Some Milestones

As of March 25th, Maria and I would have been in China for six months.

As of February 15th, Maria and I would have been in a relationship for two years, and we just celebrated today, rather belatedly, on March 27th.

I’m surprised at how quickly the time went by. It doesn’t feel like six months have passed, and it certainly doesn’t feel like two years. I am grateful, surprised, and happy at both milestones. I sometimes I feel like maybe I don’t make a good enough show of just how much I care for Maria. As long as ten years ago I was first told that I may just not know how to show people that I care about them, that I love them. I started to work on it then. I would hope that in a decade I’d have progressed. I guess the jury may still be out on that one. Two years is a long time, but these past six months I guess have felt longer. It’s funny that over a quarter of our relationship has occurred outside of the country. I feel so well traveled and worldly. Six months in China have almost flown by. It might be the cycle of having to leave the country every two months; it makes things seem to go by quicker because in the grand scheme of things, two months really isn’t that long of a time. I at the same time feel like we’ve accomplished a lot, and nothing. I do believe that Maria’s accomplished a lot. For her to have come to this country, not knowing the culture or the language or having any real support base waiting for her took a lot of courage, and to be able to do as much as she is right now, though simple things like go out for groceries, eat out, buy supplies, even take care of our electricity and gas bill needs, go running, have a gym membership, take taxis, are all great accomplishments. In fact, it makes me wish I had documented those under our list of milestones at the bottom of the page; the first time she went for a run in China; the first time she bought fruit. She’s even involved in such promising business ventures, and her Chinese is progressing, in my opinion, nicely. As far as my progress though, I hold a slightly more negative view. It did not take courage for me to come here; I know the language, some of it at least, some of the culture, and have a large support base already in place. China had always been my BACKUP plan, should all else fail, and though it is still a great adventure, greatly helped along by Maria’s presence as one, my personal presence, were it on my own, would not be any great accomplishment by any means. I owe so much to her. But I do feel rather worthless some of the time though. I’ve not blogged in a few days mostly because of no pressing desire to. I do so now out of guilt, out of some feeling of obligation to explain myself. China is such a great place on the one hand, especially since Maria is here, but on the other, it really makes me feel pathetic. I was working as manager of a restaurant, pulling 91 hour weeks, seven days a week, for the equivalent of a measly 700 dollars a month. Even in RMB, which is 5000, the amount just covers my current rent leaving no money left over whatsoever for any other expenses. I know I shouldn’t judge myself based on how much money I can make or how well I can provide for some one in a tangible way, but as I said before, I’m no good at showing people how I love them; I need to not be a failure. So I used the past tense because I’m no longer manager of the restaurant, at least not full time. I’ve stepped back into a part time position, given up most of my day to day responsibilities to two of my staff whom I’ve promoted into supervisors of sort, and now only show up every other day or so for a few hours at most. I also tend to some other work at home. The good part of this is that I no longer work obscene hours for meager pittance. The bad part of this is that I still do some work and now for no pay whatsoever. I need a job. I’ve had a couple of interviews, and have a couple more in the works. Hopefully something good will come from these. I’m not sure really anymore what the point of this post was. I think I wanted to take stock, now that two milestones were occurring at relatively the same time. I wanted to know that what I’m doing is right, and I really hope so. I want to believe it is right so much. If not, I’m not sure what I’ll do with myself. Everything seems so just over the horizon over here. Maybe that’s a side effect of having too much to do with my father, but everything has the taint of tangible benefits, nothing actual. It’s all just a little farther away, no matter how far you travel. I never thought my fortunes or my future would be tied together with his, maybe I should have less to do with him. Maybe I don’t have the psychological fortitude to live on the cusp for so long, and it’s not even been that long, I mean, what, six months? But I think the future is bright. But the future is always bright here in China ;) I just hope that Maria will be able to put up with this particular failure for another year, or even more, until one day where he will not only be a success in all the things that don’t matter in life, money, responsibility, providence, support, but also a success in that which actually may matter, the ability to show someone that he truly cares and loves them.

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maria | March 30th, 2010 

Technically, we first *met* on February 15, 2008. I think stating that we have been “in a relationship” for two years may be a bit of a stretch. I do not dispute that this is the relevant date from which to count, however. As we have discussed, I have no better idea of how to count when we started being in a relationship, and I do admit that I wanted you to be my own, Sean, after meeting you once.

You should grow your hair out again. I had a dream recently about you looking how you did back then, so handsome and exotic. You’re even more handsome now, but you’ve taken to looking so respectable lately.

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