Are you ready for this? 你们准备好了吗?
I certainly hope I am.
As you may or may not have noticed, I've been gone for almost exactly on year now. You also may or may not noticed that I haven't kept in touch well with those back home who I know love and support me and my decisions. Here's why:
I didn't know what to say. I wanted to reassure everyone that I was safe, healthy, happy and better than ever. But I knew it wasn't entirely true. And if you know me well, you know I have a really hard time lying to people I trust, love, and care about. Soooo.... the easiest option was just to pretend like I was doing *so* good and I was *so* happy that I was too busy, or too forgetful. (Forget sounds better than neglectful) Because I have been have been negligent. I forgot to take care of myself.
For so long I've tried to do one of the best lessons in life my mom taught me. (Yes, her, my mom.) Save the world. However, I didn't exactly have the right tools and knowledge or examples and what I did have, I didn't learn from. I'm ready to change that. And I hope everyone is ready to accept that.
That's a very hard thing for people to do; let others change. Especially for the better. If you truly care and love someone it's quite simple because you want them to be the best they can be. But most people place you in a box, keep you just the way you were, never seeing the new way of things because it's too hard for them. Jealousy usually plays a large factor in that.
But wait, there's more!!
There are some very important news items going to be conatined below in the following INCREDIBLY long post. So bear with me. A teaser: bits of a conversation with mom where we cried but not in anger, some of my career and life goals and the baby steps and actions I am currently in the progress of taking, and nudity.
Just kidding, making sure you're really paying attention!! :)
So, talking to mom. Here are some of my favorite parts:
(Sorry mom hope you don't mind me sharing... I mean I always share the shitty things, so why not the good parts too...)
Because our last conversation endly pretty badly, we first started with a polite truce and small talk about her recent vacation.
12:40:40 PM: we went to lake Chatuga for fireworks
12:41:02 PM: Jordan fished at Cherokee Lake
12:41:09 PM: catch anything good?
12:41:15 PM: stayed at Pine Creek Cabins with a pool
12:41:28 PM: just a little fish
12:41:35 PM: sounds like a great time, even with any stress included tho
12:41:41 PM: he got to take a friend Forrest with him
12:41:42 PM: i need a vacation, but i dont deserve one right now
Then as things tend to do.... she started in on the questions that usually lead to our heated debates and fighting matches:
12:46:18 PM: so what ya been up to if ya wanna share?
12:47:29 PM: readjusting my life. learning right from wrong. meeting a really good new friend who is helping me kick my life back into gear. setting some new goals. salving my reputation in town. and trying to figure out if i can afford the coolest apartment i've ever seen on my own because i need to be by myself for a while. so not much really ;)
12:48:22 PM: sounds like you got a plan
12:48:53 PM: yes, but here's the hardest part, getting started. i have to make baby steps i just have to make sure they're in the right direction
And my personal favorite:
1:00:57 PM: any chance ya coming home anytime this year?
1:02:13 PM: about coming home. well... i'm working on it
1:02:26 PM: it's more important for me not to stop the ball rolling here.
1:02:43 PM: as long as your ok [ed note: i think this is a lie hehe]
1:02:53 PM: if i stop now. i'm afraid i will mess up again.
1:03:10 PM: well I dont know what messing up there means
1:03:48 PM: messing up here means i keep doing what i've been doing, fucking off, doing drugs, and meeting all these useless people that are dragging me down into a (un)comfortable numbness in my life. i cant do that anymore
And then the money/dad fight came knocking on the door...but it quickly turned back into the why don't you come home debate...but this time... I know why I'm not going home right now. I know what I'm going to be doing with my life. So it's makes a big difference.
1:07:55 PM: i mean, what do you suggest?
1:08:03 PM: why dont you just let us pay your way home?
1:08:14 PM: because i can't come home right now. i just told you why. i want to come home. i need to come home. i need to recharge and remind myself about the people there that are supporting me and caring for me.
1:09:09 PM: what better way to get away from people there on drugs and useless then to just leave
1:09:14 PM: but if i do it right this minute... everything i've been working for these past few days will fall by the wayside. i can't keep running. i have to start working
So after all that was said and done I set about explaining my new goals and steps to her while she keeps trying to entice, beg, please, guilt trip me back home. I'm proud of myself for remaining calm.
1:09:36 PM: it's much more likely that i'll be home in october.
1:10:03 PM: well it is more realsistic to get help from people at home if we thought you are doing realistict things
1:10:08 PM: if you want to wait until then, i'll probably need money for a plane ticket then as well. because i wont be making enough at the bar to save up. i'll be making ends meet until i can convince people in town i'm changing my life.
1:10:15 PM: i am doing realistic things!!!!
