Goodbye, Beijing

Dear Beijing,

It’s been two weeks since I dumped you. I haven’t regretted that decision one bit. Even more than New York, we had a real love/hate relationship.

quirkyBeijing started because I wanted to like you a little bit. Other people instantly fell in love with you, but I just couldn’t see it.

I could never understand what others found so charming about you. Even the little pockets of awesome that I tried to chronicle here in this blog were never enough to keep me.

So why did I stay for four long years? I write this now in the days leading up to the tenth anniversary of September 11th. It’s a time to reflect on the girl that I was on that day, and the woman that I am now. Continents, oceans and an entire lifetime separate us.

There was a lot that you didn’t have in abundance. Blue skies were rare, an actual queue even rarer. But what you did have was a lot of hope for the future, and that was something that I didn’t have much of after I left New York.

All of a sudden you believed that you were the center of the world, the heart of the Middle Kingdom, the center of history. An entire country lifting out of poverty, the miracle of what China could be. You believed so much that you threw yourself into it with an utter, reckless abandon and got people all around the world to believe in it too.

Most of the time I didn’t believe the hype, but in my heart of hearts, I let myself believe just a little bit. It was enough.

So thank you, Beijing, for letting me be a part of your story for four years, and for teaching me to never settle for being second best. You see, that’s why I had to leave too.

much love,

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One Comment on "Goodbye, Beijing"

  1. Nao
    23/02/2012 at 12:58 pm Permalink

    hey… haven’t talked in so long… and then i noticed at the bottom of your email this website, and was like, “she still has this website?” so i decided to take a look…

    first of all, i loved your poem in another entry… i am working on translating a short article, and am amazed by the exercise (i’m really working on my japanese, and it’s something that will be kicking my ass for the rest of my life).

    but this entry really makes me wish we could talk! i still feel grief for that day, though i think i hold on to the feelings just so that i never forget, which seems different from what you’re experiencing. my perspective on the world has changed… yes, new york is my home, but my relationship has also become my home. life is changing…

    i remember when you said that being 30-something was supposed to be easier than 20-something… do you remember?

    change is life. i feel like you’ve made huge changes, huger than me. but then i think, some things have happened that i never thought would happen. anyway, it’s good to take a little break from the day and think about something different…

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