2011, a very chaotic year. Even it’s all history now I still have a mixed feeling about it.
It was a long winter in Boston. Snowy and cold, yet I had to drive between the school and students’ houses regardless what the weather was like outside. Every 30 minutes I needed to regroup myself to face a new child’s learning condition and attitude. Too much snacks while driving and too little time to sit down and eat.
A busy month. Due to our trip back to Taiwan and Japan, I had a basically none-stop teaching month for make-up lessons. The desire and excitement of going home kept me going.
We finally got on the plane to Taiwan for 5 days. Me and Nik went to my older brother’s wedding, a very modern, fun and moving one. Everyone did his part — thanks to my brother and his wife, who were both very good at organizing events — that everyone was smiling when leaving the ceremony. Then we went to Tokyo–probably there was too much excitement, I was having fever the whole time there. In meiji shrine (明治神宮)，we vowed to each other that we will try to work our way back to either Taiwan or Japan. In the afternoon of March 11th, I was having a really bad fever so we went back to the hotel to rest (and eat bento). Then it came the earthquake.
Two days later we got on the plane back to US. I saw lots of fields been flooded.
Back to Boston, back to work. We helped each other facing the reality, yet in our heart something new was developing. Feeling suffocated by the situations at work and at life, we knew THIS (in terms of computing–”this” means the triggered event) will not last long. We started wanting less and longing for simplicity and emptiness.
Put thoughts into action.
After a long talk, we decided to move (back) to Chicago where he is from. We quit our jobs, said good bye to our friends (not that many), and loaded all our belongings into the little Scion. Everything we owned has turn into eight paper boxes, and everything else, we dragged them to the curb, sold them on Craigslist, or donated to Salvation Army. It was our first move towards minimalist style of living.
Moved to Chicago. Living with three cutest cats ever and was the best time so far in this year. My mother/father-in-law kind of “heal” both of us internally with their warm heart.
Not much happened. Days passed like a breeze — by the time I noticed, it already went by . Talked to my mom very often, and she learnt to like internet, started using Facebook and YouTube even started writing a blog!
We bought our first house at Chicago suburbs. It was as if a new beginning, a new start. Nik got a new job, too. Everything was turning better… we celebrated often, that we actually went with our guts for dropping everything in Boston.
My health condition is getting worse and worse. Decided to have another trip back home for surgery and lots of medical exam. Since I didn’t have a job at the time, I left Nik alone in our new house, hopped on the plane back to Taiwan for a whole month of “full body” exam. Spending a whole month in the hospital was painful, but it was great to have some time just hang around my parents.
My high school best friend came to visit me after my surgery. We spent whole day giggling and discussing our life after we apart from each other, and we talked until our eye lids dropped heavier than our thoughts. We constantly talked to each other since then.
Back to Chicago. My newly bought house. Started enjoy the peaceful life of taking husband to work, taking time on breakfast and coffee, while reading blogs for way too long, then baking bread and making dinner and then watching movie till bed time.
At the meantime of my uneventful/peaceful life, I started looking for a totally different career.
Lots of job interviews, and lots of time in front of the computer sending out resume, modifying resume/cover letter, and improving portfolio. Very anxious with the job search, and very clueless when/where I will end up. Started to feel lost and frustrated again, yet Nik helped me to have faith in myself.
Now, January, 2012 — I am glad 2011 has past. Hopefully 2012 is brighter and slightly more stable.
This is a new stage in our life, and a new year. I know new challenges are coming but I think I am, (a deep breath), ready.