1:10:24 PM: the first one is getting away from the bar.
1:10:35 PM: the second one is getting a job at a different school
1:10:41 PM: convience who?
1:11:02 PM: the owners of english schools and the teachers that like to gossip and lie and run their mouths.
1:11:05 PM: why should anyone there matter? we are your family
1:11:10 PM: i can't tell people i'm going to change. i have to show them.
1:11:33 PM: everyone matters mom. it's not what you know it's who you know. and it's never been so apparent as it is now.
1:11:45 PM: Bran Ive always told you that what others think does not matter
1:11:59 PM: well it was a lie :)
1:12:12 PM: what they think about what i'm doing doesnt matter if i'm doing the right thing
1:12:17 PM: now i have to learn right from wrong
1:12:27 PM: those people dont control your life
1:12:27 PM: and i'm learning the hard way
1:12:39 PM: no, they either faciliate and make it easier or they hinder me
1:13:26 PM: well it is my opion that you need to bring your ass back to the culture that yo were born in
1:13:43 PM: and use what you have learned to better yourself here 1:13:49 PM: those i just told you were baby steps.
1:14:16 PM: i'm not ready yet. i havent finished changing. i'm like a butterfly still building my pupa. i have to learn more and form better habits.
1:14:54 PM: Bran you cannot convine me that you have to be across the worl to better yourself
1:15:27 PM: no i dont have to be. but that's where i found myself after drfting aimlessly without goals.
1:15:29 PM: bettering yourself starts from within not from an enviroment
1:15:39 PM: right, and i'm starting now. and i'm starting here. this day.
1:15:58 PM: brushed my teeth, did my situps, got my ass online and i'm planning options for my little goals this week.
So we wrapped it up with forgiving each other, her talking about god and me not getting pissed off, and then a sweet tender hallmark moment where we both cried...
1:45:13 PM: I know that any life that includes drugs is a dead end street
1:45:38 PM: if i really want to achieve my goal of learning the culture and the language. i can't do that in america. you know that. when you learn another language FLUENTLY not just being able to direct a taxi or talk about a topic, you really have to be able to think in that language. your first thoughts can't be in your native tounge if has to come automatic. if i can learn that at gordon i'll hop on the plane now.
1:46:06 PM: yes you're right mom. you taught me that lesson very very well. not only from your life but your friends (who actually are dying around you) life
1:46:10 PM: i'm glad you're away from it now
1:46:14 PM: and now i'm going to be too
1:46:41 PM: well Im glad it hasnt taken you all of your life to figure this out 1:48:10 PM: just more of my life than it needed to. almost at the cost of my personal safety. and definetly at the cost of my reputation which is the currency of china.
1:48:28 PM: I know you dont try to do this but My eyes are filled with tears and my heart worries for my baby girl
1:48:35 PM: so now i'm poor in spirit, broken, humble and ready to try again. this time working my way up and not just going where the path of least resistance is.
1:48:51 PM: i've been crying too don't worry ;)
1:49:05 PM: I cant help but worry
1:49:24 PM: you're a mother, that's natural
1:49:35 PM: no matter what your reputation here your family loves you
1:49:44 PM: sometimes love just ain't enough
1:49:59 PM: if you care about someone sometimes you need to be hard on them.
1:50:08 PM: i care about myself now. so it's time to be hard.
1:50:27 PM: I tried that and I drove you away
1:50:55 PM: and if love anit enough I guess I have nothing else left to give
1:51:00 PM: maybe now is not the time for you to help me anyways. i would appreciate any money you could offer because that would help me now. it's the one tool i lack.
2:14:01 PM: you sound like you have been brainwashed by a bunch of money hungry Chinese that are trying to rise above poverty
2:14:28 PM: if you dont rememebr anything else I say remember this. money doesnt buy happiness
2:14:44 PM: no.
2:14:47 PM: it buys comfort
2:14:50 PM: you know before i said i hated money.
2:15:02 PM: i dont hate it now. i see it for what it is.
2:15:04 PM: a tool.
2:15:43 PM: a worker is not his tool. he can love his hammer but that doesnt help him build his house. he has to love his house and use his tools efficetively. when i can build a house for me, then i can begin to help others.
2:16:17 PM: lol is this some chinese proverb?
2:16:25 PM: no that's a brandy metaphor.
2:16:33 PM: lol
So after a little more talking, we parted ways. And I think this may be the first time she's slept well since I've moved to China. So it's almost like a confirmation that my new choices are the right path for me because it's very rare that a conversation between me and mom could go this well.
So there. That's it. I have goals. I have motivation. I have little plans and steps and backup options to try and prepare for contigencies. I have the support of good people over here in China and back in America as well. So I'm ready.
Here I go...