So I spent a week in the States. And ohmygoodness.
“How was it?” People have asked. My response?
Freedom of information, internet, love, laughter, angst, anger, food, drink, cheese, coffee, bottle sizes, hugs, awkwardness, driving, and grammatical errors.
“Did you have a good time?’
“FREEDOM.” I’m not joking, this has been a response. America is just so much easier than China. I stared at the white people when I arrived. I talked to every person because I knew they would understand. Everyone speaks English. I was able to help the Chinese people that were coming into the country, which was a beautiful thing.
“Such a short time!”
Yes. I wish it had been longer. I wish I could have gone to the beach and swam in the ocean. I wish I could have seen my other grandmother and grandfather (Hi, Gigi and Tommy!). I wish I could have seen my Chicago family and my Ohio family. It was far too short a time.
“I can’t believe you came back.”
Well, I made a commitment and my nest is here. And I discovered that leaving Shanghai will be very easy once I have the promise and security of a job and a new nest wherever I move.
“Are you going to move back?”
Yes. But maybe not when everyone thinks or expects I will. I’m not sure yet what God has in store, but I am going to apply for jobs and wait in the expectation that He knows my heart’s desire and will fulfill it if He pleases. I know exactly what I want, though I’m hesitant to voice it right now to others. I want to wait and see. But this trip home did clarify what I want from my future more than I expected it would. I got the answer I was looking for, I just have to work out the details.
I was ultimately struck by the amazing freedoms that US citizens have and take for granted. I relished every time I logged on to Facebook or my email without having to turn on my VPN. I enjoyed every sip of good wine. I loved the food and liberal amount of cheese that sprinkles everything. I also loved how EVERYONE spoke English. I’d forgotten what it was like.
But I wouldn’t trade my time here for the world, and I’m not sure it’s over yet. I’m excited to continue here for the next couple of months at least and see what happens. I missed my Shanghai family when I was gone (and I am soooooo looking forward to seeing them again soon).
I missed my family, but family and my home are two different places right now. And I’m okay with that. I hope that they can be closer soon though, because this trip broke the bank.