Make a Little Birdhouse in your Soul

Long time no write, huh? Hopefully that doesn’t happen once I arrive in China.

Life in the interim has been pretty uneventful. My brother, his wife and two beautiful babies traveled to Ohio at the end of June to visit with us all. It was pretty fun meeting the two (relatively) newborns, Onna and Parker. We did a ton of work around the house, both inside and outside. It was a crazy week, but one that I certainly enjoyed!

I met Ben Gutscher, a fellow graduate of Akron who will be teaching with me at Henan University this year. He seems like a pretty nice guy (certainly not a freaky weirdo… or a crazy otaku).It’s nice to have another resource to probe for information which may not have been adequately shared. I’m looking forward to getting to know him better in the next year, and he’s certainly allayed some of my China fears.

Otherwise I’ve just been prepping for the move. I packed up my apartment and moved (mostly) out on Monday evening. As expected, it was not a great endeavor as I have worked hard to maintain a lifestyle which doesn’t promote collecting a bunch of junk. It makes moving easy. I’ve also been running in accordance with my marathon training schedule. Today was sort of a landmark for me in that my once long-run of 6 miles is now simply my mid-week run. It’s awesome that I’ve built the endurance to not even notice 6 miles. This Saturday is also a landmark in that it will be a 12 mile run, which means I’ve added double the distance of that first run.

Since I’ve been home I’ve been going through old boxes of toys in an effort to further condense my life into minimal space. This has caused me to become reminiscent of my childhood. Old Star Wars action figures and playsets remind me of how much fun I had as a child, and also of my time spent in school. I never minded school too much, and given a second chance at it, I think I probably could have done better on the social aspect of things. Not that I was a pariah, or anything, but I’ve certainly found myself wishing I had connected with more people my age.

The preparation for the move has also forced me to remember summer 2008, which was probably the most significant summer of my life so far. It was a summer filled with happiness, love, and adventure. Working on things like my visa and going to doctors and dentists remind me fondly of the time I spent with people before I left.

However, the remembrance of 2008 is extremely happy. I was headed to the Japan-America Student Conference as a delegate and then off to Japan for a year. Life simply couldn’t have been better, and looking back I would gladly relive all of that in a moment’s notice. Looking forward, and even in my heart now, there’s a sense of trepidation. Maybe it’s caused by looking out at the world and not /knowing/ what 2011 will hold, as when I went to Japan I knew I would be back here. Will I return? Will I enjoy myself? Will I excel at what I do?

Trepidation and anxiety, yes. Fear? No. 🙂

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