Today it occurred to me that my one month anniversary has come and gone – probably because I don’t usually measure things in months, but also I’ve been so busy thinking about the future that I didn’t consider how far I’ve come in just a few weeks. Looking back, however, I can see that quite a lot has been accomplished in a month.
I’ve completed a move across the country (twice, actually), got an apartment that is not only functional, but starting to look like home. I’ve received my work permit, a Chinese medical license, and (hopefully) will get my residence permit tomorrow. Work has started in full swing with clinic patients, charitable outreaches, lectures, and talks of an inspirational nature. Play is equally important and I’ve successfully navigated my way around the city on my morning runs, and have been snowboarding!
Friends are really what makes a place feel like home and I’m blessed to have the people I work with (residents, faculty, and other staff) also be good friends. If I’m not hanging out with my national colleagues, I’m not hanging out with anyone. This evening we celebrated the Lantern Festival as a “family” together. I invited them over to my (soon to be way cool) flat and then we went out to eat. The photo is from my mobile phone as we were leaving the restaurant. I could understand only a fraction of the stories they were telling, but I still laughed and had a fabulous time.
Everyday I’m reminded about how far there is to go. Personal and professional challenges (frustrations?) are constantly before me throughout the day. However, reflecting back either near or long ago helps keep perspective on this life, OUR lives together, and the story in which we journey – past, present and future.