel, and mountains, has increased so much that it overshadows the inconveniences, the language and culture challenges, the hassles of living in a foreign country. I am very, very grateful!
#3 Anything is possibly in China.
#4 Nothing is easy in China.
So while everything takes me 3-5x as long to accomplish as it would in the US, or even another country, it gets accomplished. I have friends to help me, a "Cultural Liaison" at school, a pretty cush job that provides me with abundant funds, my new apartment is stellar in so many ways, and so much more. Each time I sit down and think about all that I have, and compare it to life in Austin, I am so, so, so grateful I can hardly bear it. I truly feel wealthy here. I have a lifestyle that affords me little extras I never even considered in Austin. My working hours are pleasant and I work with people I truly like.
I am lucky. I am blessed. I am grateful.
I still need to consistently bring to mind that life is cyclical. Here, it is cyclical on an hourly basis. I still need to sustain my meditation and yoga practice, remember The Four Agreements --especially at work-- and work on patience and compassion in the classroom. Actually, I need to remember patience and compassion for myself first!
Life is great! I am grateful!