the best is yet to come

An apartment, a boyfriend, and a dog

There are times where I am afraid to fall down the rabbit hole of my own white picket fence nightmare.

I’ve been trying to figure out how not to become complacent when life is becoming stable, when I am not spending Thursday nights eating handfuls of chocolate chips and obsessively swiping right on Tinder, when I don’t have to deal with a roommate who doesn’t wash the dishes or put away the pizza boxes.

Now that I’ve got my own apartment, a boyfriend, and a dog how do I keep myself from growing complacent?

This feeling, this stability is comforting, but at the same time it’s terrifying, and stifling.This is the sort of thing that my parents may have aspired to in their early twenties. But though this is part of what I want, I am restless thinking that this is all I should have

I guess what I’m saying is this: China is beginning to feel comfortable. I am beginning to feel like I am steadying on this crazy thing I’ve been moving forward with for years. And there are people who come to China and thrive here for 5, 10, 15 years. And there is this fear that whenever I leave China, I am going to have to start over, go back to square one, eke out a living, and a new life, and maybe leave what I’ve built here behind.

Exit strategies are rarely that simple. I honestly don’t know whether it’s proper to begin planning my own exit strategy out of China a year in advance, a month in advance, or whether I should just pack up and move to a new city within the next 72 hours (which is, at times, so so tempting). It felt great being in New Haven and being able to say ‘Oh yes, why I am moving to China this summer, isn’t that cool?’, because there was this anticipation of something bigger, because I was sitting on suitcases and college diploma and couldn’t wait to move on. In China, I feel less of that urgency. But the longer, I stay here, the more I feel that I should continue seeking out something more.

But then, there are other things to consider. If I am to leave China, I would be okay leaving behind my apartment, maybe my dog, but not the boyfriend. It terrifies me that the next choice in life I make may not be on my own. And it would be better if I felt like D was holding me back, that it would be easier to make that choice without him, but it isn’t, because he doesn’t. Making tough choices becomes easier with him, but at the same time, it may feel like I am pulling him back or he is pulling me back.

Even now typing this from my bedroom, I feel a sense of being grounded to a space, a space where I have lived for over 1.5 years. And that sense feels wrong, maybe because I don’t fully realize that in a few months, all of this could be upturned, and maybe should be, as my lease runs out, and that though the apartment may stay, the dog and the boyfriend are definitely coming with.

4 thoughts on “An apartment, a boyfriend, and a dog”

  • A very honest breakdown of what other people might just leave worrying and nagging at the back of their minds. If you went back to America would you be able to take your dog with you? And if so how long would you be in quarantine for? Don’t do a Johnny Depp! Best of luck with your planning.

    • Oh man, Johnny Depp’s apology was so forced! Luckily we can bring the puppy back to the US without a quarantine, we’d just need a pile of paperwork guaranteeing shots, a rabies vaccine, and a microchip.

      She’s about 6 months old now, so I’m taking her to get spayed and chipped in the next few weeks. Apparently, it’s easier to do the chipping while the dog is already under anesthesia, since this is something that will hurt.

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