With Christmas essentially behind us and 2009 rapidly approaching, I have a lot to do! I feel like I should be taking it easy for a few more days, but it’s hard to do when 4 months of a semester in an entirely new world is coming. I may have mentioned this in a previous blog, but I am headed to China in about 1 month. I am going through the China Studies Institute and will be living in Beijing. Rather than take classes, I have opted to do a full-time internship (most likely with a law firm).
Because of my impending travels, I have been loaded with books (fiction, language, and non-fiction) as well as maps from family and friends. Luckily, I don’t leave until January 29th, and I still have a 14 hour flight. This should give me plenty of time to get through all that I have to read. On top of brushing up on language (of which I only know “hello” and “thank you” thus far) , current events, history etc… I have all of the extra things to be worrying about: cell phones, money, packing and luggage, visas, doctors appointments, and much more. All of the busyness is going to be worth it though! I am sitting here in my room at home in Chicago and can’t help but continually think about the quote that stares me in the face each time I sit at this desk:
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by out discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” – M. Scott Peck
It is true that China is going to be one of the most uncomfortable places for me for at least a few weeks. I don’t know the language or the culture really. But in all honesty, I can’t wait. I live for these moments. I love CC and where I have been the last 2 1/2 years, but it is time to experience something new. In fact, I am so glad that I have such a solid foundation at CC with friends and professors that I can leave for four months only to come back to a place that feels like home. Further, I get to return to a place that will embrace what I have done. My best friends at CC went to Bali last summer with their Balinese Gamelan teacher. Just as they shared pictures, videos, music, and stories with me, I will do the same with them. It is one of those incredible common grounds to relate on even though each experience is so unique in its own right.
More to come on Christmas, being home, and experiences at CC from the last block…