|Hua Jing Jia Yuan front view|
|Subway station and the U Center behind it|
It has been exactly a week since I came home from Beijing. My wonderful, care-free, stress-free life is over. It was like a dream come true, and somehow I never wanted to leave. Sure, everyday we took the bus to school and walked for most parts, we always took the public transportation since we didn't have cars of our own, and we carried the heavy groceries and shopping bags all the way from wherever to good old home - developing greater stamina and muscles along the way! But I miss it. ♥
I miss having the freedom to go wherever and do whatever I wanted at any time of the day, meeting friends for some after dinner drinks on a school day, or just heading back home to end my day when everyone else has just started theirs.
I miss having everything within reach, just a cab or subway ride away and you're there. My typical weekday was go to class from 8-12, have lunch at the dining hall, and then either go shopping, visit historical places, or stay at home and hang out (which I rarely do), then have dinner at home. On the weekends, that's where the fun starts! Fridays we have pre-drinks at whichever bar we think of and then head over to the clubs for some dancing and mingling. Saturday is the same thing, and Sunday is the day we rest and re-charge and prepare ourselves for the busy week ahead. That was the life :)
I was never a party girl before this experience. Normally I just had dinner with friends, maybe a few drinks, and movie dates every now and then. Clubs weren't really at the top of my list. So I guess when I got to Beijing, my whole world opened up. Everything I knew and believed in altered when I set foot in Beijing - given that the friends I hung out with were unlike my friends back home - everything changed for me. HAHA.
Being on my own for the first time gave me a lot of insights about the world and even myself. I feel like I've grown up a lot in those 5 months. Although what I might have been doing in Beijing didn't constitute much of "growing up", I feel that in my thoughts and in my actions I am steps closer to becoming the ideal woman I picture myself to be.
I could have extended. I could have begged my parents to let me stay another semester. I had lots of friends who were extending anyhow, I would not be "alone" at all. Everyone knew I still wanted to continue my experience. But that little voice inside of me told me that I should go back home. I should start living my life as an adult, working and experiencing the real world. And although it was really hard for me to say goodbye, I decided to leave Beijing and start getting serious with my life. A bigger part of me wanted to still hang around, to play around and have fun, like how my everyday life was in Beijing. But what good would that do to me? Sure, I would have become really fluent in Mandarin and maybe I could have found a good job there. But something inside of me told me that I needed to come back home.
Beijing will always be home to me, no matter how short my residency was over there in 16 Hao Lou #603 Hua Jing Jia Yuan, Xue Yuan Lu, Wu Dao Kou ✰