Today I broke. Once again, I was lost in the middle of nowhere; I’m assuming I was on line 13. It could have been 10. I’ll never know. But as I stared off into the sea of unknown faces, a Prince Royce song hummed through my headphones and brought my mind back to Boston. I had everything a girl could have wanted and it STILL wasn’t enough.
Then I just started sobbing.
I’m here. In China. Alone, sweaty, and confused-constantly. My daily achievements include hustling for food and practicing the name of the subway stop near my apartment.
Huixinxijie Beikou. Huixinxijie Beikou. Huixinxijie Beikou.
Because if a cab driver can’t understand your tones at 3:30am, you’re screwed. It’s day 11. I have 354 days left. I still haven’t found my hedgehog.
I think it’s the inability to communicate that makes this place particularly arduous. If I ever need help, it’s just too damn bad princess. No one has any idea what you’re saying. The Beijingers try… but English is just too different. I am too different.
And that’s why it is socially acceptable for me to have a complete mental break down in the middle of a subway station. No one even looked twice at me. The masses of salmon were too focused on their fight upstream to notice anything other than an unoccupied pocket of space in the next subway car. Technically, I had all the privacy in the world.
Someone once told me,
If CrossFit is the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life, then you haven’t accomplished shit.
Harsh, but in fact, true. I’m not publishing this article for sympathy. I’m purposely being vulnerable to show others, who are also struggling, that life is a process.
Whether you’re moving to a new city, or college, or job halfway around the world-there will be moments where you question everything. And that’s okay. Because human development is one of the last shocking things left for us to believe in. If a little Mexican girl from Los Angeles can make it in Boston, she can make it in China. If she can hustle in China, there’s not a single damn thing she can’t do. It’s okay to sit down and have a good cry. Scientifically speaking, you’re letting out a ton of negative proteins and anxiety. So do it. Just freaking do it. Breath in. Breath out. And then hop back into that mess-of-a-river and swim like hell. Do as the salmon do.
Because if I can do this, then YOU can certainly survive whatever transition you’re facing.
Unlike in physics, the strength and velocity in which the human soul moves cannot be measured, which is why I continue to search the corners of the world for human excellence. It’s how I hold onto my sanity and faith as I watch the Universe unfold is grand master plan; both the good and the bad.
Beijing is amazing. My friends here are amazing. My experience is going to be amazing. It’s all a process.
Wander onwards my friends.
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About Vanessa Elizabeth
Vanessa Elizabeth is a cultural chameleon currently based in London. She enjoys sports (such as CrossFit and dating), cooking, and demolishing her savings account. When she's not busy blogging about her feelings, she works full-time and practices Chinese with her English/German friends.
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