I’m currently sitting in a Starbucks, surrounded by people of all colors, heights, weights, and lifestyles. The guy who made my drink spoke English, everyone around me can speak English, including the couple sitting across the room who talk to each other in a language I don’t know.
It’s weird because not to long ago I was in a Starbucks where the large majority of people crowding the couches and stools were Asian. The occasional foreigner might run in to buy the closest thing they could get to “real coffee”, but even they didn’t speak English most of the time. The guy who made my drink barely understood me, and I just stood there hoping that I was going to get something similar to what I ordered.
I’m sitting here typing away, sending emails, studying to take a driver’s permit test, and making a list of stuff I need to buy for a bridal shower I’m going to this weekend. Yeah, that’s happening. One of my best friends is engaged. To be married. I’m definitely not freaking out about that.
All of this stuff is so normal to everyone. It’s just how life goes, of course you’re going to learn to drive, of course you’ll go to college and/or get a job, and yes you’re going to start getting invitations to weddings and baby showers. It’s how life goes.
Yet I still find myself wondering when this all happened. It feels like my life paused for two years and then I came back to everyone else having aged and grown into their “adult selves” and I’m freaking out because I’m supposed to drive myself places?? ALONE??? Is that even safe???
I tease, I tease.
Now, I’m careful when I say these things because there are people who feel the need to pity me. To tell me they’re “Sorry I missed out on the “most important years of my life” and they’re sorry my parents dragged me away from “everything” I had here.”
You really can’t make this stuff up can you?
See, no matter how much I may wish I had learned to drive earlier I don’t really care. I never was eager to learn to drive. I’m still not, except for the fact that I’d like to be able to drive myself places without having to factor in getting dropped off somewhere.
I wouldn’t have traded those years for anything. I wouldn’t have not gone to China. Because everything that came of that time, has been incredible. I’ve got so many memories, inside jokes, awesome pictures, and a whole new way I’m looking at everything.
I got used to the fact that there was no one to “impress” over there. No one to “compete” with. So it’s a tad bit weird to be here again. With people paying attention. With a life to get back to, and get rolling again.
But kinda fun.
What the future holds I’m not sure of in the slightest. I just know I’m going to take it one step at a time and try not to think too far ahead.
p.s. just because we’re back in the u.s. doesn’t mean china won’t be popping back up every now and again. you’ve been warned…