Day 200: As the month(s) fly by

So it’s been exactly four weeks since we last spoke, and in that month A LOT has happened. My adventure that was original meant to last exactly 6 months (ending June 9th) was extended a few times over, landing me at an anticipated wrap up of end of August with the work here in China.

Despite still supporting the work here, I head back to the US in just a few days to catch up on the personal side of the last 6 months. I’ll be working remotely in New York and coming back to China to wrap up, but staying primarily stateside.

Anyway, enough of logistics garbage, because it’s boring. Let’s talk about all the feels.

I cannot believe I’ve lived on the other side of the globe, in a different place, a different culture, a different universe frankly, for the past 7 months. An experience that I could never have imagined being lucky enough to have be mine. But good gracious — my mind and eyes opened, my humility in check, and my heart has expanded 20-fold. It’s hard to believe that standing on the other side of this experience I feel so different than I did only a few months ago, but I am forever changed by this experience.

This isn’t meant to be a post on wrapping up my China adventure, because I have a few more days yet, and I am certain it’s only the beginning of an era. So let’s focus on what’s been up the last few weeks, shall we?

June 1–8: work blur. Workouts, watermelon eating contests in my grocery store, attempts at new types of Asian cuisine (cold noodles).

June 9–11: Heaven on earth. Went with friends to Xi’an (to see the terra-cotta warriors) and fulfilled a childhood dream. When I was 10 years old, I saw the warriors on exhibit in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, and I can remember being so awestruck that I knew some day I had to see the land where these warriors were found. When I walked in to the museum, tears swelled and I gasped — it’s exquisite and absolutely worth the wait.

If you’ve never seen them in person, just get a handled on the fact that 6,000+ of them were made and are each different with AMAZING and I mean AMAZING detail (you can see the shoe treads and braids in hair type detail) made in 21 BCE. I mean, holy moly, amiright?

June 12–13: Meetings upon meetings. Progress tho!

June 14: Flight to Hong Kong! Only 1 hour delayed flight (which is VERY VERY good this time of a year). Side note: the Chinese government & military run the airspace here so when there is bad weather (as happens in June because of rain season) a BOAT load of flights get canceled or delayed going from Hong Kong to Shanghai. And by a boat, I mean literally all of them.

June 15: Kickoff dinner to a meeting I’ve been working on for the past three months

June 16: Workshop I’ve been working on for the past 3 months. Now, I don’t say this often, but I am SO PROUD of the outcome of that work. I mean, I won’t say too much, but the team kicked butt…

And then later in the evening we went out to celebrate and…

Okay, this is a side rant. So here I was with my team at a bar at say, 11:30 PM. I start chatting with an business man in the bar we’re at when he offers to buy my party champaign. We thank him, and he sends out a few bottles and I see the bill come as I’m still chatting and it was $21,000!!!! Now, I’m all for quality, but for a few bottles of wine that’s CRAZY. Then I thought, how much money would I need to make to feel like that was a good idea?? The answer is A LOT of money/never. Or maybe like 10MM income per year — what’ do you think??

June 17: Regret and high tea.

Massages and more regret.

Dinner with friends, my “Asia bachelorette party”. Regret finally replaced by all night dancing.

June 18: Functioning level maxed at 3.

June 19–23: Work and things, work and things.

June 24: Good friend from college in town.

June 25: Work event.

June 26: Other HUGE workshop I was preparing for was spectacular. Think for a moment that I may very well be the next Einstein.

June 27 & 28: Goodbyes (for now) at work. Couple tears. Couple hugs. I remind myself that I’ll be back soon and try to hold back waterworks.

And the month tick’s by. So so so so so so so much more to come. The emotion of the day is making me lose a little steam. So stay with us!

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