I think it was over a plate of Hui Guo Rou (回锅肉) last Saturday with Matt that something clicked. I don’t know if it was one of the multitude of enlightening things he always seems to spout off during lunch, or if it was just the first time I’d had a chance to really think about things, but I came to a decision that is on the fast track to being one of the bigger ones I’ve made in my life.
When Maggie and I first began I adopted the same attitude I had previously, which was a ‘Sure I’ll miss you – but I will regret not going if I stayed.’ It wasn’t really until last Saturday that it hit me; she would be the regret. We’ve fallen hard and fast in love with each other and if I left that after two or three weeks of finally being able to explore it I know little to nothing else would be of interest to me come Australia. I couldn’t sit through a year wondering what would have been.
The argument could be made that if it was ‘really meant to be’ it would survive a year apart. But I’d have to disagree. At some point the safety measures would kick in and walls would start to be built and questions of “was it actually real?” would be raised… and then it would all just fade away.
So – there it is. One of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve dropped my plans and decided to stay in a country I was really beginning to dislike for a girl that until a week ago had a fiancee. Crazy? Maybe… but for one redeeming thing. I know it’s the right choice.
The revised plan is therefore as follows:
- Go to Shanghai with Freddy and the recently arrived Vanessa on Tuesday
- Go to Thailand on Friday with Freddy for about two weeks
- Return to China and move to Dalian where I’ll be working again with Future School
I’ve made some changes to my routine, not the least of which is moving into the city. I like Jinzhou, but frankly I’m a bit tired of it and would like to be a little more central. I’ve also switched my 25-27 hours work week down to 15 hours, giving me time to start studying Chinese.
Right now things are a flurry of preparations, sorting out a new contract, getting my visa, packing, showing Vanessa around, developing my relationship with Maggie, hiding from her somewhat mad and potentially dangerous ex and doing the ‘goodbye party’ thing with a load of people I may never see again. Oh, and my classes, of which I now have to jet to.