Monday, August 10, 2009


I cannot avoid thinking about the Beijing Olympics whenever I listen to CSS's album Donkey. Whether I was on one of two new subway lines, tracing the perimeter of the Olympic Green on foot, on my way to a party or event, or falling asleep on the 6AM high-speed train, the Brazilian electrobeats provided a twee, punky soundtrack to my every day. It's nice to revisit those days while sitting in traffic, running along the lake, or job hunting in the living room.

That's right: this beast just won't be caught. My main source of income is manual labor these days, and I have the calluses to prove it. I've become my parents' full-time gardener, and have undertaken a variety of otherwise-impossible-seeming tasks to fund my life while in Chicago.

Emotionally, I've been steadily moving away from the darkness. After emerging from a pseudo-relationship in which my desperation for finding something worth occupying my time led me to over-invest in someone obviously not right for me, I see how low I can go and have worked to move away from it. Life, it seems, is about valuing whichever side of the see-saw is in the air--though the career and financial aspects of my life are failing, I'm doing well socially and health-wise.

It seems obvious for me to return to teach in China. I would be able to make money, gain more experience teaching, and fill a year otherwise spent weed-whacking or paper-pushing. I generally reject making decisions based on emotions, but I really "feel" like I need to be here now. I've never worked particularly hard to make Chicago a home for myself; I've dodged friend-making, volunteering, club-joining, and so on for almost 7 years now. I've managed to enjoy parts of my disconnected life on both sides of the globe, but it's time to invest in my future happiness, and I think I should do that in Chicago.

Despite how much I miss xiang guo.