Leaving China Is Hard

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Sometimes leaving is harder than arriving.

Though often temporary, you build your life in a new city. New apartment, new job, new friends. You find your place and build a community. You make peace with the odd looks and strange comments. You explore and learn and grow. You live and laugh and love. You make a family with the people who are most like you.

You may also long for home and feel like you’re in limbo. You’re so far away and on opposite time zones. Friends at home have bought a house, got a promotion, are settling down and putting down roots. Shouldn’t I be doing that too?

I’m delayed, I’m behind, what am I doing here? The air is clean there, my family are there, people understand me there.

But once it’s time to leave, it’s not so clear cut. The emotions can be complex. Saying goodbye to people and places, selling your possessions and condensing your life into a suitcase. Giving up the career job and hoping it translates back home.

Back home I’ve found a job, I’ve got my house, the air is clean. My family is near, as well as my old friends. But people don’t understand me like I thought. My mind is busy, and negative thoughts take over. I can’t do this, no one gets me, I don’t fit in here.

We will get through this, my friend. You will find your place and find yourself again. While I can’t say that I definitely understand your struggles, I sympathise and I’m here for you. Leaving China is hard.

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wildhaber/5976264120

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