Thursday, February 21, 2013


As I rapidly approach 30, I see my dreams gradually diminish into shadows, equally as fast. I am kicking hard to stay afloat but am only sinking further and further into cold darkness. It feels like  someone has me by the ankles and is pulling me deeper. I can no longer hold my breath! I open my mouth as if to gasp for air only to get a mouth full of water. I gasp again. The icy water has made its way down my throat and into my lungs. If only I had gills to separate the water and oxygen.
10 years ago, if you asked me "Where do you see yourself at 30?" I would have said a prominent editor in New York, married, perhaps with the dream.
5 years ago, "Where do you see yourself at 30?" Just finished my first novel, married, some big city, probably still New York, no kids, but a booming career.
Now ask me. Gainesville, maybe at UF maybe not. Working at Outback, hopefully not.
Granted I have some really cool experiences, and I love everything I've done. I wouldn't change a thing. But if you want to know why I'm drowning....
Some days my own pressure suffocates me, I struggle to loosen its white-knuckled grip from my neck and try to think of something else. Today I slipped under a thick layer of ice and fought the resistance to knock on the ice to get out or get someone's attention. No one heard me and the pulling began. This time no surface in sight. Just ice and water and darkness.

I've been 29 for 2 months now. Of my 3 before 30 goals, I've completed one and a half and a tenth.
Teach in another country. Check!
Finish school (4 years). Half done. 2 years to go.
Write the next great American novel. Started, far from finished.

So in an effort to find some peace of mind and perhaps swim to the surface, I've revised these goals.
Finish school before I turn 32.
Finish the next great American novel before 35.

And if I never get married, I must not become a crazy, cat lady (redundant?) The good news, I hate cats!

Okay, enough of this pity party! Thanks for listening :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Back on that China grind

Readers, however few but awesome you are,

I do apologize for my inability to stay focused and dedicated. As my only Chinese New Year resolution, I promise to write more. And it's not that I lack dedication, but that I lack inspiration. It's not even a case of severe writer's block, but my mood and just my being as of late. Maybe even the weather. Oh well, time to stop dwelling on what is or was and focus on what will be....

    So people, here I am again, back in the Middle Kingdom. Despite its name, this place is not overrun by hobbits and elves but by tuk-tuks and food stands of stinky tofu. Yes, I am back in China, the middle kingdom, a place that has buildings older than my country. And while I am in a different city, it seems to mirror all the other Chinese cities. Nothing about any particular city really stands out to me. No real special character, only different sights and sometimes culinary specialities. The people are the same, the sounds in the street are the same and even the food is generally the same. Maybe because America is so vastly different that I expect something new from every Chinese city I go. Well, I guess that isn't entirely so. This city lacks foreigners so I am gawked at a lot more than usual. The last city we lived in last year had plenty of Lao wai (foreigners) so we weren't really anything too special there but here! I see so few and the ones I do see are usually much older than myself and my entourage. Mostly businessman and future investors, not so many teachers, which is great for me because it increases my worth :) Additionally, this go-round we have multiplied as Floridians. Apartment dwellers of E1905 consist of myself, Chris, Bradley, Caitlyn, and Mike. So when people see our Anglo-modsquad marching down the street decked out in orange and blue, I think we may be a little frightening. I imagine the people that live in our complex saying, "there goes the neighborhood..."

My goal is to blog atleast once a week but to write everyday, whether it be for my novel (that I WILL finish!) or just for myself. Atleast one hour of uninterrupted, writing me-time daily is required both for my sanity and to sharpen my skills. So Readers, thank you for your attention and dedication, I promise to work on mine. Interesting stuff to come!

Here is a map of China...
The blue circle is where I live now. Black circles are where I have lived before and the green circles are  the bigger cities I've been to. Still have lots to cover!