Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Where have I been and what have I gone through these past few months? How do I even begin to detail it all?

Well I've done it, I've uprooted myself from Taiwan. I've quit my job in Kaohsiung and I will be relocating to New York for a time... eventually. It's hard to believe I'm using that word right now "uprooted." Six years ago, when I finally left New York for Taiwan, I could barely speak the language. I left simply because I felt that I needed a new perspective on life and the world.

What I thought would only be two years has turned into six... and I'm not even sure if I'm really done with Taiwan yet! I have made a life for myself in Taiwan, I have found inspiration and purpose, and I have cultivated my own unique circle of friends there- not a "borrowed circle of friends." I suppose that's how I felt when I lived in Taipei during my first 2 months in Taiwan. I found myself immediately plugged into a huge social network of people through my roommate Christine. It was odd stepping into her circle of friends- who so readily accepted me. I wasn't accustomed to such easy acceptance; I mean, I didn't have any personal history with these people.

Then I moved to Kaohsiung which was like a desert- in so many ways. It has disdainfully been called a "cultural desert", but just what would you define as "cultural?" Is culture measured by the size of an art gallery or concert hall, the number of modern dance performances? Or is culture the preservation and practice of local traditions and customs? I was "in the desert" for 2 years i.e socially isolated. At the height of the SARS epidemic my feelings of isolation intensified when my family and I decided to self-quarantine. At that juncture I discovered some things about myself, and thought about what I have to offer. I began to open my eyes, face my fears and follow my intuition.

As I prepared to leave Taiwan (on June 30), there were many goodbyes, and there were even some who couldn't say goodbye. There was one long endless weekend- my last weekend up in Taipei before I left- with good friends and food. It was a tour of sleepless Taipei's various all-night hangouts, we were up every day until the wee hours of the morning, there were tears over karaoke, a lockout, sleeping in an all-night diner, and lots of long conversations... We really squeezed every last minute of our time together. Then there was our trip to Penghu, several goodbyes to friends in Kaohsiung and then a gift- my last day in Kaohsiung.

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