My 28th birthday was really wonderful. It landed on a Thursday, so the weekend before my husband planned a trip for us to go to Hong Kong to celebrate. Compared to mainland China, Hong Kong is like going on a little European holiday. It was nice getting a little break from the craziness, eating great food, and drinking delicious wine.
On my actual birthday, the 3rd of April, I woke up at my normal time, 6:30. Yes, it’s early. However, I’ve gotten really used to it and I love being awake early with the whole day in front of me. And I can drink my coffee slowly, watch the day begin from our 10th story apartment, have breakfast, and my fresh squeezed juice (normally carrot, apple and ginger these days). When I knew my mom would be home from work, I gave her a call. We chatted for about an hour. After that, I began my day.
In the beginning, I had a lot of anxiety about coming out to China. I wondered what I would do with my time, if I wasn’t working. I worried about getting lonely, spending days mostly by myself. I worried about Eliot, and his state of mind, working every day in a Chinese factory. I worried about the stress it would put our relationship under.
But my time here in China, despite not working, is being very well spent. I have focused my energy into learning Chinese, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as taking extra care of my body. I exercise at least 5 days a week, and incorporate yoga into my routine as well. In the afternoon, I normally go to the local market and pick up our fresh produce, and make a plan for dinner. I might meet a friend for a walk, or grab a cup of coffee. My mind is clearer than its ever been. Mentally I’m in a good place, physically I have never felt better in my own skin, and I’ve never felt closer to my husband and secure in our relationship. This whole experience has proved to me to be very worthwhile.
Although I miss running my business, and meeting with clients, and making beautiful imagery, I am so grateful for this time. I know it won’t always be like this, but I feel really fortunate for everything I have right now. This is a feeling I haven’t felt in a long time, if ever.