I am rather surprised at how quickly it has passed.
180 days in Beijing.
Not actually true since I’ve spent time in Tanggu, on an oil rig in the Pacific Ocean, Tianjin, Shanghai, Malaysia, Sinagpore as well as Beijing.
For the year or two before I came to China, I had only left America to visit Mexico. Not too exciting. Since then I have to say that my life has really been a trip.
Pun definitely intended.
The reason I came to China is a story in itself.
I was going to quit my job, as a social worker specifically working with 18-24 year old people that had been diagnosed with their first or second psychotic episode.
These were mostly people that were on medical, medicare, and other social services.
It was an incredible job where I was able to help my clients learn more about their diagnosis, how to master it, and help them continue their lives and not be caught in the stigma and get lost in society.
I also learned a lot about myself. I had been working with geriatric clients (60 and above) for the 5 years previous to that and, as much as I loved that job, to be able to help young adults control their hallucinations and delusions, and other issues that would occur, proved to me that we have so much more power and choice in our lives and that if we desire to overcome almost anything, we can.
It is why I quit that job actually.
I love salsa dancing and have been dancing it for around 13 years or more.
I love Cuban music.
I am very intrigued by their culture.
I had decided, a month before leaving the job, that I would take a year off and travel the world.
I’d start in mexico to see my cousin, Michelle and her husband John, and then travel south.
Eventually, I’d go to Cuba, then Europe and then end up in China and visit my older brother, Robert.
Then things changed in a blink of an eye.
My brother called me and told me there was a job opening at a medical center that he knows about in Beijing.
He asked me if I was interested and I instantly said, “Yes!”
I emailed over my resume, was interviewed, was hired and then had to have a full physical. I had to do an EKG and a lot of tests that I didn’t expect. This included a vision test where I learned I have 20/10 vision. I can read the smallest line at the bottom of the test easily. I also had to do a color test and see numbers that are different colors from the background. If you can’t recognize the colors, you are colorblind. Luckily, again, I have perfect vision. Every other test showed that I was healthy. The doctors doing the tests were actually quite interested in the results and the reason for the tests as they had never heard of someone having to get a major physical to go to a job overseas. They called me with the final results and congratulated me and wished me well on my journey.
After getting the results, I got my visa, sold almost everything I owned (I have 5 lawyer sized boxes back in America, a large painting that my mom gave me years ago, and nothing more), taking a two week vacation to Mexico to visit my aforementioned cousin Michelle and her husband John, I bought my plane ticket, hopped on a plane and arrived in China.
That was 180 days and, 180 blog posts, ago.
Since I have a three year contract, that means I have roughly 910 more to go.