Change is something that has always been on my mind. In school, with jobs, in places I have lived, with people…everything. It’s impossible for me to understand how people stick to doing the same thing for extremely long periods of time.
How can one live in the same place for the majority of their life? How can one stay at the same job for all their working days? How can one be focused on one particular path while renouncing all others?
I would be be incredibly bored and drive myself crazy. But sometimes, I wish this wasn’t the case. I have a great respect and a measure of jealousy for people who can doggedly stick to the path because I know that I can’t. There has been nothing that has lasted all my life except the love and support of my family (which I have sorely tested a few times) and my love for all things curry. So how, and maybe more importantly why, do people do it?
The answer to this is, obviously, for stability. Keeping to the course naturally results in stability. The need for stability, while ingrained in everyone (in different degrees), seems to have been quite unstable in my psyche. I found it very hard to ignore all the passing temptations that inevitably come along. For me, the grass is MUCH greener on the other side. Thus, I was never able to commit wholeheartedly and achieve a degree of stability in my life. At times, I thought I would end up like this:
Now don’t get me wrong. I did all the normal things. Finished university, got a job, made money etc. etc. But these outward symptoms were a result of society’s (mostly my parents’) expectations of me. I didn’t really care about it and was inwardly horrified about having to do the 9 – 5 drill until I dropped dead. So I started on a path of self destruction that had a very detrimental effect on my life. While it was fun, that too, couldn’t last forever. I needed a change.
I left Toronto, Canada on Aug. 8, 2011 and landed in Taoyuan, Taiwan on Aug. 10, 2011. Adrenaline was pumping through me even though I was dead tired. It was a long trip (including a 12 hr. stopover in Shanghai, but no sleep). I was excited to be here and couldn’t wait to get out and start my new experience. After customs I was at the baggage pick-up area and I saw this:
Ok, I know that there are cross border restrictions on produce, but do you think that if I had decided to smuggle something in, I would be intimidated by beagles? I found this picture very cute yet contradictory…what with the foreboding X ed out vegetable signs on one side and the cute little beagles on the other. While one says prohibition and conjures up mental images of being detained, the other says “woof” and makes me think of wagging tails and scratching those adorable ears.
After exiting the airport I got transportation to the town I was going to be staying in (another hour-ish). While I saw signs in English around the airport, they started to disappear as we drove away. The only English I saw was the road signs on the highway. Finally, when we got to my destination, the built up exhaustion hit me like a ton of bricks. Dead beat, but elated, I walked into my apartment and fell into bed. I was here. Tomorrow would bring a torrent of changes to my life, and I couldn’t wait!