Hold The Phone

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.

I’m staying.

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.

8 Responses

  1. You crazy bastard. I thought you were in love with the last girl, who also had a boyfriend, and what about this crap that you were “really beginning to dislike this country.” You can fool yourself, but not the rest of us, i await the next installment where it all comes crashing down in a ball of flames with you stuck in China for another year. Way to go.

    • Just happened across this post while doing some cleanup around the site. It’s funny to think that 8 years later, now married to Maggie and with two children together I think I’ve earned the right to blow a bit of a raspberry at this comment. 😛

  2. Good for you! Reading this post made me smile.
    I’m a regular reader of your blog and was following the Maggie events with interest. My girlfriend is Chinese too and instead of me moving over to China she came to Holland.
    If you can read Dutch click on my link. I’m planning to write about how my girlfriend and I got together, etc.
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading more of your adventures over in China.

  3. Hi, I came across your blog looking for info on China. Anyway I just decided a few weeks ago that I would be moving there to be with the love of my life (who in turn calls me the light of his life 😉 ) and I agree 100% about what you said about the distance eventually making you build walls and have those safety measures kicking in. After having one failed long distance relationship, I knew it had to be now or never and need to take the plunge! And now you and Maggie are together and have a baby – wonderful! I know not everyone has a happily ever after, but people like you make me hopeful!!!!

    • Good for you Jane! And best of luck. I personally believe that while we can make a lot of mistakes in life, following our hearts, even if by chance it doesn’t work out, is never a mistake. It shows passion, and what’s a life without that? 🙂

      It’s funny going back and re-reading this post. Aside from the voice sounding much younger (hard to believe that was half a decade ago!) it’s neat to remember that fateful decision and to look back on it now in context of Maggie and I having gotten married, moved around the country and had our first child together. To say staying was the right decision would be a massive understatement. I hope that in five years you’ll be saying the same thing about going!

  4. Pingback: Road To Wedlock Part I: I Swear I'm Not Married - Ryan McLaughlin

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