Time has flown by so fast. I can’t believe that it’s already almost Christmas and before I know it, I’ll be done packing and back in the States.
Bicycle, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this before or not, but someone once told me that the only constant thing in an international community like this is change. I can’t help but laugh at this since change is such a real thing in our communities. We change apartments every 2-3 years (longer if you are lucky), our favorite restaurant all of a sudden becomes a pet store, the nail salon where we got a 10x discount ticket is nowhere to be found, the shopping street is completely bulldozed over, and my list can keep going. Even in our school communities we have a steady stream of new students and old students leave and we have new staff arrive and old staff that leave.
Have I ever told you how much I hate change?
I hate it, because I never feel like I can settle or belong. I hate the fact that it is so ingrained in me since change was so “normal” growing up as a TCK. Even after living in the States for 10 years, I never once felt like I could stay and build some roots there. I always had this itch and sometimes even a need to move overseas.
And Bicycle, the fact that I have to leave you behind breaks my heart. You have been so faithful. You represent so much more to me than just an old bike. You represent freedom and what life is like for me here in China. I don’t ever feel guilty because I don’t have to pay to ride you. You help me get to places and keep me company. You are my escape when I am done being at a certain place. You’ve also allowed me to pile a whole lot of junk on you so that I don’t have to look like the neighborhood bag lady. Man, Bicycle, what will my life look like without you?!?!
Sorry if I sound crazy, but I absolutely LOVE change.
I know I just said that I hate change, but transition has its two sides. Many other TCKs feel like this, so don’t think I’m crazy, yeah? Anyways, I love it because I look forward to the new relationships, the new job, trying out new foods, learning a new language…there’s so much I love about change. But what I love most is the fact that I never feel like I can settle or belong. I love it because it puts me in a place of need and a place of trust. Strange, huh? But, it’s true. I know the only place where I can settle and belong is at my Father’s feet and when I go to heaven. I know I can never be fully Korean or fully American or fully Chinese or anything else except fully God’s daughter.
Sometimes I feel like transition is like a toilet. Gross, but hang with me here while I explain. (By the way, this analogy only works with Western style toilets not squatty potties). ANYWAYS…when I move, it’s like flushing the toilet. I flush away my past and know that once I move, my toilet will be filled again. I don’t ever have to worry that I am walking away empty or that I will stay empty, cause as I say goodbye to one place, I know that there is a filling up of new things.
So, dear Bicycle, I am so terribly sad to have to say goodbye to you, but I actually already have a new home for you to go to. I hope that you can bring the same sense of joy to this new home as you have brought me. And since I teach about RAFT and filling up my treasure box, I will make sure I take a picture with you before I leave so that I can take you with me in my heart. Love you, Bicycle. Thanks for being there for me.
(PS. Please feel free to replace your name with “bicycle,” cause my heart is heavy as I leave you, my China friends.)