Last New Year's Eve, I was in my friend's apartment, casually celebrating and contemplating an eventual move to New York City. Six months later, I had accepted a job in China and now, on January 1st of 2014, I have been in China for four months and 9 days.
Though I didn't know it, 2013 was a year that I took to regroup. I had fallen in love with the Big Apple before and, not sure of what else to do, I decided that I would give the city a try. I moved there in February and at first, still a work-horse, I took on two jobs and an internship. Still wiped out from my job in California, I barely had the energy to write my schedule down in my planner, let alone actually carry this schedule out; so, after a month, I quit the internship and one of my jobs. I entered the world of working only 40 hours a week. I was broke. But with each obligation I had stripped myself of, I was lighter, happier and able to breathe a little bit more. I was freeing myself from the overwhelming pressure I had been keeping myself under.
Since moving to China, I have continued giving up responsibility. I have slowly become one of the party people. Never out before 11:00 pm. Never home before 3:00 am. Until recently, I made it to work, did my job, went home, took a nap, went out again. Repeat. My weekends were not spent reading or studying Chinese. They were spent going out to eat, going to bars, shopping and traveling. I took the year of 2013 to first divest myself of extra responsibility and then become completely irresponsible.
And now I am here. Facing you, 2014. I hope that this year, I will find myself in a healthy middle ground full of meaningful work and well spent time off. A year of new languages, new friends, new books, new sights and new experiences. And full of, more than anything else, balance.
Happy New Year everyone!