I am having a bit of a grief relapse again today, my return to Beijing fell through over the weekend, and yesterday I finished burning all my bridges (canceling the ticket, explaining to the Chinese agents, once again, that I won’t be coming back in two weeks, and all the other things that come with completely uprooting your life).
While it hurts at times to not be going back, I think this is all for the best. In the nautical word, after long voyage, a ship goes through a period of time called a refit. During a refit, damaged equipment is replaced, the ship is cleaned, the crew gets shore leave, and the ship is resupplied and made ready for the next run. I think this time in the U.S. is my refit. I got pretty badly damaged during the last couple of years overseas and I think I can use a breather. Plus I am also beginning to believe that God maybe redirecting me as far as location. I also plan to continue my pursuit of a career in the beer industry, and as my friend Brett said yesterday, maybe I am home to learn more brewing and maybe after this year I’ll take that knowledge back to Beijing and use it in the opening of my own brewery.
The thing that sucks about a refit period for me is that I have a tendency to view it as divine retribution for some unknown offense. Theologians and other people smarter than me say that your view of God can be directly correlated to your relation with your dad. suffice to say that my relationship with my dad was mutually antagonistic at best, and dangerous at worst. punishment for perceived offenses was common, so when things didn’t go right, I used to believe that I had angered God in some way.
Luckily this time I feel like God had been slowly guided toward staying here. Even though I was full-steam ahead into the China return process, there were things that made me nervous about returning, China has decided to celebrate the defeat of it’s archenemy, Japan, in World War II (something that China really didn’t have much to do with (as they were to busy fighting themselves)), with a three day holiday and massive parade (bigger than they do for even their own National Day). A move that will lead to tension in the region. They’ve imposed a lot more rules crackdowns that under the surface would appear to target foreigners, and they devalued the Yuan. All this took the sting out of the realization that my visa process had become so hopelessly screwed up that I wouldn’t be able to return in time for school to start.
So now here I am with time of tremendous potential staring me in the face, what will I do with it? As I ask myself this question it becomes more apparent that the refit is good for me. I will spend time with mt now five year-old niece. I will celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving for the first time in three years. I will host beer tasting with my friends. I will learn my craft (both writing and brewing) better. I will relax. I will laugh. And I will live.
And I will live. This is an important thing to remember to do during a refit. The last time I came home from China, my head and my heart stayed behind. I wasn’t present. I wasn’t here now. And it made my miserable and quite honestly nearly killed me. This time I will remember that what happens is just as important as what happened there. This too is part of the journey, and I intend to enjoy it.